Seeing Yourself as Others Do: Authentic Executive Presence at Any Stage of Your Career by Carol Keers and Thomas Mungovan (2008). Wayzata, MN: Significant Pursuits Publishers

April 2013


I have always viewed myself as a reflective leader. I can only get better if I think about myself personally and how effective I am. I know what my intentions are and I know what I hope to accomplish. I know that I want to be strategic and directional and not necessarily directive. I also think of myself as a caring and nurturing leader. My main leadership premise is to remove barriers so others can do their work. Now, this is my perception of my leadership, but my leadership perspective is only one side of the coin and to be a truly reflective leader I have to see myself as others do.

This book provided me the strategies that allowed me to be externally reflective. I learned much from the book that I will share and my hope is that others will read this book to focus on their own perspectives as teachers, learners, and leaders. The basic premise of the book is that in order to be self-aware and self-regulate, we must view ourselves as others do. In order to do just that, we must learn how to see CLEARLI which is to focus on:

C - Command the room with charisma and clear, compelling content
L - Leverage influence, power,and political savviness
E - Expectations should be strategic and tactical
A - Audience should be connected to through story and powerful delivery
R - Relationship competence is to be built locally and remotely
L - Listening is best when one is engaged and responsive
I - Inspiration is a combination of appropriate praise and motivation

As we learn how to see clearly, we take control and responsibility of our own perception because learning what others already know allow us to accurately adjust our behaviors and better communicate our intentions. An exercise that I thought was important was Influencing Up. In order to get a point across to the person that is up the chain of command, we must learn how best to influence that person. The exercise is called Twenty Questions about Your Boss. By answering these questions, a person can gain insights on how best to influence and engender support from the boss. As I read the questions, I thought this would be helpful as we embrace a new university president. The questions are:

1) Preferred method of giving information to you
2) Preferred method of getting information from you
3) Biggest current pressures
4) Stands for these values, first and foremost
5) Biggest "hot button"
6) Passions outside of work
7) Has expertise in
8) Are lacking expertise in
9) Vision for our organization
10) Would be really hurt if someone
11) Best boss my boss ever worked for
12) Expects this approach from me when there is a small problem
13) Expects this approach from me when their is a large problem
14) Would not compromise when it comes to
15) Considers a great day at work to be
16) Handles pressure by
17) Is respected by his/her boss for
18) Respects others for
19) Has a blind spot for
20) Thinks I am great at

This Twenty Questions exercise may sound a bit gimmicky, but I know that if we knew these answers about our bosses, then we would position our message in the way that will garner the best results. The book is chalked full of tidbits like this one that can easily be applied in order to assist in self-awareness, self-regulation, and self-efficacy.