The Dark Side of Being a Leader
Leadership is influence and influence is power… Power to change, to improve, to get support and actions from people who want to follow you.
When you succeed, you feel good! But – be careful. Be aware of the sweet, seductive, addictive taste of influence and power. The dark side of the moon is that you risk becoming an asshole…
You start taking your status and power for granted – and you want more. You want the fruit basket even if your employees won’t get it. You book a business class seat on the plane while your employees wander back to coach. You complain that the windows in your office are dirty, while your people sit in a crowded landscape…
But hey, you earned it, didn’t you? Well, perhaps you did. Perhaps you once cared. And perhaps you then lost touch with your followers that crowned you their leader. Soon enough people start to gossip about you, and not in a nice way. You lose your fan base. First gradually. Then suddenly – as the saying goes. Soon enough you are no longer influential. Your power is gone. You fall off the throne…
Communication between people is like electricity is in a modern society. Without it we die. But you don’t want to die. You want to grow. You want to prosper. You want to be a world class leader. But then you need to be a world class communicator. Great leadership with great influence demand great communication.
Over the course of 25 years I have gathered no less than 20 lessons, principles, success factors, truths of communication. So how can you get to know and master those simple, yet powerful secrets of human communication? You start by being aware of the three secret superpowers of communication. If you want me to follow you, you want to communicate with Energy, Empathy and Clarity.
Energy, so that I believe that you believe. Because why should I if you don’t? Energy is mostly visible in your body language and in your voice. I want to follow you if you show me your passion, your inner glow and your determination to move towards a higher purpose.
The second superpower is Empathy. Empathy so that I feel that you are truly trying to understand me. So that I feel that you get me, that you know where I’m coming from and what I think and feel. This creates trust. And the more I trust you, the more I want to follow you.
The third superpower is Clarity, so that you take away as many misunderstandings as possible. If you are clear and help me see what you see, you will make me feel smart, and anyone who makes me feel smart, I will follow.
Which one is your superpower? Energy? Empathy? Clarity? All three? None of the above?
Interview with Antoni Lacinai
How did you begin your speaking career?
Before I started my own company some thirteen years ago, I had plenty of opportunities to speak within my role about marketing and sales. But I actually started off my business as a speaker trainer and moderator. The speaking part was small in comparison. Then, more and more clients wanted me to speak about how to present, sell, lead etc. Now, it is what I do most of the year, followed by my moderator assignments and communication skills training.
What are 3 habits for success?
- Know your Why and set goals that take you toward your purpose.
- Surround yourself with great people and tools that help you develop yourself and your business, for the benefit of your clients.
- Have fun. Otherwise; what’s the point?
Describe yourself in 3 words – why these words?
Passionate. Positive. Professional.
Passion is about energy. I believe I have a high level of energy, especially when I do things I love. Positive is about both an optimistic outlook in life and relationships, but also about a determination and an inner compass of good values. Professional is about understanding how to listen, prepare and deliver on a high standard, and always have my clients’ best interest first.
Who or what inspires you most?
Wise people, both those I know and consider my friends, as well as other ones I don’t know but admire. I also get a lot of energy from my wife and kids. I know it sounds like a cliché but great people make me a better person
Do you have a favourite experience from your speaking career?
There are so many. From a volume perspective, speaking to 1700 sales people in Lithuania was a pure joy. My TEDx was also a rush even though it was only about a 100 attendees in the audience. As a moderator, sharing the stage with Simon Sinek and Gary Kasparov in front of 5500 people was pretty cool.
Other fond memories is when people contact me and let me know why they liked what I said or did. If I can help only one person do something better after a speech, we both win.
What leadership qualities do you most admire and why?
It’s tough being a leader. You have to balance your passion and vision with an appetite for results, relationships and quality. The ones who do make me impressed. Also, the leaders who know how to communicate with energy, empathy and clarity have my vote. Finally, the leaders who are not seduced by power and being assholes but instead understand the value of involving people, developing them and making them heroes as well; they have a gold star in my book.