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10 Powerful Things Charismatic Leaders Say All The Time

10 Powerful Things Charismatic Leaders Say All The Time

What do Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Sir Winston Churchill and Steve Jobs have in common?

They were all exceptionally charismatic and inspirational leaders. Exceptionally charismatic leaders have a way with words. They are skilled communicators who eloquently communicate and connect with their audience, followers and team at a deeper, emotional level. They get their audience excited about the hopes, visions and possibilities for the future, as well as the means to get there. These charismatic leaders verbally capture and articulate core hopes and dreams of people fluently and forcefully.

Olivia Fox Cabane, in her book The Charisma Myth, observes that people aren’t born charismatic. They acquire charisma through knowledge and practice. In other words, anyone can master the art and science of leadership charisma and your words are the most powerful tools in your arsenal. Here are 10 things charismatic leaders say all the time you should add to your diction to speak more forcefully and with charisma whether you are leading a giant organization or a small team toward an outcome.

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1.   Here’s the plan…

A leader leads. Whether you lead from the front or you lead from the back by letting others take the spotlight, you cannot be a good leader if you don’t show people the way forward. People need to know where you are taking them and how you plan to get them there before they can follow.

2.   What do you think?

People generally don’t like big changes and decisions, especially when they are dropped suddenly without warning. Charismatic leaders know this and encourage open sharing of views and opinions. When you listen to the views and opinions of others, you empower yourself to make more informed and inclusive decisions. This enhances the quality of your leadership and encourages people to support your decisions even when they don’t fully agree with them.

3.   No.

Charismatic leaders are not afraid to say “no” to anything or anyone that undermines or is inconsistent with the core goals and objectives of the team, community or organization. They say “no” firmly but amicably whenever there is not a good reason to say yes. Saying “no” makes your “yes” even more powerful and meaningful.

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4.   Here’s the reason why…

Charismatic leaders often explain the reason for taking certain positions and saying “no.” This makes it easier for people to swallow their decisions and follow their directions. People will follow your requests not so much because they agree or enjoy it, but because you provide a good reason for it.

5.   I believe in you…

If you want people to trust you, you must be willing to trust them yourself. Charismatic leaders know this and trust their team fully. They make it absolutely clear how much faith they have in their team and how much they depend on them, including their passion, judgment, integrity and creativity. If you can’t trust someone on your team, then that person shouldn’t be on the team.

6.   You can count on me…

Charismatic leaders make it known to their team that they themselves will work tirelessly to make core goals and objectives a reality. They keep their doors open to anyone in the team who needs support and they tell them as much. Tell your team they can trust you and have their back always no matter what.

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7.   We can do this…

Charismatic leaders push their team and followers to improve and be better. They raise the standards to aspire towards and motivate people to keep pressing on and develop themselves. Remind your team nothing moves until they do. Tell them you are all in this together and it’s not over until we WIN!

8.   Congratulations…

Charismatic leaders always congratulate their team members when they do well. This boosts morale and fosters hard work. Give your team members a pat on the back for a job well done. Make sure they know you appreciate their efforts. However, don’t coddle anyone too much, especially when they fall short of the standards or don’t live up to their potential.

9.   Thank you

People yearn for appreciation. Expressing gratitude to others is one of the simplest and most powerful ways to show appreciation. Charismatic leaders express gratitude for both opportunities and people they oversee. Don’t be afraid to say thank you to others no matter what their rank or status is. Saying thank you is a secret ingredient of emotional intelligence that will set you apart from mediocre leaders.

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10. Let us celebrate!

Charismatic leaders know that all work with no play makes Jack a dull boy. They, therefore, invite members of their team to celebrate not just the big victories, but also the small wins. This bolsters team spirit and oneness in a common course. Organize parties, shows or even award ceremonies to celebrate both professional and personal achievements and milestones. This can be the most rejuvenating experience you can gift your team and followers.

Featured photo credit: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr./Minnesota Historical Society via flickr.com

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The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

It’s a depressing adage we’ve all heard time and time again: An increase in technology does not necessarily translate to an increase in productivity.

Put another way by Robert Solow, a Nobel laureate in economics,

“You can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics.”

In other words, just because our computers are getting faster, that doesn’t mean that that we will have an equivalent leap in productivity. In fact, the opposite may be true!

New York Times writer Matt Richel wrote in an article for the paper back in 2008 that stated, “Statistical and anecdotal evidence mounts that the same technology tools that have led to improvements in productivity can be counterproductive if overused.”

There’s a strange paradox when it comes to productivity. Rather than an exponential curve, our productivity will eventually reach a plateau, even with advances in technology.

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So what does that mean for our personal levels of productivity? And what does this mean for our economy as a whole? Here’s what you should know about the productivity paradox, its causes, and what possible solutions we may have to combat it.

What is the productivity paradox?

There is a discrepancy between the investment in IT growth and the national level of productivity and productive output. The term “productivity paradox” became popularized after being used in the title of a 1993 paper by MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson, a Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and the Director of the MIT Center for Digital Business.

In his paper, Brynjolfsson argued that while there doesn’t seem to be a direct, measurable correlation between improvements in IT and improvements in output, this might be more of a reflection on how productive output is measured and tracked.[1]

He wrote in his conclusion:

“Intangibles such as better responsiveness to customers and increased coordination with suppliers do not always increase the amount or even intrinsic quality of output, but they do help make sure it arrives at the right time, at the right place, with the right attributes for each customer.

Just as managers look beyond “productivity” for some of the benefits of IT, so must researchers be prepared to look beyond conventional productivity measurement techniques.”

How do we measure productivity anyway?

And this brings up a good point. How exactly is productivity measured?

In the case of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, productivity gain is measured as the percentage change in gross domestic product per hour of labor.

But other publications such as US Today, argue that this is not the best way to track productivity, and instead use something called Total Factor Productivity (TFP). According to US Today, TFP “examines revenue per employee after subtracting productivity improvements that result from increases in capital assets, under the assumption that an investment in modern plants, equipment and technology automatically improves productivity.”[2]

In other words, this method weighs productivity changes by how much improvement there is since the last time productivity stats were gathered.

But if we can’t even agree on the best way to track productivity, then how can we know for certain if we’ve entered the productivity paradox?

Possible causes of the productivity paradox

Brynjolfsson argued that there are four probable causes for the paradox:

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  • Mis-measurement – The gains are real but our current measures miss them.
  • Redistribution – There are private gains, but they come at the expense of other firms and individuals, leaving little net gain.
  • Time lags – The gains take a long time to show up.
  • Mismanagement – There are no gains because of the unusual difficulties in managing IT or information itself.

There seems to be some evidence to support the mis-measurement theory as shown above. Another promising candidate is the time lag, which is supported by the work of Paul David, an economist at Oxford University.

According to an article in The Economist, his research has shown that productivity growth did not accelerate until 40 years after the introduction of electric power in the early 1880s.[3] This was partly because it took until 1920 for at least half of American industrial machinery to be powered by electricity.”

Therefore, he argues, we won’t see major leaps in productivity until both the US and major global powers have all reached at least a 50% penetration rate for computer use. The US only hit that mark a decade ago, and many other countries are far behind that level of growth.

The paradox and the recession

The productivity paradox has another effect on the recession economy. According to Neil Irwin,[4]

“Sky-high productivity has meant that business output has barely declined, making it less necessary to hire back laid-off workers…businesses are producing only 3 percent fewer goods and services than they were at the end of 2007, yet Americans are working nearly 10 percent fewer hours because of a mix of layoffs and cutbacks in the workweek.”

This means that more and more companies are trying to do less with more, and that means squeezing two or three people’s worth of work from a single employee in some cases.

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According to Irwin, “workers, frightened for their job security, squeezed more productivity out of every hour [in 2010].”

Looking forward

A recent article on Slate puts it all into perspective with one succinct observation:

“Perhaps the Internet is just not as revolutionary as we think it is. Sure, people might derive endless pleasure from it—its tendency to improve people’s quality of life is undeniable. And sure, it might have revolutionized how we find, buy, and sell goods and services. But that still does not necessarily mean it is as transformative of an economy as, say, railroads were.”

Still, Brynjolfsson argues that mismeasurement of productivity can really skew the results of people studying the paradox, perhaps more than any other factor.

“Because you and I stopped buying CDs, the music industry has shrunk, according to revenues and GDP. But we’re not listening to less music. There’s more music consumed than before.

On paper, the way GDP is calculated, the music industry is disappearing, but in reality it’s not disappearing. It is disappearing in revenue. It is not disappearing in terms of what you should care about, which is music.”

Perhaps the paradox isn’t a death sentence for our productivity after all. Only time (and perhaps improved measuring techniques) will tell.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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