Given the need to communicate what is best, even though there may be consequences, good leaders must be good actors, specifically proficient in what’s called “situational leadership.” Plain and simple, situational leadership means having the skills and understanding to assess a scenario you’re facing and manage it with the right leadership style. Considering that there are three basic types of leadership — authoritative, participative and hands-on — a good leader acts in the moment, choosing the best style for the challenge at hand.
Situational leaders are good actors because they know how to adapt their leadership style. They can mask fear, panic and worry with a great sense of self-confidence both in themselves as well as those they must inspire and motivate. But to assume the role, they must become great believers in whatever leadership approach they’ve chosen. And, they must exude extreme self-confidence as they reflect that decision.
Like good actors, good leaders “become” the character in that moment, and their success depends greatly on the purity of their belief. If they don’t believe in what they are doing and the type of leadership role they’ve adopted, they’ll come across as a fake. Ironic but true, good acting is one of the strategies good leaders use to communicate with credibility, build trust among their people, and motivate others.
Good Leaders and Good Actors Aren’t Simply Born:
If you’re in the camp of believing that good leaders are made, not simply born, it’s important to note that situational leaders possess key characteristics, which are essentially the qualities of a great leader. In addition to confidence, there are 11 other attributes of leadership, which include: clear vision, integrity, empathy, sense of humour, humility, passion, courage, style, and the ability to recognize potential in others, develop trust and encourage excellence. Some of these attributes might be innate, but many good leaders find they must develop at least some of these qualities. Doing so comes with time, experience, failure, success, and a genuine desire to develop leadership qualities.
For instance, while there’s nothing wrong with reading books on the subject of leadership, consider reading books about great leaders, or make a list of effective qualities in the leaders you personally know. Adopt some of their ways, test them out, and see what works. While good leaders actively study and prepare for their role as such, they also make great strides by getting the necessary experience, e.g., climbing the chain of command and taking on greater leadership responsibilities.
Good leaders and good actors must also develop a strong sense of self-awareness. Understanding shortcomings and strengths provide a launch pad for improvement and, hopefully, excellence. In becoming a good leader, or a good actor, it’s likely that you’ll have to work on issues around “emotional intelligence.” Use 360-degree evaluation to discover how effective your leadership style is, and, notably how you communicate. That’s because good actors know that when it comes to delivering a message, 7 percent of it is the content of the message itself, 38 percent is your voice tone and 55 percent is about the visual presentation, which includes a self-confident persona. So how you sound, look and carry yourself makes up 93 percent of what goes into being an effective communicator — a critical component to leadership success.
Playing the Role Throughout the Tough Times:
In very tough economic times, it’s about company presidents, CEOs and managers weathering the hardships with a sense of calm. When the opportunity warrants, it’s also about making the choice to throw an occasional fit or communicate frustration, disappointment and even anger in a planned, controlled sort of way.
The role that’s played depends on the situation at hand, yet to evolve into a truly good leader, you must learn to thrive in the moment presented, managing it with purposeful grace. Doing so is a talent, for sure, but it’s also a practice, one that most any impassioned individual can learn given time, experience, self-belief, and a genuine confidence in this “art” as a business strategy.
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