These three qualities are what’s likely missing from the skillset that set you apart as a true, authentic leader – authority, warmth, and energy. 

Authority is how others decide if you have what it takes. The expertise, the reliability to come through for them. 

Warmth is how they decide your willingness to come through. Will you prioritize your interests and needs over theirs?  

The last element is your energy. It is a quality that sets everything into motion. 

Authority earns your respect, warmth wins you trust and energy motivates people to follow you.

Dr Maria Magdalena Gulewicz Tweet

How To Achieve Professional Breakthrough

Do you think that people see you as an authority

It doesn’t mean being bossy and throwing your authority at somebody’s face. It’s quite the opposite. It means staying calm and relentlessly respectful. Creating a mood of reciprocity rather than dominance. Communicating in a peer-to-peer dynamic, and have the confidence to step back and let others share their perspective. So take a moment to reflect on how you build your authority in the eyes of your team or audience. 

Another important element is warmth

Warmth is a quality that allows you to form genuine connections with others. It creates understanding, which is the basis of all human relationships. So, to build trust you need to show warmth.

Embodying warmth means paying attention to others so you can engage deeply with the issues they care about. 

Many managers feel uncomfortable practicing warmth because they believe it’ll undermine their authority. It’s not true. 

Studies show that leading with warmth and authority inspires teams to work together toward a shared goal. Fosters creativity and commitment and increases staff retention because employees feel supported and valued. 

Take a moment to watch this short scene from the “Invictus” movie, where President Nelson Mandela meets his guest to understand the importance of warmth in trust-building process.

Focus on the Needs of Others

The last element is energy. 

Energy combines conviction in your message with enthusiasm. If you believe deeply in what you’re saying,  your audience will be swayed to agree with you. But this only happens if you’re present, fully engaged at the moment and authentic. This emotional connection is what gives energy its power.

The most powerful thing you can do to energize yourself is to focus on other people.

Asking yourself what you can do for others immediately flips the script and floods you with positive energy. Instead of being self-conscious,  tell yourself that you’re in a position to help others by sharing your knowledge or serving your community.

Cultivate this sincere desire to help others, and make sure you don’t hide these away from the world. This will drive people towards you so that you can share your vision with them.

Ready to get your leadership to the next level? Let’s talk.

Categories: Leadership