I get phone calls almost every week from people who are brilliant, in high positions, making great money, super talented, awesome ... but ... They're not quite having the impact they want to have. For some reason, it's just not happening.
Either they're not where they want to be yet. Their team isn't "following" and engaging like they want them to. They're not feeling inspirational enough. Or people simply think they're "unapproachable", "scary", or not "trust-worthy".
They might have done all the right things. They can say all the right words. They likely even have solid leadership skills. Again, brilliant. But something bigger is at work here.
Nine times out of ten, it has to do with what I call their IEP. Their intentional energetic presence, or in this case, their "non-intentional energetic presence".
IEP encompasses several components to having a better impact in the world (without burning yourself out). If you follow my work, you're likely familiar with many of these. They all work together: your intentions, your self-care, your beliefs, your leadership skills, and your presence are all some of the key players in this game. Addressing any one of these gives you access to greater impact. They all affect each other.
But where to start?
I often get asked what are some of the simplest things to do to shift leadership impact?
One of my go-to's?
Change your face.
I don't mean go out and get work done on your face. I mean be more aware of and intentional about the face you're bringing to the table. It's having an impact. I promise you, way more than you realize.
We've all been in "that room" that has the crabby guy; crossed arms, leaning back, furrowed brow, energy of "prove it", "I have better things to do", "you're lame", or "I'm just simply not here". We know this guy. This guy has the ability to tank the room if you let him. He also has the ability to shut down a ton of creativity and responsiveness and connection in that room -- and with anyone he brings that face to.
Ah! That face!
I've found that most often, this guy doesn't even mean to have this face. He doesn't even realize it. He's just either totally absorbed in what's happening, he's thinking, he really does want to get out of there, or he's just simply unaware.
Most often, he's unaware.
I've had client after client make this one shift in their presence and have it ripple out to other changes in how they "show up". This leads to a fast ROI with people and enhances their ability to create intentional impact, to inspire, to connect, to lead.
One of my favorites... Brilliant creative leader, wickedly talented, heart of gold, default face that scared people to submission. The intent was not to have "this face" or this impact - it was simply just her unconscious thinking face.
To start, we did two quick things with her:
- We had her be more conscious about her default face and posture and how she was "showing up" in a room.
- We had her stop and pause when someone would want to engage with her, and simply be fully present - if even for 1 minute. This meant turning away from the computer. Giving them her full attention. And yes, being intentional about the "vibe" she brought into that interaction.
This woman is now one of the most inspiring people in the organization. Her default face is a dream to be in the room with. She's still brilliant and wickedly talented, AND she has more range for impact. She's recently even leveled up to Partner. Beautifully, this default presence of hers has some nice ripple effects in her personal life as well. (You've seen the dating default face, right? How about the parenting one?)
Next step? Short cut? Okay ...
It starts with awareness. That's it. How are you "showing up"?
And then it goes to intention. Intend your impact.
And then ... Show up! In whatever way that means for you. Shift your posture, your presence, your intention for that person in front of you, shift your face... it all counts.
Next up: 5 Behind-the-Scenes Tricks for Shifting Your Default Presence in the Moment.