Open Thinkering


Leadership by smiling.


Image BY-NC-SA .margotta. @ Flickr

It’s obvious, clichéd, and can be annoying, but as the saying goes ‘smile and the world smiles with you.’ It’s especially important for leaders to be upbeat and positive as they set the tone for the rest of their organization. Like it or not, you get a lot of your cues from your line manager. If they’re apprehensive about the organization’s future, this will transfer itself to you. Likewise, you should think carefully about the body language and words that you use with those whom you lead. 😀

Smiling is powerful. It disarms situations and produces an almost primal reaction in other people. In other words, smiling is infectious. Thos visiting your organization notice this and it makes them happy. They then think good things about your organization and talk in such terms to others. This leads to your organization having a good reputation.

The other powerful thing about smiling a lot is the power that not smiling then gives. The simple act of stopping smiling, even for a minute or two, lends gravitas and import to a situation. This works as well in the classroom as it does in the boardroom.

Finally, others are drawn to those who smile, making it easier to (as Seth Godin would put it) form your ‘tribe’. It’s easier to influence people – rather than instruct people – when they feel positive around you.

So smile! Be known and come across as a happy, (somewhat) carefree person who can be serious when it matters. Much better that than be known as a miserable workaholic whom it’s best to avoid… 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Leadership by smiling.

  1. About your image here. The source link is outdated. Saw the image on another blogger’s post which referred back to this post. Really want to make sure the photographer gets credit since I posted that blogger’s post to facebook. Could you please advise if you can update the image source with a url or whatever. Or what happens in a case like this. Know you are into much more technical things than me. Love the image and want to make sure the creator follows his creation. I get more hits on my images in my blog than my writing. So image attribution is important to me.

    1. Hi Jean, I can confirm that the image was available under a Creative Commons license when the post was published. You can use imagestamper if you’re concerned about such things. :-)

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