The Top Tactics Charismatic Leaders Use to Drive Breakthrough Opportunities
Does this strike a chord with you? The most important things in life always come from your relationships.
It certainly should. It has been a long-standing mantra within Mindmaven, but it’s also an agreed upon fact by the biggest players in the business and tech worlds. Kathy Ireland put it incredibly simply when she said:
“In business it’s about people. It’s about relationships.”
In fact, I challenge you to find one person who has ever reached their fullest potential without help from others along the way.
There is, perhaps, no better illustration of this then the story of a social gaming company that was in the #2 spot of their space. The CEO and one board member were incredibly skilled at building and nurturing relationships from an early stage of the company, post series A. Building their tribe, they knew to focus on and consistently interact with people who could become potential acquirers.
When the first offer came, for $200,000,000 dollars, they were able to immediately activate those relationships, essentially creating a whole new market for themselves overnight.
This is how they turned $200,000,000 into $400,000,000 in just seven days—using their empathy, communication skills, listening ability, and charm to double their value in a week.
In the end, most charismatic leaders who achieve results like this do so by developing the skill of Fellowship and using it to leverage their tribe.
This is the mark of a truly charismatic leader and the #1 tactic they use to drive massive success. They influence their tribes into not only cheering on their vision, but actively supporting and helping it either through investments, referrals, or even acquisitions.
But what if charisma and communication don’t come as naturally to you? Good news, these skills can be developed.
Fellowship: Building and Using Empathetic Communication Skills
How exactly does a founder or startup CEO leverage their relationships at scale to get the kind of opportunities that will allow them to achieve their fullest potential?
There are two main elements:
- Acknowledge your job as a CEO: Influencing the best people to join your vision with passion. Get these people to follow you through Hell and back, since we all go there at one point or another.
- Recognize that your tribe is always your most valuable asset. The goal is to get them to not only cheer you and your vision on, but to help you reach it by sending you breakthrough opportunities.
Mastering these allows you to become incredibly skilled at getting people to send you the types of opportunities you want. These are the skills that allow charismatic leaders to come across more moments of serendipity.
How many of you would not be where you are if not for a moment of serendipity in your life?
Think about a point where things just came together in what seemed like an act of divine providence and provided the opportunity for something great. Often this comes in the form of referrals or introductions, and sometimes even acquisitions or investors.
Fellowship allows you to increase the chances of finding moments of serendipity—rather than sitting back and hoping they occur.
Charisma and Influence: Generating Mindshare
There are two ingredients to increasing your odds of serendipity and generating breakthrough opportunities—one you can control, and one you can’t (no matter how charming and inspirational you may be):
- Timing: You have no control over when people hear about the things you want to know or the people you want to meet. There’s nothing you can do about it. So, you have to focus on the second element, the one you can control.
- Mindshare: The ability of the people in your network to think of you when they come across an opportunity that you want them to tell you about.
Mindshare is where the inherent traits of the truly charismatic come into play. Whether your charismatic leadership is natural or learned/developed you can increase your Mindshare through nurturing authentic relationships. You must be able to listen deeply, respond empathetically, and inspire positivity through a sincere and genuine belief in your vision and goals.
This is how to effectively influence those who can support you. The more influence and mindshare you maintain, the more they will think of you, and the less timing will matter.
Mindshare: Increasing Your Opportunities
The more you inspire people in your network, the more top of mind you will be, enabling them to think of you at the right time. The beauty of mindshare is that you have almost 100% control over improving it.
Over time your Mindshare with any given person will decline without interaction. If you go silent for too long, then it’s unlikely that connection will think of you when something comes up—no matter how charismatic you were in the last interactions.
“Use it or lose it” as the adage goes.
You need to have a system to help you keep up contact with everyone in your network who really matters, even at scale, without spending a lot of time or money to do so.
Sound easier said than done? Here’s how it doesn’t have to be.
Engaging with Empathy: How to Build Mindshare at Scale
Quality relationships provide more mindshare, and the quality of your relationships is defined by the interactions you have with that relationship. So you need to be having high caliber interactions with your network without investing a ton of time into the practice.
To pull it off, you need to add Frequency and Quality to your communication skills:
- Frequency: You should know how often you want to reach out to people and have a system in place to keep you accountable for doing so.
- Quality: Every interaction should be perceived by the recipient as either relevant, meaningful, or valuable.
If you send only one message per day, every day you work, to someone you wouldn’t have otherwise contacted, you would be sending somewhere between 260 and 300 emails per year. That’s frequency.
Quality is a bit more complex and comes from actively utilizing the leadership traits we mentioned before—deep listening, empathetic responses, and inspiration through genuine passion.
You can start to utilize and build on these traits by listening for and practicing responding to the following pieces of personal info when engaging with your network:
- Professional Challenges – One way to ensure quality interactions is to track the professional challenges of people in your network. Listen for when people you’re meeting with talk about a particular pain point or issue they are having.
By deeply listening to someone else’s challenges, you can respond with empathy by trying to help them solve it. Even if you can’t fix it, you may be able to introduce them to someone who can, or at least offer a piece of advice or an understanding ear.
- Personal interests and passions – Learn what people care about, then relate to them and communicate positively about those things. This sincere encouragement of others and support of what they love is another hallmark of a charismatic leader who understands the importance of taking care of their network.
One amazing example, and true story, of how even a tiny outreach involving personal passions can have a huge impact is of a company we know based in Turkey. Their CEO had a Canadian friend that happened to love basketball.
When the Toronto Raptors won the NBA title in 2019, this CEO reached out to him with a simple message of congratulations.
This one simple message directly led to the conversation that got the company both a new investor and member of the cap table.
One thing we at Mindmaven do to help build these muscles, is the practice of Positive Alacrity, or following the rule:
If you genuinely think something positive about anyone, tell them.
This allows you to create profound micro-moments for others at scale. And when used on your network, can have massive benefits in building mindshare with your Tribe.
It can be as simple as thanking someone for doing their job, complimenting their new glasses, or remarking that they seem extra confident today.
Beyond Charisma: Creating Massive Leverage and Investing Deeply in Tribe
At the end of the day, your main job as CEO is to leverage your tribe for the best opportunities.
The way you do this is through building and utilizing those traits of effective charismatic leaders, inspiring others to fanatically root for and follow your vision by being genuinely inspiring through your empathy, sincerity, confidence, and passion.
We’ve shared a few ways to do this including relating to personal passions, solving professional challenges, and using small but genuine outreach messages (Positive Alacrity) to save time while still creating high caliber experiences.
To really push this to the next level, you need to create a massive amount of leverage in the office of the CEO and use that time to invest even further into building your Tribe.
We can help you do this through something we like to call an EM – a hybrid position of an EA and a Chief of Staff, who becomes you partner and accountability buddy in your efforts to unlock the superpower of Fellowship.
If you’re ready to take the next step, find your EM, and really gain some traction on your relationships and Mindshare, let us know and we’d love to help.