One of the few people that consistently come to mind, when I ask participants at my workshop who they thought was a great speaker, would be the late Steve Jobs. Make no mistake about it, hate him or love him, he did set the stages he graced alight and abuzz whenever he took to it.
Many people wondered if it was just the “Mac” factor, the undeniable success brought forth by line of sexy and elegant gadgets that Apple has come to be known for.
Or was there more?
I believe that the truth to his performance stage lies somewhere in between that, but also that Steve Jobs having been known to pour hundreds of hours into rehearsals to polish his speaking skills, kept with certain speaking secrets that took him (and his gadgets) far into the public eye and places where the “MacMinions” would later share and re-present to the rest of the world.
What were these secrets then? And how do you use them to influence the people around you?
Here are three pointers to note.
1) Influential Communicators Spread Positive Energy
I’ve come to realize that influential communicators are hubs of positive energy. They bring people “on to the stage”, gather positive energy around these unheralded “stars”, and generate positive buzz from the energy created.
What this essentially means, is that the leader on stage, or on any platform, identifies “stars” that are usually unrecognized in their daily work, recognizes their contributions, and through the process, creates a positive buzz through the recognition of his co-stars.
I’ve watched and observed Steve do this several times when he’s on stage. These stars would always, more often than not, be his ‘crew’ of engineers at Apple, his software (ie, Adobe) and hardware (ie, Intel) partners. Venture far enough and you would even notice that he shared the stage with Microsoft founder Bill Gates and LotusNotes back in their prime.
Why does spreading positive energy work?
Because not enough people do that enough – and the paradox is if you want to be recognized and respected, you’ve got to first recognize and respect others for their work.
Makes sense, no?
2) Having Positive Energy
Besides generating buzz and energy around other people for their work, another key trait that influential leaders have is their unique brand of positive energy, and their ability rally others around their causes.
Call it charisma, aura or being a visionary – great leaders have a personal brand for which they are known for.
Some observers have noticed that Steve Jobs carried with him a certain sense of focus that few possessed. Some attributed that to his desire to “change the world”. Others described it as his desire to “revolutionize” the user-technology experience.
Call it what you want, but great leaders bring with them a strong, unyielding sense of belief that defines their presence. Their focus and enthusiasm are infectious and magnetizes the people around them towards a single purpose.
What are your core beliefs then? Are they centered around noble motives and intentions? Are they worth spreading and following?
3) Commanding Positive Energy
So we’ve explored two important traits: Generating Positive Energy and Possessing Positive Energy. How then, should can one wield all those energy, particularly towards a common goal? That, is after all, a question of Leadership, isn’t it?
I mean, what’s the point of having all that if you cannot use it?
It is my core belief, that the essence of leadership, is to empower and enable through the disbursement of direction and instruction. That is, to set a direction and directing and delegating of responsibilities. These, to say the least, are an art by itself and I will cover these in a later post.
In the mean time, these are three
It is my sincere belief that leaders are those who know the way, go the way and show the way. While that may be a tad simplistic in this increasingly complicated world, I think that true leadership still requires as much spirit as it is vision – and the those, combined with the ability to communicate goals and vision will form the bedrock of what is needed for anybody wishing to achieve more to do so with a team of under their watch.
It is not rocket science, but it’s not exactly the easiest of tasks as well.
In any case, I hope these three pointers have given you something to think about.
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Until next time, Speak Up & Stand Out!