How To Be A Likable Leader
When I spoke at career day a few weeks ago, I learned a very valuable lesson.
None of the students were really interested in what I had to say about my day job.
I mean, who really wants to hear about Supply Chain?
I guess I can’t really blame them.
It was like pulling teeth trying to get some engagement.
It was really really painful.
But then, I said something that caught their attention!!!
I casually mentioned to the class that I was engaged and getting married in November.
It was honestly as if I had mentioned that everyone in the class was going home with $100 that day.
After a huge, “Awwwwwwwww…” from the class, I was suddenly a lot more interesting!
They now wanted to ask me questions about my fiancé…and about the wedding…and about how I felt about getting married so young…
They wanted to see pictures of the two of us…
That’s what they were interested in.
So as I answered their questions, I thought about their weird interest in my personal life, and I had a thought.
I think that when we’re taking advice from someone, or when we’re looking up to someone as our leader- in life, or at work- we want to see that person as a person. We want to see that person not just as a teacher, not just as a manager, but we want to see them as someone we can relate to.
We want a glimpse into their everyday life.
This somehow helps us connect with them better, and I honestly believe that it makes our leaders a lot more likable.
I’ve seen presentations that my CEO has given where he’s been flipping through a PowerPoint and three slides into it, there’s a picture of his dog.
And he says, hey!… that’s my dog! I like my dog…so I decided to include him in my presentation.
And you know what? When I witnessed that, I thought it was way cool.
And that CEO who’s usually this very untouchable- wears stuffy suits kind of guy- in that moment, he gained big brownie points with me.
Because I liked that he had a dog.
I liked that he gave us a tiny glimpse into his personal life.
After work, he goes home (just like the rest of us), and he plays with his pets…just like any other guy.
So I think what I’m trying to say is that I wish more leaders would do that. I wish more executives would feel comfortable sharing a little bit about their personal lives with their staff.
Because you don’t have to be a corporate robot to survive in the workplace…
Instead, you can be a chill, down-to-earth leader, who’s just as human as the rest of us.
And in return, you’ll probably be liked and respected a whole lot more.
Because so many of those students asked for them…
Enjoy some of my engagement pictures taken by the incredible Lara Rios.
Joe’s going to kill me for posting these 🙂
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