Pneurama's Ten Comandments: Four different answers from a leader
Franco Marzo, Coaching and business development
Would you follow a leader whose ideas you just cannot understand or simply has no clue which way to go? Certainly not. This is why leaders must learn to communicate, effectively transfer their ideas to their collaborators. To do so an endless number of recipes have been created: some improvise, others prepare a speech, not to mention going to acting school, signing up for a course in public speaking or even using a copywriter. Communication is everything, and that might be true, but it’s only the final stretch of a long “journey” that starts deep in the belly, climbs through the heart, reaches the brain and is finally expressed in words and gestures, much like a spring. But for your water to be clear and refreshing, four questions need to be answered:
What is my world? What kind of company do I want to create? Following a leader depends on how clear the direction he takes is. What future awaits us? What will happen in four or five years? Will the company we are creating fare better or worse than today? Are we going to be better off or in worse conditions, more or less capable, more competitive or more selective. Every question may have several possible answers: investments, training, technologies, innovation, globalization, environment, sustainability and well-being are just some of the “credo” or beliefs driving your search. Which is your direction? Do you believe in knowledge? Would you like to follow a leader who never teaches you anything new? Who hides things from you preventing you from “growing”? This is just an example.
Do I transmit emotions, passion, enthusiasm or am I as cold as winter’s day? Leaders know how to inspire their closest collaborators, infusing them with dreams, emotions and passion. They are contagious. Fear too is an emotion. Some are even willing to pay a ticket to go and watch a horror movie. A little fear is good even for your health. People are more careful, go to the doctor more often and end up feeling better. But joy and wonder are equally important as emotions! Are you able to surprise, amaze your partners and colleagues or are you as predictable as a rosary?
The third question concerns interest. Do my proposals bring some significant advantages, change something or is everyone left completely indifferent? Leaders can understand the needs of their employees, customers, shareholders and include them into their projects, their goals, their actions. If we want to follow a leader we need to know that along the way we will touch a number of intermediate stages we’re interested in, we aren’t just “going around” just to please him.
And finally the last question: would I follow someone like myself? If I were someone else, would I like to be me? This is probably the most difficult question to answer. The most successful marketing slogan during the 80s was "piace alla gente che piace” (popular with popular people). From the 15,000 expected sales, Autobianchi actually sold over 50,000 y10s. The creator of that slogan created also a virtuous loop. Some of the most popular women of the time purchased that vehicle, prompting a vast number of other women who wanted to become just as popular to do the same. Being a leader means becoming a role-model, someone to look up to, but this means more than just having the right car, even a bicycle will do as long as it’s authentic. Today we like truth, authenticity: even ugly as long as it’s original. Nobody wants imitations. And here's the good news: you are absolutely unique, and your example is one of a kind. Be sure, no matter where in the world you are, there is no one else like you. To become a role-model all you have to do is accept who and what you are and avoid trying to look like someone else.
The four answers from a leader
1 - You must believe in something, anything, as long as you really believe in it. When it comes to believing there are no limits as to what you believe, but you need an iron-like determination in pursuing your goals. Be convinced and you will convince others, determined and you will induce to action!
2 - Emotion transpires, often unchecked or uncontrolled. Let your emotions flow, let others feel them. Create emotions in your collaborators, amaze them, frighten them, upset them, just don’t overdo it!
3 - Make sure that what you do or propose meets the interest, whether implicit or explicit, of your listeners. Needs are endless, look for one in each of your interlocutors and assure them that you are taking them into account.
4 - The three points mentioned above must become part of yourself. Stop pretending to be what you are not, don’t imitate. You are unique. People love the original and not imitations. Accept yourself as you are and people will accept you.