Whether good or bad, a leader is one who inspires others to follow. Beyond this definition, however, there are deep questions. What, exactly, makes a leader powerful and effective? What is the element that goes beyond strategies, methods and competency and taps into hidden CEO magic? A big component is the currency of energy. To…

EP #12

Season 2 Episode 12: The Most Important Characteristic of a Good Leader

Whether good or bad, a leader is one who inspires others to follow. Beyond this definition, however, there are deep questions. What, exactly, makes a leader powerful and effective? What is the element that goes beyond strategies, methods and competency and taps into hidden CEO magic?

A big component is the currency of energy. To understand the existence of the currency of energy and to use that is huge. It releases the magic we all need and want. That, in turn, releases what I hold to be the most important leadership characteristic. I invite you to join me as I explore and share that magical characteristic in this episode.

What You’ll Learn

  • The currency of energy
    • Magic, hope and the power of your mind
  • Making sense of the unseen
    • Spirituality
    • Leading and creating your business
    • Attracting followers
  • The most important leadership characteristic
  • When it’s hard
  • Choosing, no matter what comes

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Contact Info and Recommended Resources

Connect with Kris Plachy

Let’s talk about the single most important characteristic of anyone who’s in a leadership position. Let’s do it.

Welcome to the podcast today. I’m Kris Plachy, welcome to Leadership is Feminine. I’m really excited to connect with you today and talk with you about something that I’ve been thinking a lot about. So if you’re relatively new here, or even if you’ve been around a while, Hi, I’m Kris. I coach female entrepreneurs on how to improve the performance of their teams, and leverage the talent of others to accomplish goals. But and also, I am a seeker and I like to think about why things are and for whatever reason, a long, long, long time ago, I sort of developed this interest in both coaching and managing and leading, and that’s really been my course of study, as a human outside of my like life lessons, too, that I’ve been learning. So I have always wondered, like, what is it that makes a leader really, really effective, really, really powerful, really, really interesting, somebody that people would follow, someone that people would do what they ask?

Because ultimately, that’s what a leader is, the leaders in front and other people are following. And for purposes of this discussion, I’m not qualifying leader, as good or bad. Because we know that we’ve had terrible leaders, leaders who create atrocities within the follower group of people who follow them, and also other people. So leader is not necessarily good or bad. It just is, right? You are the leader, it’s a noun. And so but I’ve always thought about like, I’m always intrigued, like, what is it about that one versus that one that makes people follow them and that makes them effective? As many of you know, I have a program called How to CEO, and we touch on leadership in that program. It’s heavy in management, it’s heavy in the tactics that you need to really build that infrastructure for a high performing team, and we all need to know those, right? Regardless, if you own a company, and you don’t know how to manage people, you’re constantly suffering, and I don’t think you need to be doing that. But there’s also the couple of, I’m a CEO, I’m an entrepreneur, I’ve had this idea, I put this idea in the world, and now this idea has become a thing that other people want, that other people pay for, that other people come and work for me to help me do in the world to help us do in the world. I also have been really, really thinking about what is that and so as my work evolves, now I am opening up a new program called the sage CEO. And the sage CEO is for that woman where she’s already sort of mastered the management and the flow and the tapping of other people in her business to accomplish the goals of the business, and now she’s like, thinking, what’s next? What’s for me, she has this big vision, all of my sage CEO clients are visionaries. They have a lot they want to see and do in the world. But we also can get in our own way. And so the sage CEO program is a much more intimate variants with me and a select few other women. It’s very small. So the reason I’m telling you all this is because it gets me thinking more even deeper about leadership and what makes these women so followable, and what are the energetic currencies? We spend so much time in leadership; teaching competencies, ‘Oh, if you know how to listen, plan strategically. Sorry. That’s I’m a corporate person voice.

Communication skills. These are the things that we say that companies have like, I’m certified in the loaner program, did that years ago. For those of you who are learning and development, you’ll know what I’m talking about. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, don’t worry about it. But there’s like 60, some odd core competencies that we can pick from that sort of establish effective leadership, political acumen, business acumen, all these things. And in respect to all of the leadership development programs, everybody’s done their best to take all this information and all this witnessing and trying to make it teachable. How do you teach someone leadership?

Well, the first thing you have to do is you have to name it, you have to define it, you have to categorize things so people understand them. Otherwise, it’s impossible. But I do think there’s actually a level of impossibility to teaching people how to lead, it doesn’t mean you can’t do it. But I think that’s what makes it so intriguing. Anyway, it’s got me thinking about leadership, less about these competencies and these skills and these attributes, and it’s more about currencies of energy that we tap into, but that when I look at my clients, and my colleagues and my friends, who have been uniquely successful in both catalyzing an idea from their brain and putting it in the world, and making money, and then also assembling a group of people who will work with them to further that goal, I recognize currencies like they are unseen. So stay with me, because I’m going to focus on what I think is the most important one. So this discovery in this conversation has been ebbing and flowing for me, both in my life as a coach with my clients, and also with my family. I have a young adulthood family, right? I have twins who are 17, and I have a son who is 21.

And so as your kids grows, you evolve in the way that you the conversations that you have, and you talk more and more and more about the things that matter in life, and what are they going to do and who do they want to be? And why is it so hard to be a human? And I’m sure a lot of you can relate to that even once you’re 57. And so I’ve had a few interactions where my kids have said to me, why are you always so positive? How come you’re always so positive? You’re always optimistic? And kind of mad at me for it? Like, ‘Come on Mom, can we just tell the truth, it’s awful out there.’ And there’s a lot of kids right now, who really do believe we’re coming to the end of the world. I don’t know if you’ve noticed that. It’s really tragic. And so but it’s got me thinking because I first kind of assume I’m wrong, and like, oh, maybe I am too positive, maybe I am blowing over some very important things. But I was talking to my husband about it the other night. And I’m like, You know what? No, I believe in magic. I believe in hope, I believe in belief, I believe in the power of your mind, and I have all this evidence every day with every single woman that I work with. And for those of you listening to this, you had an idea in your brain, and that idea either was a thing that you wanted to make, a thing that you wanted to sell, a thing that you wanted to serve people with, a thing that you wanted to go buy, and then turn into some, like you had an idea. You did not tumble into this life, and that idea, now not only makes you money, it serves a population and other people, they’ll make money because you had an idea in your brain. That is magic.

And so the one characteristic that I believe every leader, true leader needs to have is belief in the unseen, like real belief, not like oh, wouldn’t that be nice, but like no legit like it’s going to happen. and it’s funny because I have so many clients who walk very different spiritual paths; Hindu, Muslim, Christianity, Mormonism, witchcraft, clients who practice it all, I’d like to think I’m a little bit of all of it, maybe a little Buddha, mostly, but right Buddhism. But what I love most about spirituality, clean spirituality, is that it’s a way for all of us to make sense of the unseen, the unseen but we all know there’s something else there. But I don’t love about spirituality, anybody spirituality is the people that believe that someone else’s spirituality choices are wrong. That’s some BS right there. You don’t get to say, no one gets to say that one is better, or one is brighter than the other. These are my thoughts. I believe them.

But I do know, if we watch and we listen to anything like this, we know that there is a desire for humanity to define the unseen. That’s why spirituality exists, and it’s different ways. And the same thing is true for us as leaders, leaders are out here in the world. It doesn’t make sense that I just thought you know what, I’m going to put my ideas together, and put my experience together and decide, yeah, I’m going to teach other women how to lead and manage their teams in the way that I learned how to do very organically, and I’m going to charge money for it, and then I’m going to make a living, and then I’m going to provide for my entire family. And I’m also oh, by the way, because of my work, I have contractors who make work, make money, like, it doesn’t really make sense that I would be that crazy to think I could do that right? Or does it, it doesn’t make sense that someone would say, ‘Yeah, I’m going to go to all this school, I’m going to go to all this program, I’m going to do this, I’m going to do that, so that I can then become a judge.’ And then you become one. You have to believe in the unseen, to pursue your dreams to pursue a goal. And it is intoxicating, to meet other people who are so committed to their dreams, to their beliefs, to their vision for the future. And that, to me is the one quality of a leader that you cannot function without.

And I can see that the opposite of it when I interact with someone who can’t find her way. Even though it’s in her, she hasn’t been able to unlock it, or she’s lost it, she had it, and she got convinced, to stop listening, to stop believing. But hope and belief and knowing our superpowers. And the leaders who paint that picture and believe with every ounce of who they are, are the ones who attract the followers. And like I said, this doesn’t always qualify a leader as a good human. There’s been people who’ve created really, really sinister pictures of the future, and people want that future. So they believe this leader. So I’m not qualifying this as good or bad. I’m just saying, I know that it is probably the most important attribute.

It is the most important thing for you to evaluate as a woman who’s leading her life, or her business, the team, a family is what do you believe in? And do you believe in it hard? And do you reiterate it? And do you remind people of it? Do you remind yourself of it? And do you show people that the unseen can become the seen through belief coupled with action?

Because once you do that, once you prove that you’re infectious. Initially, any idea that we have, anything we know we really want to put in the world, it can sound like a pipe dream, it can sound crazy. But then you start doing it and have you ever noticed people are like, ‘Wait, what you’re doing what? Yeah!’ Cuz, you know why? I believe in it. And this is what I’ve told my kids is listen, I can believe the world’s going to end in 60 years or whatever, or, which is, this is the exact conversation I had with my kid who was I’ll be honest with you, he was really worried about the climate and what’s going to happen in the world and nobody seems to care and I said, ‘But there are people who care.’ And instead of believing that the world’s going to end I like to believe there are so many smart people right now working hard, believing in something else.

Humanity is ingenious, we have so much available to us. So but if we all collectively believe in the horror show, we get a horror show, and there’s lots of movies out right now that want to remind us of the horror show, or we could believe there’s some woman named Rhonda some dude named Stan. Somebody right now who’s like no, I see a future here and I know how we’re going to make it work and they’re working their tail off to do it even when nobody believes them, until they do, and that is magic. And that’s what I would invite you to think about after today is what do you believe in hard? And do you stick with that belief? And why do you do it? And you invite people into that belief? Do you seek evidence for it being true? Do you seek evidence that it could never happen? In the moments that are the most hard this is when we are the most called to do that work, right? When things are really, really rough. I had a rough fourth quarter. I was like, ‘I don’t know, maybe I should sell stock.’

My brain wants to kind of find ways out of pain, yeah. But the belief in the future, and what I’m building is too potent. It just needed a minute. But we always get to choose my love, we always get to choose. And so the work of discovering that true vision of yours is so powerful, and I think it’s often quite dismissed because it’s become such a dumb thing corporate people do and it’s not effective, it’s meaningless. They come up with these vision and mission statements that are useless. That’s not what I do with my clients. I want to really connect you to connect to that because it’s what compels you forward and it’s what helps you find your people both from a client and a team perspective, the clearer you are the easier it is.

So the most important characteristic and attribute of the person who leads is belief. Its belief and knowing that you can create something that is yet unseen. And when you believe that hard, and you go all in on it, with both belief and action, it is infectious. Thank you for tuning in today. I’ll talk to you next time.

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