In organizations there are leaders of all kinds; there are “attention seekers” and “attractive people”. There is a difference between doing something to get attention and becoming a leader of a kind who attract and draw people towards them. Even though, in both case, the end is to influence people to do purposeful things and achieve common goals, the way they do it does have an impact on both people and culture in an organization.
Not every leader is the force of attraction and enjoys celebrity status in their organization and everyone seek attention in variety of ways in organizations. Leaders at different levels in the organization get attention for different reasons and different leaders attract others through different means.
In an organization leaders ought to be the attractive people, who draw others towards them, not merely attention seekers. When leaders are able to attract people, draw others towards them, they can use that aura around them to motivate and canalize individuals to achieve common goals, inspire others to excel and make leadership an office of aspiration in organization to nourish future leaders. Leaders who are aware of what makes them attractive and use their attractiveness effectively are able to gain the leadership acceptance and have larger circle of influence than those who merely seek attention.
In an organization, what one does to get attention and what is attractive impacts both people and culture. The things that get attention, positive or negative, are reinforced; what is reinforced that continues, what continues that becomes way of life in an organization. The things that are attractive are what create interest and gets attention, when attention is given it influences, when it influences it makes or breaks individuals in an organization.
More often people mix and misunderstand ‘getting attention’ and ‘being attractive’. Their narrow understanding of limiting ‘being attractive’ to the level of ‘getting attention’ is what the cause of this. Let’s bring some clarity, lets explore what is “being attractive” is and what can a leader do to become attractive that is sustainable and long lasting.
What makes one attractive?
Getting attention is momentary and being attractive is lasting. More often we mix and misunderstand getting attention and being attractive. Attraction is a force and reason that gets attention, draw others towards one self. Attention an act or a tactic of calling aloud, doing something to get other’s attention, not necessarily it translate into lasting impression or connect with their interest.
There is a difference between doing something to get attention and becoming a leader of a kind who attract and draw people towards them.
Limiting being attractive to a bunch of tactics that can get attention is not healthy. Because In an organizational context where information flows freely and leaders have to work with people over a period these attention getting tactics does not bring lasting impact and some time makes a leader less attractive, hence makes one ineffective in leadership.
Being attractive goes beyond what we see, it is inside out, it start with the inner core of a leader, it includes what people experience as well as how it meets their emotion and aspirations. Many think looking good is attractive; to them it is all about presentation, they heavily relay on their presentation, oratory skills, or other externally visible and easily observable tactics. Their definition of attraction is based on what one sees, the visible and easily observable characteristics, it does create a good first impression, to get attention, hope the first impression and attention becomes the reason for attracting others towards them, unfortunately first impressions does not last long, but there are things that last long and make a leader attractive and effective in their leadership.
So what must a leader do to become an attractive person that is sustainable and lasts long, an attraction that gets the attention of the peak-performers in their organization?
How to be attractive:
Every leader has three sides; they are the inner core, visible outer view, and dream that bridge leader and their follower’s needs and aspiration. Unfortunately leaders overemphasize visible outer view hoping that that serves the purpose of being attractive in their organization. But the truth is that all three sides must be working together and complementing each other well to enable a leader to become the force and reason to draw people towards them.
1. Cultivate the Stronger you:
Leaders who show the way with positive attitude and resolve to overcome challenges by solving problem are more attractive than others. Test your memory, one hardly remembers a leader for how appropriately they dressed to each occasion but history is full of records of leaders how they handled tough situations and enabled others around them to stay together and overcome challenges to triumph.
Selfless leaders attract others more than the selfish ones. In an organization peak-performers want to work with leaders who are selfless because they seek to fulfill their personal needs through fulfilling the needs of others in their team. There is a difference between those leaders seeking to get all the attention on them, they are selfish, and those willing to share credit and share the attention with other peak performers in the team, they are selfless. Who is an attractive leader, selfless or selfish?
Self-confident leaders who show their real self are more attractive than those pretentious leaders who do everything just to be liked by others. Those want to be liked are more likely to compromise the standards and those who compromise do not attract others. It is important for leaders not to make their life a matter of getting attention, but to live life to the fullest, which others find it attractive enough, that kind of impression lasts longer.
Being one’s self is a best way to show self-confidence - why you do things that you do, because it gets attention, because want to be liked and accepted. A leader must do what one is convinced and believe and when others see the conviction, firmness, and commitment, that is the source of attraction. Don’t live life for others to like, live life in such way that others find it attractive enough to give attention.
Leaders who spread love and encourage others are more attractive than those who spread fear and cause discouragement. Love builds and edifies, treats others equal, strengthens and motivates, who wouldn’t be attracted to a leader like that. People look up to leaders for encouragement, empowerment, and when they want to see reality. When a leader does that not by giving false hope or hype, but realistic enough to show the truth and reality that does not break a person yet encouraging enough to build a person to find new heights is a definite attraction in an organization.
People connect with people in that character is key in attracting and building other characters.
2. Present the Better you:
Effective personal presentation and representation of organization is achieved when there is congruence among body language, behavior, and perceived image of the leader. A leader must constantly evaluate this congruence and make needed correction to be an attractive force in the organization.
In an organization a leader must present one’s self well as well as represent the organization well. It is not about seen doing the right thing but setting the right example for other to do the right things in the organization that makes one an attractive leader.
Some assume that shear display of enthusiasm and energy attracts others much more than calm and composure. Enthusiasm and energy attracts people to get things started but when the going gets tough people turn to the calm and composure to stay on top of the situation and sail through the pressure to victory. One should not deceive by the flashy display of enthusiasm and energy as the source of attraction; a leader must have the balance of both as situation demands to be attractive.
3. Have dream that others can share:
The biggest attraction for peak-performers in an organization is the dream that a leader bring into the organization within their level of influence, which enables peak-performers to find their personal fulfillment through achieving a common purpose.
For peak-performers the dream leader brings that allow them to take active participation is the star attraction. A leader’s dream is a reflection of their past, understanding of the present, and ambition for future. In that dream hope and aspirations are flourished or buried. When a leader creates a dream that allow hope and aspirations to flourish and challenge peak-performers to become part of it (vision and Mission of the organization) the dream becomes the start attraction. Even it motivates peak-performers to aspire for leadership in organization to take that dream forward in the future.
In conclusion, a strong and positive characteristic of a leader, appealing presentation and well representation of the organization, and creating the shared dream is a definite attraction that gives an edge in influencing others towards achieving purposeful organizational goals.