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Full credit for the inspiration of this post goes to John C. Maxwell, from his book The 21 Indispensible Qualities of a Leader. 

For just a moment, allow all your relationships to flow through your mind like a picture book, one-by-one. Go through your friends, family, coworkers, past bosses, current bosses, employees, acquaintances, and all the way to the barrister you see daily at Starbucks. As you flip-through your visual book, what do you feel when you flip onto each individual snapshot? What word do you relate with this person? Is each a positive correlation, or are there negative emotions and thoughts as well?

Years ago, in college, I was lucky enough to pick up a copy of The 21 Indispensible Qualities of a Leader by John C Maxwell (who full credit for this post’s inspiration goes to). In the book, he stated one of the keys to charisma and leadership was to “Put a ‘10’ on everyone’s head.” This one simple quote forever changed how I perceived teams, people, and relationships.

I have yet to meet any single person this could not apply toward. In the workplace, the concept forces one to open his or her eyes to the talents and capabilities of the individual, not the title or responsibilities of a job. It forces the individual to want to listen and to learn about each person, as this is the key to unlocking the true potential of the other person. This is the real key to charisma: seeing beyond the surface and looking deeper into the individual. The leader can then help that person realize his or her best, and resultantly, help the organization receive the best from the individual.

To further demonstrate this, below is an excerpt from Mr. Maxwell’s book, which tells the brief story of two rival nineteenth century British leaders: William Gladstone and Benjamin Disraeli. At one point, Maxwell describes a story of a woman who had dinner with each leader on consecutive nights. 

When asked her impression of them, she said, “When I left the dining room after sitting next to Mr. Gladstone, I thought he was the cleverest man in England. But after sitting next to Mr. Disraeli, I thought I was the cleverest woman in England.”

Benjamin Disraeli saw and brought out the best in others. But how about you? How do others feel when they interact with you? 

Next time you engage with another or are in a meeting, spot the “10” and focus only on that. You’ll not only realize the power, potential, and confidence of those around you, but you’ll unleash the charisma that lies within you as well.


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