Leaders who have a strong image are perceived to have strong leadership skills, according to research from the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL).
The recent study showed that those leaders who displayed a strong image rated higher on important leadership factors such as the ability to lead change, competency in strategic planning, foresight and the ability to inspire commitment and originality.
“Learning and development is key to helping executives improve their image, especially in this age of instant communication where image can be tarnished in a single misstep,” said CCL researcher Corey Criswell.
“Leaders need support when working on their image because the first, critical step is for the leader to gain awareness of his or her current image and its limits. To gain this insight, the leader may want to tap into different perspectives — the boss, co-workers or other constituencies — to help evaluate how well their image fits within the organizational context.”
Based on the research, Criswell and CCL Senior Fellow David Campbell authored a guidebook titled, Building an Authentic Leadership Image, that explores five “image busters:”
- Too much seriousness.
- Weak speaking skills.
- Lack of clarity.
- Lack of interest.
- Obvious discomfort.