The four faces of leadership are Public, Private, Professional and Personal, and while each stands in it’s own light and under the weight of its own requirements, for the authentic leader they work together. In fact without a harmonious working together of all four, the end result is abject failure or toxic leadership.
Public: Let’s unpack these faces of leadership, beginning with the Public Face. As the term might imply, this is the image of leadership easily and most readily seen in the general public, whether through print or entertainment media, or through business or industry news sources. This public face is the first impression those not affiliated with the specific industry will see and attach to the business or organization.
What may be surprising is the fact that many in leadership ignore the impact this face has on their personal and professional success or standing in the organization. They rationalize their lack of diligence by hiding behind the excuses of, “I’m too busy to worry about that sort of thing”, or “I have people who take care of that for me”, or any variety of avoidance’s. The truth is that whether through intent or as a result of competing priorities, leaders who dismiss the significance this facet of their business miss out on leveraging opportunities for gain, whether monetary profit or social and community support.
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Here’s an all too common example that occurs all the time. Although the industry may change and leaders may give lip service to being innovative and leaning forward toward progress, they unknowingly undermine their best efforts by not integrating new technologies or implementing new processes. Their public face may be the receptionist or front office secretary who, for any number of reasons or none at all, refuses to adopt or incorporate changes. In that this individual is very often the first contact the business or organization has with the public at large, it is vital that they be on board with the direction of the organization, or chaos will ensue.
Solutions to some of these issues start with education, followed by inspiration, leading to dedication, and closing with renovation.
1. Education: Letting all the employees know what’s going on through every medium possible is a great first step. Understand that regardless how thorough this effort is, there will almost never be 100% saturation, there is almost always a cache of personnel who aren’t informed. Education must extend to the general public and customer base as well, if its to be effective.
2. Inspiration: Part of the cornerstone of leadership is the ability to inspire goodness to greatness in others. This is what leaders are paid to do, and good leaders earn their pay! Motivating others to grasp the vision and support it is a tangible piece to the success of any project.
3. Dedication: On the heels of motivation to do, is the fortitude to continue until the goal has been met, until the objective has been reached, until the change has been made. This intrinsic character trait is what good leaders bring to the surface of the work ethic of those they lead; it can be a hard thing, but it always a good thing.
4. Renovation: Although some would see this aspect as the beginning, the truth is, that without the first three, this aspect will fail every time. Some failures will be magnificent and immediate, while others will appear as a smoldering fire that hasn’t quite ignited, but is laying just below the surface ready to explode.
Conclusion: an applicable tried and true aphorism states, “you only get one chance to make a first impression”, and the unspoken admonition is that every effort should be made to make the first impressing a favorable one.