When you hear leader role model, who comes to mind? Why her or him? Chances are, one of those reasons is because they are a good communicator. That doesn’t necessarily mean extroverted, but it does mean they know how to get their ideas across in a clear way.
If you want to know how to become a leader role model, communication skills are of the utmost importance. And you probably already have a hunch that’s a case, because you’re tuning into this lesson.
There’s a leader in each of us. I’m giving you 3 steps to tapping that leader within you.
Today we’re talking about the steps you can take to become a more effective leader. The next few weeks of content will be based on leadership, since I’ve received a number of requests from the Explearning community on this topic.
So keep on reading and let me know (by sending me a note) what other communication topics you would enjoy learning about at Explearning with Mary Daphne.
Leadership is a way of thinking, a way of acting and, most importantly, a way of communicating. (Simon Sinek)
Alright with that, let’s jump right into it!
1) Research Your Leader Avatars
Choose three individuals, male or female, who you feel are good leaders. Think about what draws you to them. Choose people who genuinely inspire you.
Don’t be limited by society’s views on who is a leader.
They can be famous or not. Some of you might have parents who are leaders, or spouses who are leaders, or even a boss. That’s fine too!
For the best results, ensure your choice of individuals span genders, cultures, and time. This diversity will ensure a good variety of admirable characteristics and will reduce cognitive bias.
Feel free to pause the lesson while you make your selection.
2) Analyze Their Behavior
Okay – got your three leaders? Great. Now it’s time to analyze them.
Research their speeches, talks, written work, and publications about them.
Draw from video footage, written work, or historical records.
If these are role models that you know personally, this can include things like emails or written letters that you received from them.
Let’s jump into a few examples.
- Let’s say you chose Malala Yousafzai. You could analyze her TED Talk and interviews, as well as her autobiography.
- Maybe you’ve chosen the ancient stoic Seneca. You can read his Letters from a Stoic, dating back to 63 AD. Yeah, shame they didn’t have YouTube back then, I know.
- Or, perhaps you went with Empress Theodora. For her, there’s no video footage or primary works available. And historians have had conflicting views on her leadership qualities. In this case, survey the literature and take creative license to focus on the aspects of her that you find admirable.
So as you can see, no one is off limits.
Keep a written record of your research. This will serve as a springboard for the final step.
3) Adopt Their Characteristics
You now have a list of impressive qualities that your leader avatars represent.
It’s time to take their practices and apply them to yourself.
Adopt their expressions, behaviors, word choice, pacing, tone of voice. Anything you admire about them, try it out on yourself!
Through video, you can emulate their body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions.
Through their written work, you can adopt their narrative voice, word choice, and how they structure arguments.
It is important to stress that you are not copying them. Instead, you are attempting to experience what it is like to do things their way, and then using that experience as inspiration to come up with a practice that is uniquely yours.
We’re going for your authentic self – with positive influences from the people you look up to.
So the way this goes is:
- Try it out
- Adapt it
- Implement it authentically
These are the steps, and in this order.
Okay, let’s recap the three steps to becoming a more effective leader:
- Research your leader avatars
- Analyze their admirable traits
- Adopt their style, expressions and rhetoric to create a leadership style of your own
Using this three-step approach, you can develop a powerful leader in yourself. I call this the avatar methodology, and it’s something I’ve found to be very effective in my own research and consulting practice.
Alright Explearners, thanks for tuning in and I hope you found this lesson valuable. Remember that progress is non-linear. Be kind and patient with yourself. Enjoy the journey.
Add these tips to your Explearning communication toolkit, try them out, and make them your own!
I’ll see you in my next lesson. 😊
Happy Explearning 🐝