I saw a clip last night of the UCONN Women’s Basketball Coach, Geno Auriemma talking about the importance of body language in a game. “We put a huge premium on body language,” Auriemma said. “And if your body language is bad, you will never get in the game. Ever. I don’t care how good you are.” The Coach has set this expectation with his team and for him this applies whether you are in the game or sitting on the bench. Here is the clip if you would like to see it. Geno Auriemma on Body Language
This applies to leadership as well. Whether you know it or not, everyone is watching how you behave, how you handle conversations, decisions that you make, and your facial expressions. You may think that you are the same person as before you became a leader, but to the rest of the organization you are now the one who knows information, influences others, makes decisions and is connected to senior management. You now have to set the tone and the example for others to follow.
Most people get that this applies when you are in the office, but what they may not think about is that it applies at work or professional events outside of the office too. Just because you are outside of the four walls of your company, doesn’t mean that you are not expected to act the same. The expectations are the same and in some cases even greater. You are now responsible to make sure the people you are with don’t drink too much or worse try to drive home while intoxicated. Ensure that they don’t get too crazy and dance on tables. These things are minor in comparison to other situations that could occur. People have been fired the next day for getting out of hand and doing things that they never thought that would get them in trouble.
Dr Steve Maraboli said, “The truth of your character is expressed through the choice of your actions.” Being a leader is a great thing, but it does come with a lot of responsibility. Watch the other leaders around you and ask yourself if they are setting the example that you want to follow. What does their body language and behavior say about them? Don’t be the one that everyone is talking about the next morning, because of the actions that they took the night before. Decide what type of leader that you want to be, what you want others to say about your character and then let your actions speak for themselves.
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