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Poll: What is the most pressing leadership skill development need you personally have?

SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 200,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our newsletter.

What is the most pressing leadership skill development need you personally have?

  • I want to improve my executive presence: 22.40%
  • I want to be a more inspiring leader: 19.80%
  • I want to be more decisive: 11.45%
  • I want to be more strategic in my thinking: 20.31%
  • I want to get better at developing my team members: 18.75%
  • Something else: 7.29%

Being an inspiring presence. Forty-two percent of you report wanting to improve your presence and ability to inspire your teams. A big part of that is authenticity. The more authentic and comfortable you are with who you are, the easier it is to build trust. Trust, in turn, inspires commitment from your team. When you’re being you and being authentic, it’s easier to communicate because you don’t have to memorize a script or focus on putting on appearances.

You can just connect directly with your audience which then demonstrates more compelling executive presence. The next time you have to communicate with team members, try going in unrehearsed, set aside any fears you have, and just speak directly. Pay attention to their reactions. You might be surprised by how quickly you connect with them and how your straightforward message can inspire action.

 Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS, which includes TITAN — the firm’s e-learning platform. Previously, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a West Point graduate and author of three leadership books: “One Piece of Paper,” “Lead Inside the Box” and “The Elegant Pitch.”