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Marshall Goldsmith
Executive Coach/Author

Marshall Goldsmith

Marshall Goldsmith is an executive educator, speaker, coach and best-selling author. His most recent book is Mojo.

Acting the Part

This is a complex question. I am only going to deal with one part. If you are the leader of the group or, even more important, if you are a higher-level executive and you do decide to be in the meeting - be fully present. If you cannot be fully present, don't be in the meeting!

One of my executive coaching clients asked his CEO (one of the world's most-admired CEOs), "Does this behavioral coaching mean I have to watch what I say and worry about how I act in every meeting for the rest of my career?" The wise CEO replied, "Welcome to my world! If you want to be a great leader, you have to pay the price."

When you are in a leadership role everyone will be not only listening to your words, they will be watching your face. If you even appear to be bored, disinterested or "checked-out," you may inadvertently de-motivate everyone in the room. The content of presentation you are observing may not be that important to you, but your reaction to this content may be very important to them. You need to be fully engaged, not for your needs - but for their needs.

Many books have been written about the "glamourous" aspects of being a leader. Little is written about having to sit in long meetings, watch PowerPoint presentations and hear what you already know - while wishing you could either go to sleep or go to the bathroom.

Like great Broadway actors, great leaders stay in role. This discipline is not part of being a phony, it is part of being a professional. If Broadway actors can go out night after night and work their hearts out, executives (who make a lot more money than actors) can certainly do the same thing.

By Marshall Goldsmith

 |  October 6, 2009; 6:25 AM ET
Category:  Accomplishing Goals Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Don't kid yourself, you're being phony. All the employees who are worth anything see through the "leadership" face. They know that good leadership is 95% co-ordination - making the parts fit together so that everyone's contribution is worthwhile. The rest is BS or worse.

Posted by: bigbrother1 | October 7, 2009 3:26 PM
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