This blog is about seductive leaders. They seduce people through the power of words.
Kevin has developed an innovative idea for his organization. His manager arranged a slot for him to present his idea to the top management. He was very anxious. He had never presented anything to the top management before. He knew that this was an opportunity to sell himself. He had to impress them.
Kevin’s wife, Caroline helped him to prepare the presentation. Even though everything was in place and packaged properly, he was nervous. Caroline was a retired professional dancer. She was now a part-time dance teacher and life coach. She used dance principles to coach her clients. She had seen dance transform leaders to come out of their shells. Caroline knew that it was time her husband received some dance lessons and coaching.
That evening, Caroline asked Kevin “have you considered seducing your top management to buy into your ideas?” Kevin couldn’t believe what he heard. He looked at her as if she has grown something on her forehead. He thought “of all people, Caroline knew that he was an introvert and shy. He would never dream of being bold to seduce top managers. Anyway 85% of them were males. They would think he is crazy and fire him on the spot!”
The Art of Seduction
Caroline knew what Kevin was thinking. Before he could respond she said:
“Let me explain what I mean. I know that the word “seduction” is associated with attracting and leading people astray. It also sounds manipulative. But think about this way. Seducers have certain powers that enable them to convince others to do their bidding. They have qualities that you need right now. You want top management to buy-into, commit and support your idea. You need to find a way of showing them it is a workable idea. Think about the best leaders who are able to convince their employees to buy into their vision. They have a certain charm that makes people to follow and trust that they won’t lead them astray. They have mastered the power of seduction. I think it is about time you learned the art of seduction through dance. I will meet you in my dance studio tomorrow at exactly 17:30”Caroline left him before he could think of an excuse.
Kevin was intrigued. He was not keen to take the lessons. He has two left feet. However, he knew that arguing with his wife was a waste of time. He also knew that if he wanted peace at home, he better show up and come prepared at 17:30 the next day.
At exactly 17:30 the following day, Kevin found his wife waiting for him. Caroline was already in her teacher/mentor mode. She told Kevin that everyone is able to seduce. If they can master the skill, they can get anything they want. She advised him to use the following tips:
I define mindset as “a fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person’s responses to and interpretations of situations”. Leaders know that it is important to control and stalk their thoughts. Kevin has attended a personal mastery course. He knows the importance of positive thoughts and self-talks. He used to do his affirmation and visualization exercises. Unfortunately, he had stopped.
Caroline reminded Kevin to resume his affirmation exercises. She also advised him to visualize himself delivering a flawless and successful presentation. Kevin was further reminded of articulating who he is, what he wants, and his worth.
Caroline shared with Kevin the findings of body language and confidence research that was conducted by Amy Cuddy, a Social Psychologist. She found that when people stand in a confidence posture, even when they don’t feel confident, they exude self-confidence. She called this “power posing”. Here you can find a TedTalk by her.
Power posing also influences feelings of confidence in the poser. Power posing stimulates higher levels of testosterone and lower levels of cortisol. Testosterone is associated with male dominance, power and greater tolerance to risk. Whereas lower levels of cortisol is associated with lower levels of stress. Hence Kevin would benefit from power posing whilst presenting his idea.
Leaders need to be able to instill confidence in others. In a TEDtalk, Benjamin Zander made a bold statement. He said that before the end of his talk, everyone watching and listening to him would come to love classical music. He said it with such confidence that the audience believed him. Leaders need to learn the skill of looking and feeling confident even when they do not. Any sign of doubt, whether through speech or action, can send employees on a downward spiral.
Dancers have learned the skill of making themselves desirable. Their ability to move their bodies in sync with the music, and their dancing partners, invokes an emotion of yearning to be part of the dance from the audience. Caroline taught Kevin to make his idea desirable by focusing on answering the “why?” and “what’s in it for the organization” questions.
Effective leaders know that everyone wants to be associated with success. They speak from the heart and with passion. They believe in their ideas. They have no doubt that they will win. These leaders touch the peoples’ hearts before asking for their hands.
Master your craft
Dancers excel in their craft because they spend time practicing and perfecting their choreography. Their moves look effortless. They leave the audience in awe and yearning for more. Caroline stressed that Kevin must ensure that he knows his product intimately. He must be prepared to answer any questions.
Being able to seduce is not enough. It only helps to attract and entice people. People want leaders who are capable and can deliver on their promises. Hence leaders must be able to develop, sell and give direction on the execution of strategies.
The power of words
Words have the power to build, inspire and destroy. Seductive Leaders have the opportunity to turn words that are normally used negatively into a positive experience for themselves and others.
Picture Credit: this picture has been used in another blog by Stacy Johnson.