Do you know what is tough? Being a leader. Do you know what is tougher? Having your leadership style shine through to your communication style.
“To thine own self be true” is one of Shakespeare’s most oft quoted lines. And, honestly, while I find the line overused, it has staying power because it is true.
Every leader has a style. It’s part of their personal brand. Those who have a style are able to tailor their communication style to reflect that. And, to know your style and to let that shine through takes personal vulnerability. That’s not easy, but it is possible. What works for one leader, possibly speaking to large crowds, does not work for another.
The inverse is also true. So, those that do not know their style, well, they are ultimately outed through their communication style. It’s lacking, it hits flat and there is no consistency. Which causes one to wonder if the person actually knows oneself at all.
Leadership is interesting in that way. It defines the entire body of work that a superintendent does.
I have a favorite quote on this matter–more to the point on what it truly means to know yourself. But, I’ve changed it a bit:
Communicate (Dress) shabbily and they remember the mess (dress);
communicate (dress) impeccably and they notice the person (women).
I am a big believer in self-reflection. Great leaders need to take that time. Spend time each evening reflecting on your day, expressing gratitude and in grounding with who you are. It will show in your leadership. After all, it’s the person behind the desk that we all really want to see.