Where Do You Stand As A Leader?

45% of your company’s reputation is based on the public’s view of your CEO. Staggering isn’t it? To think that ONE person can wield that kind of influence over your company’s stock, your employee turnover and your public image. Yet it is true. Burson-Marsteller’s Maximizing CEO Reputation research has proven it.

So the question is, where do you stand as a leader?

What is your company’s reputation? What are you doing that is negatively impacting the company? I know of one company that the head person was having an affair. It caused a lot of mistrust in the company and gossip. People thought “if you are willing to do this to your wife whom you pledge to love forever, what are you willing to do to us?”

Does your behavior match your words?

If trust is an issue in your company, than yes, you do need to look at your behavior. To give trust freely and do you demand the same back? Is it exemplified in all aspects of your life? Do you tell employees to have balance in their lives yet you work all hours rarely seeing your family? Remember that actions speak louder than just words. People learn by example not by what has been said.

Does your body language match your words?

Do you stand with your back strong; your head up and make good eye contact? Body language has a HUGE influence over how people view what you have said. Take President Bush for example. When “the crisis” first hit America he came out with his head bowed, his shoulders were slumped, his eyes downcast, and he paused every 3-4 words. People were saying they felt compassion but where is the strength? Since then President Bush has gained strength. His last address showed him walking with his shoulders back, strong eye contact, less pauses and more emphasis on key words. Now people are saying he is looking stronger.

What is the context of your message?

I can’t tell you how many CEO’s tell me there job is to get the information out to the right people. WRONG! Your job is NOT to get the message out but rather to get the message heard the way you want it heard. This means you have to manage the perceptions that are out there. You have to be able to speak to the media, financial people, management and employees. You have to be able to know what their concerns are, their fears, and how to channel their energy toward a positive outcome. You have to know what they will each see as strength and what they will each see as intimidation. There is a difference and you better master it.

You are the leader of your company. You are the one every one looks to in a crisis to see HOW they should react to the crisis. Your reaction to things will determine how your management reacts which will determine how all employees will behave at work.

If you have ever wondered about the impact of a leader just think of our past Presidents. Kennedy is remembered as being charismatic due to his smile, his cock of his head and his ability to speak smoothly. Reagan is known as the great communicator due to his squint in his eyes, his ability to dress for the occasion from fireside chats to press conferences. Carter is known for his lack of strength due to his big wide smile at inappropriate times, his constant wearing of cardigans and his soft voice tone.

Your company is only as strong as the public’s and your employee’s view of you as a leader.

So take a true look at your company.

If it has turf wars, poor customer service, high turnover, low morale or dissension, look no further than the mirror. You can turn it all around. I know. I have worked with people that wanted to change their image. I have seen people that were viewed as arrogant and obnoxious change to be viewed as fair but tough. I have seen people that were viewed as weak and indecisive change to be viewed as insightful and knowledgeable.

In order to make this change you have to look at four key areas: one, how people view you; two, how people hear what you say; three, how you speak; and four, what your body language says. Once you manage these four areas you will be managing the bottom line of your business.

As the leading Outcome Strategist, Anne Warfield shows people how to say the right thing at the right time every time.  The revolutionary Outcome Focus® Approach shows how to build a candid corporate culture of communication that allows you to lead, present and negotiate transformationally rather than transactionally. When applying Outcome Thinking® our client’s results include sales cycles reducing by 75%, turnover reducing by 30%, silos evaporating, and a 25% savings of time by executives.  Find out how you can maximize your corporate culture for greater productivity and results!  Contact us at 888-imp-9421, visit  www.impressionmanagement.com,  or emailcontact@imp.us.com.