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Leadership – Be Smart and Speak Up

May 30, 2011

Think of those people who naturally lead. Think of the last time that you were in a group… even just a group of people at a convention around a table who were given a task. You can picture the 5 or 6 people around the table starting to discuss the problem they’ve been given. Inevitably, you have a variety of people. You have the individuals that have a lot of knowledge, you have the people who naturally take control of the situation. You also have the quiet ones, the outspoken, even the angry.

My question is who do you think tends to rise to the leadership of these groups and other groups. Is it the smartest as some might think? No, the research shows that it isn’t. In fact, those that speak up the most are seen as not only being more confident, they also are perceived as being the smartest (even though they are often not at all).

This research is interesting because it tells and reminds us of a few different things. One, that the people who are the most vocal are not necessarily the smartest although they are perceived as the most confident. Two, those who speak up especially early are likely going to be perceived as the leader of your group. And three, the reason that those who speak up early are perceived as the defacto leader of the group – confidence.

Confidence is a factor in leadership. How does your confidence show up in your leadership?

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