Thursday, 29 December 2011

What makes a Charismatic Leader?

Alex Salmond was voted as Man of the Year by the Times.

Whatever you think of his politics, he has been very successful at uniting his party. He headed a minority government from 2007 to 2011 and this year (2011) he won an overall majority. 

A great leader requires a simple, clear vision. At the recent Guardian Summit Allison Horner, Group Personnel Director at Tescos said all staff have a clear mantra: 

  • Know your stuff 
  • Show you care and 
  • Share a smile. 

A great vision statement means people at all the levels of the organisation know what to do to represent the company. 

It's not only CEOs that need a great vision. Increasingly in an entrepreneurial business world, managers need to have a vision and mission statement to give their staff clear guidelines to succeed. 

So why else was Alex Salmond voted man of the year? 

He's a former economist at Royal Bank of Scotland.  Financiers, industrialists, diplomats, cultural ambassadors, writers and academics all find him good company - he talks their language.

What he is is flexible. Able to discuss about things that interest THEM - not necessarily him. Don't be bamboozzeled by this - this strategy can easily be learnt. Know who you are meeting and prepare for it. If you're meeting a film director know the hottest film, if you're meeting a european Politician know what's happening with the Euro. 

Think what the person is intererested in and plan for the meeting.

Flexibility is also about how you speak - slowly, quickly, detail, big picture. Being able to modify your behaviour means you can clarify your relationships. 

So at the start of your year what's your vision? 

What can you do to be more flexible? In an Olympic year you need an Olympic attitude; train, research, practise, experiment then go for gold.

[Read more on The Guardian site] 

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