There are dozens of “how to look like a leader” guides in the world. Some motivational speakers spend their entire careers teaching people how to dress, move, and act their way to success. As important as appearances are in the business world, the fact is that simply looking like a leader does not make you one. If you can’t deliver the results you’re promising, how you carry yourself won’t matter at all.
Actions Really Do Speak Louder Than Words
You’ve heard this saying plenty of times over in your life, but actions truly speak louder than words. Think about any presidential campaign in America’s history. Each candidate makes a series of promises at the beginning of his or her candidacy, but they usually don’t fulfill all of them. The fewer promises they live up to, the worse they are remembered. Great leaders take action when it matters, making important decisions that change the course of their company or their nation for years to come.
Achievements Yield Confidence
You can measure a person’s success in many ways, from the amount of money he or she makes to the number of contributions he or she has made in the world. Regardless of the measurement though, achievements in any area of leadership inevitably yield confidence. In other words, a person is naturally going to feel and act more like a leader once he or she performs actions that make him or her worthy of the title. That’s why some of the biggest CEOs in the world started off as shy, quiet office workers hiding in a cubicle. It was their merit and innovation that gave them the confidence they needed to rise to the top.
Long-Lasting Business Relationships Go Deeper Than The Surface
Relationship building is a crucial element of being a successful leader. This doesn’t always mean that a person has to be likable. It just means that he or she has to get along with others well enough to draw up strategic alliances and partnerships that promote business growth. This process requires deep, meaningful actions that go well beyond the surface. No matter how many hands you shake or how many greetings you extend, none of them will matter if your actions don’t make you memorable. Solve problems, make plans, and deliver on every promise you make. This is what will propel you as a leader.
A Fake Façade Is Easy To Spot
People can tell when you’re carrying yourself to be better, smarter, or more successful than you actually are. There is nothing wrong with keeping your confidence high, but it’s even better to have skills that back that level of confidence. At some point in your career, you have worked under a manager that was nothing more than a shell of what a leader should actually be. Chances are that person is still at the exact same point in his or her career development. No growth. No progress. Just static. That person didn’t have the core skills it takes to be a good leader with a thriving career. By staying genuine to yourself, your employees and your customers, you will go leaps and bounds beyond that unchanging leader from the past.
Perceptions Can Change – Results Don’t
You can always change the way that people think about you, but you cannot change the past. Sure, you can fix problems as they arise, but you cannot create results that were not originally there. If you failed to accomplish a goal you set out, that’s it. All you can do now is set a new goal that encompasses or improves upon the old one. If you’re focused on people’s perception instead of the end-game, you’re never going to exceed your own expectations. Deliver when it counts and people will naturally start to see you in a positive light.