Do You Lead With Your Eyebrows Or Your Mouth?

eyebrows

It's a summer Friday afternoon - let's talk marketing! Wahoo!

"Yeah right," right? That's why I'll keep this short.

I want you to make a commitment - just something to consider - no sweat or hard work due right now.

Starting Monday morning, I want you to think about the way you lead. If you're a boss, think about the way you foster your young employee's careers, about the way you inspire, about the very nature of how you lead. Same goes for mid-level employees with your intern oversight. Hell, even if you are the office intern, it's a lesson for you as well. After all, who is going to be the boss in 20 years?

Here's the gist: While I was on my honeymoon (just got back last night), I read some non-marketing books. Among them was Boss of Bosses, a story about the FBI's mob take-down during the '80s (it's the closest I got to beach reading...I did get through almost 2 marketing books as well).

This passage about leadership really struck me:

"[Paul] Castellano knew that the most powerful man was the man who needed to say the least. Neil's carrying on, his slapping of backs - it had a certain gruff charm, but it did not speak of power. True power resided in the lift of the eyebrow, the barely discernible nod of the head. If ["Neil"] Dellacroce wanted to play the emcee, fine - that only showed the relative weakness of his position." (pg. 107)

So, what about you? Do you berate your employees with screams and threats? Do they know exactly how to make that vein in your forehead dance the jig?

I've always respected my bosses who resisted tantrums. They were the ones that really seemed in control - unflappable, collected, above the fray.

If you have employees under you - or you will someday - you can learn a little something about leadership from the former  boss.

If you agree with this, I'd like you to (re)dedicate yourself to this style of leadership on Monday morning. Take the weekend to think about it. Consider what emotional responses might be chipping away your credibility with your employees. Then take a lesson from Paul and let us know how it goes!

Think about it over the weekend: do you lead with a careful lift of the eyebrow or do you scream your head off to demonstrate your leadership? Which is more effective? And how are you taking steps to make your style the most efficient?

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(Image courtesy of VoxEfx via Flickr)