Updated: Jun 28, 2022
Part I - The 2022 Leadership Series
I thought I had found an amazing mentor. Richard had so much charisma on stage. He was successful, powerful, warm-hearted, and super magnetic.
My radar was hot for great leaders to follow, as I was just launching my public speaking coaching business at the time. I was uber-jazzed and ready to sign up for his business mentorship program.
I excitedly went looking for Richard after his talk, just brimming with enthusiasm to make a 1-1 connection with this powerful beacon.
But when I spotted him down the hall, my enthusiasm for him dropped like a hot air balloon out of fuel.
There he was, in a heap, on the floor and angry. Someone was hunched over him.
My momentary hero had collapsed in the heat of a personal meltdown. I couldn’t believe my eyes.
He had publicly fallen apart. It hit me like a brick.
Lesson learned, but not what I had expected to learn from Richard.
Instead, this experience became a powerful teaching for me on my personal journey to leadership that I have never forgotten.
Here's the take-away.
A reputation is powerful, yet delicate and vulnerable at the same time. It can shift from golden to tarnished, from high to low, from superstar to unstable.
That fast. Literally in a snap.
To be an influential leader, you must remain conscious of your behavior at all times.
I’m not saying it’s unacceptable to have a breakdown now and then. After all, emotional challenges are part of being human. However, if you’re in the public eye, maintaining your leadership presence is essential.
A great leader walks with open-hearted executive presence – that ineffable quality to which so many aspire and so few ever achieve.
Leadership is a way of being. It is cultivated and intentional.
It is rooted in how you see yourself, how you treat yourself, how you acknowledge yourself, and how you acknowledge and treat others.
· Hold yourself in the same way you revere others whom you admire.
· If you are at a conference or an important event, show up the way you want to be seen.
· Commit to standing in your leadership.
· Commit to showing up as your best self.
· Commit to staying open and calling others to step toward the best version of themselves as well.
This is the path of the leader … a delicate walk that requires self-awareness and an unshakable commitment to walking with care and consciousness.