When Robert Kennedy first came to Washington as Senator, it was said that, “He hit the ground running, leaning forward.”
He was like that. So are most leaders in business. They have an attitude of “forward lean.” They are striving, moving toward something.
In our communications trainings, we continuously pound home the point that you can’t be effective in speaking just by learning about personal impact and techniques that work. You have to actually put yourself in the playing field.
Cicero said it best, “The skill to do comes from the doing.”
Sure, you need knowledge. Sure you need to know how you come across, what to work on next, what your strengths are and what areas can built up and made into strengths. But, above all, you need that attitude of forward lean.
I’m still surprised at how few people sit in the front row in seminars, or volunteer first – how few are stretching themselves as far as they might. It is my experience that those few who do these things are the ones who most often succeed. Note always, but most often.
There is one specific step that you can do a dozen times a day. Volunteer. Have that attitude of forward lean in the multitude of circumstances that come up when you can risk, but may not want to. Say something in a meeting, ask a question, phone in on a call-in show, sing at church, or be first up. With forward lean, you can’t go backward.