Calm Leadership

What type of leader attracts you more to follow:

  1. The “in your face”, bold, brash, reactive, the “sky is always falling leader”, or
  2. The cool, calm and collected leader who takes everything in stride?

A few of us reflected on this topic the other night as we replayed the “Clinton versus Obama” campaigns of weeks past, as we saw the more calm Obama keep a collected course through the elections. I think it is fairly obvious which side of the spectrum each presidential candidate leans (ok, maybe Hillary is somewhere in between, but I think you get the point).

Why are we attracted to calm leaders, and why more often then not female leaders in particular aren’t as “cool, calm and collected” as their male counterparts? Is there something inherent to our chemical makeup or did we miss some sort of training along the way?

Our Attraction to the Calm?

Think about it – would you rather be led by someone who can hold their composure in tough situations or blow their top off?

Why Different?

This is due to nature at work – men and women have different chemicals and parts of the brain triggered in tough situations that come up as a leader.

So if you find you are more of an “on fire” passionate leader pushing the envelope maybe a bit too much, how do you go about calming your presence when your body wants to react differently? Here are some tips in calming your approach to leading:

  1. Smile – Be Happy and Positive
  2. Count to 10 – Calm Down Before Doing, or Saying, Anything
  3. Think Before Reacting – Be Strategic Before Making a Tactical Move
  4. Don’t Jump to Conclusions – What Does Assume Do?
  5. Keep the Fire Inside – Put That Energy Towards Your Next Project
  6. Have a Coach/Mentor to Bounce Approaches/Ideas – They’ve Been There
  7. Align Your Actions with Your Values – Consistency Re-enforces Your Leadership Message

No matter how well our intentions may be, peers and followers around us may not be ready for an “in your face” type of leader, at least, not today.

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