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To Sound Like a Leader, Think About What You Say, and How and When You Say It

daftandbarmy

Army.ca Dinosaur
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If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you.... ;)


To Sound Like a Leader, Think About What You Say, and How and When You Say It

"Whether you are an associate manager or a senior executive, what you say, how you say it, when you say it, to whom you say it, and whether you say it within the proper context are critical components of your strategic leadership potential. This “executive voice” is less about your performance and more about your strategic instincts and your awareness of the signals you send in daily interactions and communications. Developing an executive voice can mean the difference between success and failure in your communication and leadership style. You can show up more strategically in meetings by doing your homework and by taking the lead in analyzing difficult situations. Bring solutions, not just problems. And stay calm in the pressure cooker. People with an effective executive voice aren’t easily rattled. They provide levelheaded leadership even when — in fact, particularly when — everyone around them is losing their composure. By making the necessary adjustments to your approach to participation, you can start showing up more strategically in every setting you encounter at work."


To Sound Like a Leader, Think About What You Say, and How and When You Say It
 
Huh, that's a weird example, I got stuck at why they would put someone on the agenda to talk about a project, then cut them off because it wasn't addressing a business objective they wanted to talk about. Probably made up, but comes across as more of the executive branch (or whoever did the agenda and scheduled the presentation), and seems like terrible leadership to cut someone's knees out from them like that instead of showing a bit of interest and asking for a follow up later in a different meeting that would focus on whatever objective it ties to.

At what point did mentoring people fall off the radar? It seems unreasonable for someone to think like an executive if everything is behind closed doors and no one has any idea what things the executives are even considering because there are so many cut outs betweeh the hoi peloi and the Big Giant Heads (cough Defence Procurement Strategy cough TBS Submissions cough).
 
Huh, that's a weird example, I got stuck at why they would put someone on the agenda to talk about a project, then cut them off because it wasn't addressing a business objective they wanted to talk about

It happens all the time, sadly. In some cultures, if you say things that go 'against the grain' you might find a hay bale dropping on your head ;)
 
It happens all the time, sadly. In some cultures, if you say things that go 'against the grain' you might find a hay bale dropping on your head ;)
Lol, I can't think of any culture like that!

I guess just the way it was written it seemed like it was an actual agenda item to present it, but she didn't get any guidance other than to present something, so it came across as John's fault as a co-chair, not Nancy's fault as the SME. If you want to do a meeting focused on a topic, it's up to you as a chair to set agenda items on the topic and make sure people are aware of what you want to speak about.

So consequently got stuck in para 1 and totally missed the point of the article, which was fundamentally you should try and think like a senior executive. But again, I think that whole example kind of indavertently makes my point, is that people don't read minds, and their can't really anticipate what you want if you don't communicate things. Like, for example, you want to focus on a topic unrelated to what Nancy is working on.
 
Like many others, I worked for a number of effective and less-than-effective leaders over my career. The 'fire and brimstone/all bluster' were usually less effective but not always, it depended on the rest of their personal power and reputation.

I worked for one who was very, very soft-spoken; a very cerebral type of leader, at a large highway patrol detachment. He was also very slight, gaunt even. Some thought he looked like he was battling cancer. Anyway, it was a typical, chaos-filled Toronto winter morning rush hour when strolled into the office to find some members sitting in the office and quietly said - pretty much to no one in particular - 'get those ('effing') cars on the road'. It was his version of screaming at the top of his lungs.
 
Sounding like a leader was never a thing I aspired to. I focused my attention (likely with very mixed results) on not even acting like a leader, but rather on being a leader.

If you become a leader, you will sound like one....

I never forgot that the troops can smell a phony from a long way away....a lesson hard learned. Authenticity is of greater importance than most people acknowledge.
 
Sounding like a leader was never a thing I aspired to. I focused my attention (likely with very mixed results) on not even acting like a leader, but rather on being a leader.

If you become a leader, you will sound like one....

I never forgot that the troops can smell a phony from a long way away....a lesson hard learned. Authenticity is of greater importance than most people acknowledge.
This.

When I took off the hooks and put on pips, I was cautioned that I wouldn't make any friends being my usual "direct" self in the officer world.

On the contrary, being direct without being gruff has been an asset so far. I won't waste the Comd's time, my time, or that of my team tiptoeing around the tulips of a bad COA.
 
Sounding like a leader was never a thing I aspired to. I focused my attention (likely with very mixed results) on not even acting like a leader, but rather on being a leader.

If you become a leader, you will sound like one....

I never forgot that the troops can smell a phony from a long way away....a lesson hard learned. Authenticity is of greater importance than most people acknowledge.
I don't think the point was "fake it 'till you make it", it was more a "think big picture, don't get bogged down in the minutia, make your intent clear".

It's stuff the CAF teaches people (though many ignore it), but that may not be as well known in the business world. Particularly for those rising from middle management(minutia), to the executive level.

That said, there is an certain element of "fake it 'till you make it" involved in being a Jr. leader. You need to act like a leader to be seen as a leader, and to act like a leader when you're learning you are simply copying what you have seen/been told. Some of us might be so far removed from that phase of our careers that it's easy to forget, but it happened to everyone.
 
I don't think the point was "fake it 'till you make it", it was more a "think big picture, don't get bogged down in the minutia, make your intent clear".

It's stuff the CAF teaches people (though many ignore it), but that may not be as well known in the business world. Particularly for those rising from middle management(minutia), to the executive level.
This also makes sense.

I remember doing an Estimate EC and failing pretty hard on it the first time. Why? I was still thinking like a Sgt. My DS asked me a very pointed question and it stuck with me : "If Sgt You received orders drafted from this estimate, and you were basically told how to do your job by a Sig O...how would you have felt?"

The answer: "Like I had no room to work and that this Sig O was a micromanging asshole."

We actually do very well at explaining/understanding the inverted pyramid of responsibility and delegation as people move up, compared to industry. Where we often fail is in the development and maintenance of strategic vision/growth mindset in our lower rungs (Pl/Section level leaders) in favour of reactionary leadership.

The sooner we develop leaders that can ask "does this fit not only my Commander's Intent, but the larger CAF intent?" in planning, the better equipped we will be as a force to move forward as a whole and not as a pockets of activity reacting to challenges.
 
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