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The Protocol of Leadership

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Thursday, February 11th, 2016
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The word 'Leadership' highlighted in green with felt tip pen
The word ‘Leadership’ highlighted in green with felt tip pen

Has it ever occurred to you that great leaders or people of leadership status have one unique thing in common, that is a sense of responsibility and positive impact? It is not by mistake when you hear the statement “Some were born to be leaders”, this is in fact quite a visibly true statement. A primary or infant school teacher can almost accurately identify those children who have the potential and tendency to be good leaders of tomorrow. Of course everyone has it in them to display great leadership traits, some however more than others. There is a unique trait that states outstanding characteristics, behaviour, attitude and attributes that make these individuals stand out from the rest.

Leaders project outstanding characteristics, behaviour, attitude and attributes that make them stand out from the rest. As a leader your mind set is fine tuned to wanting to have a positive impact on all around you; whether it is your immediate family, extended family, friends, colleagues, social group, institution or organization. There is a belief that you can steer the ship towards success, victory, progress, development and overall achievement. It goes without saying that adopting a position of leadership is no small task. To be called a leader or earn a title of leadership status it comes with an image amount of merit and trust that can create a positive influential impression.

It is also important to be aware that not all leaders are successful or are capable of steering a ship to victory. Leadership in today’s economy and evolving world involves image elements of discipline, dedication, commitment, honesty, courage and confidence. Leadership can fail if you approach tasks with an unconscious attitude and destructive minded.

Leadership and Etiquette
My perspective on leadership is highly related to your level of etiquette. It takes time to develop into a well-groomed leader just as it takes time to build a worthy self-image. It will require your willingness to acquire new knowledge and develop the much refined soft skills that will set your trait. The ultimate etiquette and protocol skills are simply the ABCD of life:

  • Attitude (Articulate)
    Behaviour (Befitting)
    Communication (Charismatic)
    Demeanour (Distinct)

Your ability to understand these essential soft skills will propel you to outstanding leadership abilities. Let us begin to analyse the importance of these leadership traits.

Articulate Attitude

Your attitude towards your life, your success, the people around you, your career or your business once refined will set the tone for positive interactions compelling innovative ideas and drive results. Having the correct attitude, you will appear more likeable, approachable, authoritative, trustworthy and distinctive. Your dress sense will stand out as your approach to daily scenarios will be more calculated and your presence will be felt.

Befitting Behaviour

Great leaders exhibit behaviour that highlights responsibility in huge proportions. Even in the midst of bad situations they aim is to turn a bad situation around for the better.
As you climb up the leadership ladder, as a leader your behaviour is always on the radar; you are constantly being watched, judged and mirrored. Some will pick up on your positive attributes, others on your negative weaknesses. Knowing how to conduct yourself at all times will sift you from the pack and put you high on the pedestal. Great leaders modify their behaviours regularly and learn from past mistakes.
With a combination of almost perfect behaviour and the correct attitude you are on your way towards building a self-image that emulates the required self-esteem and confidence.

Charismatic Communication

Your communication skills are the striking features that gets you noticed as a leader. It is essential to understand that it is not just what you say that commands respect for you. Personally I feel that your non-verbal communication skills are far more important or just as essential to the behaviour and attitude you portray. Your leadership traits should display a positive body language that is assertive and states your true state of mind thus how you are feeling. Your gestures should not fall below expectations.

Presidents, Heads of States, the head of the monarchy, have been groomed elegantly to represent their leadership roles. It is not by accident that you see first ladies or women of power and substance taking etiquette sessions to better their posture, speaking skills and looks. This is because they are trying to achieve an ultimate image of outstanding leadership, power and success. This is an image that will be acceptable to all that see them and to all they interact with.
As a leader the way you stand, walk, sit, smile, speak and look are all encompassing of what I term your Total Personal Package (TPP). This is a self-image comprising of the hidden inner image, your expected image, your received image. In addition when you voice out to speak you must be articulate, convincing, command attention and cultivate a positive impact. Great leaders tend to have something to share that others can benefit from.


Your virtual impression is just as important as your visual impression. Your written communication skills are by far also highly representative of good leadership. You must not be misleading, you need to stand by your views and address situations accordingly. In communicating with others there is no room for slang’s, abbreviations, misquotes, or even half measured responses. Your ability to perfect your verbal communication skills on the phone, in conferences or public speaking engagements as well as your own written communication skills by way of writing emails, sending important text and instant messages will produce a sense of ease and confidence around you that will affect others. Lead by example they say, it is a sure way to exhibit great leadership.


Your demeanour will affect all of the above: your attitude, behaviour and communication ability. Your looks and overall appearance is highly classified as an important leadership trait. Do you dress distinctively, bold and proud; simple and elegant; classy and charismatically or are you ignorant to the way you generally look each day? Your dress sense brings out your own unique style that all leaders can associate with. Dress to impress, as your clothing will speak volumes without uttering a single word.


All great leaders are on the lookout for great leadership traits. They develop an in -depth understanding of leadership by finding their own role models they can mirror too. I must mention here that leadership in individuals is by choice, which is either to be successful or to fail. It comes with extensive hard work. Most times to be a leader is not an easy place to be, you are not always liked or favoured. But to be a charismatic leader of class, elegance, poise, and presence you must altogether behave in yourself. A great leader believes he can carry his/her country, organization, group or family forward for the best.

Every leader should be able to learn, listen, dedicated and delegate, have courage and confidence, be persistent and pursue, have great ideas and be innovative; and finally be able to react with responsibility. I will leave you with a great thought that I believe will influence your leadership.

Watch your thoughts, your thoughts become words,
Watch your words, your words become actions,
Watch your actions, your actions become habits,
Watch your habits, your habits become characters,
Watch your character, your character becomes your destiny – Frank Outlaw


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