Guest Post: the Charisma Roadmap

Guest Blog written today by a Chicago heart, a power force of possibility and my rad friend, Debra Kosek.  She is literally a leader in the law of attraction for life and can be found on her blog, Live in the Listening.  Read on and enjoy: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Yes and yes, please and thank you.’s the magic behind strength, influence, and a strong leadership voice.

It’s also been an EPIC time suck; a recurring theme in my career that I assumed had to be shown, emulated, and mirrored.  Way too subjective to coach around, and as the definition says, inherent.

That is, until last week… when a friend passed me the book Leadership Charisma, right a time when I NEEDED to learn that lesson. I needed to learn it for time management at work, and for balance in my life. Weird how that always happens…

And on my ever-evolving adventure that is “figuring out how to be a leader,” I saw how narrow-minded I was. Charisma is not overly obscure, there ARE clear steps to mastering it, and I knew I had to share ASAP.

So here’s my best shot at “bottom-lining” my take-aways and life lessons learned. Broken down into a guide, a roadmap, a Top 10 List for OWNing your most charismatic leadership voice…at work, in your community, in life:

1. Set goals…and a vision epidemic

Figure out what your vision for the future is going to be. Create it, control every moment, and live into it with passion. Strike while the iron is hot, capitalize on momentum, and move towards it.  That is the rock solid foundation for self-confidence and charisma. Know where you want to go, and how you want to stand out. “A leader succeeds only when he or she makes people excited and confident in what comes next.”  Marcus Buckingham


Create an environment where people are emotionally committed to the same goals. Inspire the very best, and create an energetic field of optimism. Choose to be confident and share it in a way that leaves others feeling confident.  Optimism is so attractive!  Be positive and light up those around you. No downside. Start now. “The opposite of a leader isn’t a follower; the opposite of a leader is a pessimist…”

3. Communicate, radiate, touch.

Make eye contact, and build trust with others through communication. Use touch when words don’t get the point across. Smile (with your eyes). Radiate and make others radiate when you’re around.  Speak from the HEART, use powerful gestures and, do NOT forget that you’re a 10. Exude and practice. Keep experts around.

4. Be engaging.

Out to have an impact on others? Get people engaged so they achieve results not thought to be possible before you were around.  Have some fun doing it. Engage people in your vision, and communicate to them how theirs fits into it. Develop meaningful relationships, understand goals, dreams, commitments, and make absolutely sure they know their role in it all.

5. L-I-S-T-E-N.  be a listener and be generous.  

Make others feel like what they have to say is valuable. And be present. Give your time and attention strategically, and when you give it, give it 110%. Solicit ideas from others. Give time to someone who you’re out to inspire and understand what’s important to them. Know them better than they know themselves and work together to create a future they didn’t think was possible.  My pal. Linds is the best at this.

6. Be Open and TRUST.

Be someone who takes all perspectives into account before making a decision. Open up to the fact that others have opinions that are just as valid as yours. Acknowledge those around you who make you better at being YOU, and remind them why their contribution is essential. Extending trust breeds trust. “Leadership is communicating to people their worth and potential so clearly that they come to see it themselves.”  Stephen R. Covey

7. Cultivate strength.

Know what makes you great. And, know what makes other people great. Understand people’s strengths. Marry them with yours.  Leverage them.  And remember that our biggest strengths are also our biggest weaknesses. Share with people where they’re killing it and where there is work to be done. And don’t forget to share where you are in development, as well.

 8. Be enthusiastic and do what you love.

Have you ever met a charismatic person who wasn’t passionate, enthusiastic, and decisive? Me neither. I am irresistibly attracted to those who emanate energy and confidence. How to master it? Do what you love.  Invest your life in something that inspires you. Build people’s enthusiasm around you, and keep people around who build yours. BE the catalyst to people’s best confidence by connecting them to things that light them up.  #joblove

9. Get possible, take ACTION, and be adaptable.

Choose possibility in every situation. Focus on what could be.  Don’t take your eye off the prize when setbacks come up. Keep optimism as fuel and choose to bounce back. READ books, read websites, read blogs that inspire you to take action. Openly take risks that inspire innovation, and don’t be afraid to look bad.  In the face of adversity, take quick action, clean up incompletion and regain control. Remember that you’re the expert. Be impatient, and unapologetically forward driven.

10. sweat once a day.

Optimism takes a TON of energy, keep that energy flow happenin’. Sleep and workout, do yoga, and always make time for the things that make you feel balanced.