People are persuaded by reason, but moved by emotion; the leader must both persuade them and move them – Richard M. Nixon
One of the qualities associated with many successful Sales Leaders is that of Presence. People notice them when they walk in a room, they have an aura about them that demands that you listen to them. Leaders with Presence are influential, persuasive and generate great loyalty amongst their followers.
So how do they do it? Just what is Presence? Do you have this intangible quality?
Martin Luther King is one Leader who certainly had this magic ingredient.
Watch the video clip below of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech and try and identify what it is that gives him this charismatic aura.
What did you come up with?
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what it is that gives certain people this aura, as when you look at a cross section of Leaders who can be described as having Presence, they are all different. It isn’t a question that they are all extroverts or the most creative person on the team. Bill Clinton is regarded as a modern day Leader who has great Presence and many people who have met him describe the sensation of Clinton making them feel like the most important person in the room. He has this ability to make people feel special as though what they have to say is the most important thing in the world at that moment in time.
When you look beneath the surface of these types of Leaders you find an inner calm, they are comfortable in their own skin and they are self-assured. They have a passion for what they do and they captivate others with their passion and enthusiasm for their subject. This passion is displayed in an authentic manner and above all they have a real sense of purpose and a belief in what they are trying to achieve. This is evidenced not just in what they say but in their behaviour, their actions and their body language. They really engage with their audience.
Can you learn to develop your presence?
Yes, we believe you can.
The starting point is taking time to reflect on what is your purpose, what is it you believe in and why is it important to you?
For example when leading a sales team I firmly believed that each member of the team was capable of doing their job, had the ability to find solutions to the challenges they faced and that they wanted to have control of their own destiny. This is why they had chosen sales as their career path. I saw my role as helping them achieve their goals and reminding them of tools and techniques that they may have forgotten from their initial training. I believed that if the sales person relaxed and shared their true self with their customers they would make sales as we were selling a great product. I had a clear vision of what I wanted from my sales team, and I needed to create the environment to allow them to flourish.
It isn’t just about you though, you need to find out what is important to the people you want to influence. How do they feel, what matters to them, what are their values? As the feedback about Bill Clinton shows it is not just about you it needs you to actively listen to others and their views.
People will rise to the passion you display, but first you need to decide exactly what is it you are passionate about and how it will affect them!
Questions to consider:
What is important to you in your life and in your work?
What is important to your people?
How can you share your passion?
How can you encourage them to share theirs?