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Performance as presence

Bruce Springsteen
(Image credit: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)

Presence is an outward manifestation of performance.

This is something that Bruce Springsteen delivers when he is on stage. He feels an obligation to do his best for his audience.

Leaders can learn from performers. First, like a good actor, leaders know that performance is not about them; it is about generating an experience for the audience. A leader’s role is to pull the best out of others in order to deliver on the mission.

Second, also like an actor, the leader invests himself in the performance of others. The leader supports the team, individually and collectively, by setting expectations and then following through with whatever is necessary to get the job done.

The leader delivers the resources but also serves as communicator, coach and occasional taskmaster to keep people targeted and focused.

Presence is the leader’s acknowledgement of another by saying you exist, you matter, you are necessary to our effort. And, most specifically, presence is the cry of “I need your support to do my job better.”

Presence is the act of connecting to those who look to you for leadership. They are counting on you to deliver.

John Baldoni is an internationally recognized leadership educator and executive coach. In 2018, Trust Across America honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award in Trust. Also in 2018, named Baldoni a Top 100 Leadership Speaker. Global Gurus ranked him No. 22 on its list of top 30 global experts, a list he has been on since 2007. In 2014, named Baldoni to its list of top 50 leadership experts. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including his newest, “MOXIE: The Secret to Bold and Gutsy Leadership.”

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