2011 Spring Trends for Leaders: Polka Dots = Power Spots

Good leaders know the importance of feedback, and trusted advisors are critical for giving you the truth about your leadership style. When you create a resonant relationship, the conversations can become deep, personal, and very instructive to you as a senior leader. Research shows that teams become substantially more effective when led by a person who makes them feel supported, safe, and empowered.

According to unsubstantiated research from European researcher, Dr Salacia, leaders are unlikely to get feedback on their appearance, “and that’s precisely what they need,” he says. “Nobody’s going to confront their boss about those dyed shoes they wore to their college roommate’s wedding in 2002.” Dr. Salacia believes this is a major leadership blind spot. “They slip those sad dogs on their feet each morning and justify it with a quick and unconvincing, ‘they’re not that bad’ or ‘they make my feet look cute.’” Not so, he adds.

Dr Salacia contends leaders can be 23% more effective if they just stop spending so much time getting feedback on things that don’t really matter. “Forget about competency models,” says Dr. Salacia. “This season’s leader is all about polka-dots (power spots) and long jackets!”

His research goes on to show that the number of pairs of shoes you have is significantly more important than where you go in them. “Why manage by walking around when you can have people come to you?” Salacia asks.

Dr. Salacia offers his STAR Leadership Effectiveness Model:

1)  Social Awareness and Goodwill. A little act of good will goes a long way. In three months, take half of your clothes to Goodwill and replace it with a bedazzling wardrobe. No one will notice lack of preparation or a meandering strategy if they’re mesmerized by your shiny, expensive threads.

2) Transparency: Research demonstrates that trust in organizations goes up when more information is revealed on a regular basis. You do the math.

3) Attitude and Authenticity. Need to jazz up your team’s energy?  Dr. Salacia recommends taking a break from consistent communications, if you change your mind or aren’t sure from one minute to the next, just be honest. Nothing gets a conversation started around the water cooler like mixed messages.

4) Relationships: Inspiring others is paramount to getting things done, and is done most frequently through a compelling vision and on-going coaching. So this season inspire through enhancing the eyewear of your employees—nothing says, “The future looks bright,” like a pair of Coach sunglasses.

Paul Thallner & Suzanne Rotondo

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