Do you have what it takes to be an enterprise leader?

 In Body language, Delivery, Entrepreneur, Environment, Learning from Luminaries, Luminary, Meetings, News, Owning space, The Winning Voice

Last week I had a meeting with a Group HR director, of a multinational organisation.

I asked the director what was top of mind in his work.

He said that what he talks about most during the present time, was ‘helping his people – who were competent ‘leaders of a function’ (ie. a function within the organisation) – move to being able to be a competent ‘leader of an enterprise’.

The director said, a leader of an enterprise – in effect a C level function –

needed to bring people together and communicate ideas seamlessly,

to different audiences.

One word he used, which he said ‘leaders of functions’ needed to develop – and which comes up a lot and can be hard to define – was gravitas.  I’ve written about gravitas in prior posts.

If you’re a leader of a function and want to develop more gravitas, here’s one process to act on:

Whenever you are about to enter a room think ‘S.O.D.A’.** which stands for Stop, Observe, Decide, Act’ –

Do the following:

(1) Move into the room, step off to the side. and Stop.

(2) Observe the options of where you might sit.

(3) Decide on the specific seat.

(4) Act. Move directly to that seat and sit down.

Many executives – as they move throughout their day – just Act. By doing the above process you’ll lessen the perception that you are rushing. You’ll be perceived by others ‘owning time’ which is a marker of gravitas.

Let me share a vignette about someone who didn’t rush.

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO, Meg Whitman, was renowned for being able to enter a room, ‘size it up’ and pivot if needed. That is, Whitman would enter a meeting room where she was to speak to an audience (eg. a board room) and stop.

She would put a metaphorical thermometer into the room to ‘test the temperature’. If she sensed some tension she would ‘pivot’. That is, change her prepared opening and begin with a lighter message and tone, to lessen the tension.

(** SODA is an adaptation of the OODA loop)

Own the Conversation

Implementation suggestion.

To improve your gravitas, and start preparing yourself to be able to take on an enterprise leadership role, over the next seven days, do the above four step process, and then reflect on the impact of doing so.

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