Have you ever been in the presence of someone truly powerful? A top government official, the CEO of a big company, or an officer of the armed forces? These people are skin, bones and 60% water just like us, so what then is the palpable “power” that makes these people seem BIGGER than other people you meet?
While helpful, it’s not necessarily academic intelligence, or knowledge. Emotional intelligence is definitely a factor, as successful leaders are able to quickly “read the room”, empathize, and forge relationships. Former President Bill Clinton is famous for his phenomenal social and communication skills, in which he is able to make the person he is speaking with feel like they are the most important person in the world.
The words people choose are also very important. While in today’s world, it’s more often the words we choose to type, text, tweet or Email – what comes
out of your mouth still has significant importance! The right words can depict confidence, assurance, and even knowledge that you don’t necessarily have. Humans are programmed to respect and follow other humans who are confident, instill confidence in others, and who inspire them. Sarcastic, negative people may have plenty of friends, but are rarely successful as leaders.
Experts say that over 50% of communication is body language like posture, eye contact, smiling, a firm handshake, relaxed shoulders, and communicating at an appropriate distance. Like verbal and social skills, body language is both innate and learned. How children are communicated with and taught in their home is a big factor, as well as the social circle of friends they spend time with. Leadership opportunities give people, even children, the opportunity to hone these skills – as talents like public speaking improve with practice and experience.
A confident leader who chooses the right words, with the right timing, with the right body language can persuade and inspire others that anything is possible. How else could military leaders inspire soldiers to fight against grave odds? For inferior sports teams to defeat superior teams? Examples are in front of us every day, as regular people are inspired by others to overcome the most challenging situations. Powerful leaders possess a palpable energy that seems to flow through their body, through the air and into the bodies of others. The power seems so real, that we often joke around and say, “I wish I could bottle some of that energy”. Successful leaders combine their convictions with their leadership skills to motivate others to go beyond their perceived limits, and make positive changes in their families, schools, organizations, and sometimes even the world!
Andy@libertylakedaycamp.com • www.libertylakedaycamp.comagers.