As soon as you assume the role of a leader, people take you far too seriously.
Bob Rubin, the one-time Secretary of the Treasury in the US Government, was touring the trading floor of Goldman Sachs, where he worked, and noticed there was hundreds of millions of dollars of gold on their books. When he asked why, he was told it was him. “Me!?” he replied. “Yes, you Sir. When you were last here, you said gold looks interesting. So we bought it.”
So, if you’re a leader already, you’ve got a Bob Rubin gold problem.
If you’re thinking of becoming one, you’ll have that problem soon.
It seems egotistical doesn’t it? But leadership changes the perspectives of many of those you have worked with in the past, or when you begin in a new job.
So how to deal with this new perspective of you?
- Make the implicit explicit – be transparent and detailed, avoid jargon and provide specific examples
- Tailor your message for your audience – you can deliver any message as long as it’s in the right envelope. Who’s in front of you, what will add value and clarity to them?
- Seek feedback – we love to give feedback but forget to ask for it in return, so create a culture of seeking feedback. Encourage people to ask for feedback by setting the example of doing it yourself.
People will always take you far too seriously, but try these things, and at least your team won’t blow their entire budget on gold bullion.