Everyone in a team wants to communicate with the captain. For a leader to interact with vast numbers of people in a personal way is challenging, but not impossible. Consider video interaction, intranet, or personal handwritten notes – not just email and telephone messages. Include these in your annual communication plan. Get the message out – everything from budgets, awards, birthdays, special occasions, festivals and religious holidays. Ring the changes so that people get an email on their birthday this year and a message on the welcome board at reception the following year. Make it an integral part of your internal communication strategy.
It is invaluable for the leader to go to his team at their work stations to show interest and to have meaningful, personal interaction. It is also termed “leading from the floor”, which is sometimes more appropriate for a production environment than an office. Getting to know your team where they work is vital. Engaging with them in a meaningful way is too. It is often a good idea to host relaxed, informal talk time over coffee. Again, off-site meetings may also provide a more casual, comfortable environment in which to get to know your team.
A leader is expected to make a commanding and powerful first impression. They are also expected to be able to represent the company in public, to be able to say a few words without notice, and to prepare and present worthwhile, meaningful speeches. It is not difficult, but it does require preparation, practice and confidence-building. He or she needs to make a good first impression, and there are many ways in which this can be achieved.
First impressions count, and as the old adage goes, you never have a second chance to make a good first impression. Visual impressions are lasting, so you need to look like a leader. If you look smart, people assume you are smart. Present positive body language – good posture, strong handshake and extending your aura of presence – these are all helpful in creating the picture of an established and successful leader. If you are not yet an established leader, then don’t dress for the job you have, rather dress for the job that you want! The leader should be the smartest-looking person in the organisation. Make sure that your office and desk look professional, and that the people around you mirror your image. Remember, a bus station is where a bus stops, a train station is where a train stops, and your desk is a work station.