Discover the Rare Leader.

As with most blogs, you will find our most recent posting at the top in your current view.
On your first visit, begin with "What is the Rare Leader".
Reading subsequent postings under the archive section will allow you to "catch up" on the story of the Rare Leader.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Moving from Charisma towards Integrity

You have spent a career climbing the leadership ladder.  Through your experiences and careful research, you have discovered a consistent pattern of behaviors predicting the potential of great success in a Leader. I call these twelve behaviors and characteristics the style of a Rare Leader™.
Since January, we have “dug deep” into the behaviors of Vision and Charisma.  Let’s probe a bit deeper into the next behavior.  Character, or Integrity as some of you have been calling it, will be our next topic beginning in March.  
Thanks for your many comments about Charisma and Vision.  I look forward to your comments, e-mails, tweets, and phone calls about Integrity in the Rare Leader™.  
You can also join in at for regular posts on this topic.  Recent tweets are on the left.
If you are new, perhaps you might enjoy starting at the beginning.  Click the archives and look for Vision under January, and “read up”  Please post your comments.  I invite you to actively participate.  I'd also appreciate your inviting friends to follow our discussions and contribute as they wish.
Welcome, I hope you enjoy your journey discovering the 12 behaviors and characteristics of the Rare Leader™ 
If you want to learn more about the Rare Leader™ in you, 
or if you are interested in retaining Steve as your Executive Coach, 
Contact Steve Riege via: twitter, or his website.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Is Charisma your Hero?

February is nearing an end.  I pause and look at the beautiful fresh snow in my yard, and think of the perfection in front of me.  No two flakes alike...Is that true of people?  Is that true of Leaders?
Charisma is one of the twelve behaviors of a Rare Leader™.  I look back on the variations of Charisma I have seen in just the past month and yes, - no two leaders are alike.  Here’s one example.
I was introduced to an aspiring rising star recently.  Going into the meeting, my host said, “I think you will really enjoy meeting her, she has unbelievable Charisma”.  My client friend knows of this study of the Rare Leader™ and our current pause at Charisma.  He wanted me to meet someone that he and others  frankly could not get enough of.
She and I had a wonderful first meeting.  It was as my host had predicted, almost as if we knew each other for years.  After  lunch, our host left us to the real reason for her request to see me.  She was seeking me out for some Executive Coaching advice.  As I waded through my quick assessment techniques, she quickly opened up to me.  “Look”, she said “Let me cut to the bottom line - I am about to lose my job and I never saw it coming.  I need to understand what went wrong...what did I do?”
Asking her to describe her background, her career, her passions, her high points and low points, she seemed to focus on knowing the right people, being with the right people, doing the right things with the right people, and had very little to say about putting her craft, skills and experiences to work.  Karen was an example of a rising star who fell in love with her own popularity and in all honesty, stopped working.  She did what came natural.  She used her eyes and her facial expressions to draw people in to an engaging conversation.  Her ability to remember the names of everyone who walked into a room was uncanny.    She made it a priority to be at the right place or event to be around the right people.  For Karen, she did not have to try to develop her Charisma.  My friend was correct.  She had it.
Trusting that her Charisma could make people believe she performed at a high level took Conger and Kanungo’s study of Characteristic Leadership into a new corner of the Leadership snowflake.
What Karen forgot to recognize, is that Charisma also needs to be authentic.  Authenticity is not limited growing Charisma from your heart, but it also means being authentic in what you do at work and at play, in essence your Craft, as well as what you do   with your Character.  Karen had in effect found herself guilty of an abuse of power of her dynamic Charisma.  She had made everyone around her believe she must be this good at work too.  But eventually it did catch up to her, and it cost her a nice career.
Where’s the lesson here?  Rather than focus on what Karen did wrong, let’s focus on the hero of the story.  Charisma is a very powerful behavior.  As Karen found, she could persuade everyone to believe whatever she wished about her job performance...temporarily.  This powerful behavior comes with responsibility.  Next month we will explore Character, and in future months we will look at the remaining nine behaviors  including Planning, Achievement, and Decisiveness.  The Rare Leader™ uses all of the twelve behaviors in a positive way, for the collective good of their Team, their organization, and themselves.  Charisma becomes a powerful and important tool in the Rare Leader™ tool box when Leading others in their Vision, making decisions, setting goals, and achieving success.
Next week we move on in our journey to study Character.  Number 3 in our detailed look into the 12 behaviors of the Rare Leader™.  But, while your waiting, try out this weeks questions.
  1. How can you make Charisma a “hero” in your career?
  2. How do you remain engaged in both Character and Craft as you grow your career?
If you want to learn more about the Rare Leader™ in you, 
or if you are interested in retaining Steve as your Executive Coach, 
Contact Steve Riege via: twitter, or his website.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Charisma builds Trust

“Beauty is but skin deep.”

When poet John Davies of Hereford wrote this now famous saying in 1616, he was actually referring to a murder involving Sir Thomas Overbury.  
We have taken this almost 400 year old phrase and excluded the remaining lines of the poem which include "Beauty is but skin deep, ugly lies the bone, Beauty dies and fades away, but ugly holds its own." 
Charisma too, can be skin deep.  In earlier postings we discussed the danger of your Charisma not being authentic.  One simple way to prove your Charisma is authentic, and not only skin deep, is to use it wisely.  As a Rare Leader™ you have a powerful tool to draw attention to yourself, and to make others want to like, respect, and emulate you.  
Patrick Lencioni writes in his book the Five Dysfunctions of a Team, the  importance of overcoming the absence of trust.  The fear of being vulnerable with your Team prevents the building of Trust within your Team.  When you use authentic Charisma in a positive way, you draw people close to you.  Using your heartfelt Charisma lets people see inside of you.  Making your Charisma personal, opens the door to vulnerability which is the secret key to building trust.
When your Charisma is positive, uplifting, true, from the heart, and personal, it reflects your Character.  In March we will explore the powerful behavior of Character in the Rare Leader™.  You will begin to see how the behaviors of the Rare Leader™ work together.  In our first three studied behaviors we find Character delivered through Charisma, helps others see your Vision.  Effective leadership requires the interaction of many qualities and behaviors simultaneously, and interdependent upon each other.  This is why we find many well intentioned people discover they can not lead.  However, the Rare Leader™ learns to live by, and use all 12 behaviors together.
When you think about how to use your Charisma, you can also be guided by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (not John Joyce) who first wrote,  “Laugh and the world laughs with you; Weep and you weep alone”.
Tell us...What can you do today to be Charismatic with others,  and to draw them into your trust?
If you want to learn more about the Rare Leader™ in you, 
or if you are interested in retaining Steve as your Executive Coach, 
Contact Steve Riege via: twitter, or his website.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Here’s what I heard about Charisma

I’ve spent the past several days with a lot of people.  Visiting with my clients take me to many wonderful places.  Some people might say I’ve had an overload of people interaction, but I love it.  I always use a side angle or hidden agenda to keep my energy up.  These past two weeks my little side study was to learn what people think about Charisma.
I quickly learned how dangerous “trying to be” Charismatic can be.  When people try to be Charismatic, they tend to come off as a bit bizarre and lose trust of others.  Some people who are mistaken about natural Charisma find they push themselves too hard and actually become offensive.  One person joined toastmasters thinking he could acquire more Charisma and be a better Leader.  While he did hone his speaking skills, he looked like an amateur comedian trying out a new act.  One person was just like Bobby in the movie - Saturday Night Fever.  He thought if he would mimic someone who was drawing the crowds, he too could be Charismatic.  I watched a manager trying to please everyone.  Of course when she found out that it’s not only impossible, but career threatening, she realized she could not demand people see her Charisma.
What I did find, is that there are many people who are authentically Charismatic.  They’ve got it, and they continue to develop the skills they possess.  They seemed relaxed, confident, in control of their emotions, and use great body language.   But when they speak...that is the key - “When they speak”.  People with Charisma think before they put their mouth in motion.  People with Charisma are active listeners.  And when they do finally speak, the have commanded a waiting audience and they speak with a confident, controlled conviction.  
I found one other important observation of people with Charisma.  They follow the “golden rule”.  They typically treat other people the way they would have wanted to be treated.  You know...that rule still works.
Take a few days and purposefully observe people.  
  1. Who do you see that does not have Charisma? Why?
  2. Who do you see that has Charisma?  Why?
Tell me what you see, and what you’ve learned.
If you want to learn more about the Rare Leader™ in you, 
or if you are interested in retaining Steve as your Executive Coach, 
Contact Steve Riege via: twitter, or his website.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Developing Your Charisma

It’s not tough to convince people that Charisma is important when taking on a leadership role.  However, the issues begin to surface when my clients actually explore the degree of their own Charisma, and find themselves asking the question...”how do I develop my Charisma as a Leader?”
I went on a personal journey to discover more real applications of Charisma.  I had many people in mind that I could name as “Charismatic”.  Without telling them of my hidden agenda, I made it a point to discover what it was that attracted me to them.  And, could I observe what brought other people to the same attraction?  Here’s what I found with Richard and Susan.
I have always struggled a bit with remembering names of people.  I have a little system I learned years ago to overcome this issue that has helped immensely.  The Leaders Institute resource center offers some good tips including their “mind picture”, which is similar to my favorite tactic. 
When I asked Richard how he seemed to remember everyone, he had a few insights.  He makes an effort to collect business cards  when attending events.  At some point during the event, he would excuse himself and retire to a “private place” for a few minutes and write notes on each card.  These notes included keys to the conversation, some followup thoughts, and also some hints to remember the name to the face.  Prior to the event ending, he tried his best to connect with each “new” person one more time, in his mind repeating the name to face sequencing.  
Social networking gives us some great opportunities as well.  When I enter a new business card  (and those notes) from an event into my contact manager, I also look for them on Linkedin, Facebook, or on their website to once again reacquaint my self with the name to the face.  This planned repetition I learned from Richard has been very helpful.  
Richard develops Charisma by remembering faces and names.
Some people think a “life of the party” person attracts people to them and shows off their Charisma.  As we’ll learn later, Charisma must be more than skin deep to positively affect your leadership skills.  Think about people you were drawn to, only to find them to be selfish, boring, crude, or self involved.  
Once you have an opportunity to be 1-1 with someone, or find yourself interacting within a small group, you will find your personal interaction skills will make you different than the others.
I was sitting at lunch with Susan the other day.  I was excited to work my hidden agenda on Charisma.  Of course I’d tell her my observations later in our conversation.  It was quite engaging.  For some reason, I was drawn to tell her so many things about me.  While I try to be a good listener, I found it very difficult to listen to Susan, because she was so good at engaging me to talk.  
John, (another CEO both Susan and I would like to get to know better) greeted us as he walked to his own table.  Then I was able to see how she did it.  Observing this brief greeting, I could see it growing from her eyes.  As John said hello, Susan’s eyes lit up, as if there was nothing else in the room to see.  Everything else had been dimmed in the room except Johns face. He said simply “Hello Susan.  It’s been a long are you?”  I was amazed to see how Susan’s eyes lit up, and followed first his eyes, then the movement of his lips, and then continued on the triangle of facial movement we all learned in communications 101.  Susan’s eyes were not only actively following him, but were sparkling with interest.  I could also not help but notice her eyebrows and facial muscles moving with emotional response, and of course her smile was contagious.  All of this non verbal response in less than 3.5  seconds.  And Susan’s answer?  “I  am doing great John - Thank you!  Gosh, I have not seen you since you won the community volunteer award two years ago.  Tell me how that volunteer work has progressed.”   
Wow, not only a good quick answer to his open question, but in the same breath, she remembered something important about John, (in effect praising him) and asked him to speak about himself.  And of course the eyes...her eyes were all about his response.  
Over the next 2 minutes, Susan got a full update on John's activities, was able to introduce John to me, and agreed to his request to call his office to make an appointment to see him.  
Susan creates Charisma, beginning with her eyes.
In summary, you need to take Charisma far beyond being the “dressed for success” person telling the best jokes, and having the ability to be everywhere and claiming you know everyone.  Taking Charisma to the next level as a Rare Leader means making it personal, being authentic, and making yourself more than skin deep.
  1. What do you see in others, making them to Charismatic?
  2. What simple things can you adopt to develop your Charisma?
  3. Do you have deep, personal, authentic Charisma?
If you want to learn more about the Rare Leader™ in you, 
or if you are interested in retaining Steve as your Executive Coach, 
Contact Steve Riege via: twitter, or his website.

Monday, February 1, 2010


The Rare Leader will display a winsome quality causing people to like, respect, and emulate, while displaying a deep attitude of who he or she is, what they’re about, and where they’re going.  
The Rare Leader should gain energy from trusting beliefs that appear natural, giving a high expectation of others while radiating hope, concern, confidence, love, excitement, etc.
Are you able to adopt some techniques to increase your own Charisma? suggests you can focus on mirroring, remembering names, being interested in others, allowing others to talk, an intention for interaction, offering to help, smile, and being authentic.
Conger and Kanungo in their book Charismatic Leadership in Organizations, feel that charismatic leadership has blossomed.  We have gone beyond theory into a practical application.  Studies by Shamir, House, and Arthur (1993), Agle & Sonnenfeld (1994), and others found that Leaders who are perceived as Charismatic receive higher performance ratings, and are seen as more effective Leaders.
Nick Morgan in his book Trust Me: Four Steps To Authenticity and Charisma, speaks to the powerful combination of authenticity and charisma, passionately using verbal and non verbal conversations and connections, to listen, to read others, and to be persuasive.
Join in on Charismatic discussions this month!
If you want to learn more about the Rare Leader™ in you, 
or if you are interested in retaining Steve as your Executive Coach, 
Contact Steve Riege via: twitter, or his website.