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Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

Building on the success of MT's debut handbook, The Management Masterclass, THE LEADERSHIP MASTERCLASS takes your career aspirations to the next level, showing you how to maximise your potential when you get to the top.

Loaded with no-nonsense advice, THE LEADERSHIP MASTERCLASS has it all, whether you need emergency help with a tricky dilemma or a dose of strategic wisdom to take you onwards.

Compiled by MT's features editor and with a foreword from Jeremy Darroch, CEO of BSkyB, it's your faithful guide to success at the top.


As a leader, people will expect you to behave in a certain way, but although your behaviour should be appropriate to your circumstances, there's no reason why you can't do things your way - if it gets results. Don't be scared to be different. But here's a quick aside for those of you who have never been in a leadership position before ...


How to acquire gravitas

Think about your natural body space, then imagine it is twice as great, then imagine it fills the whole room. Hold the thought and your body language will automatically increase your presence.

Talk at a measured pace - gushing suggests gullible; steady suggests wise. Don't raise your voice. Stop talking when you've made your point, even if there is silence. Don't worry if it takes others time to understand you.

Look slightly above people you are talking to, as if the point you are making is more important than their reaction.

Change the role you are playing if you're having trouble gaining gravitas. If the other people know more than you, provide incisive summaries or ask challenging questions rather than compete in an area where you can't shine.

Set the mood - be the source of enthusiasm if the others are sombre, or the voice of calm consideration if the rest are ebullient.

Give your undivided attention when others are speaking - at least, to start with.

Focus on quality rather than quantity. People with presence say relatively little, but what they say counts.

Take a few notes. It suggests you are sifting the gems or having brilliant thoughts. But furious scribbling will make others see you as the note-taker.

Don't expect to be liked - gravitas is for gaining respect; if it's love you want, try building rapport, which requires the opposite of these techniques.

CONGRATULATIONS. You're the head honcho now, but you're still feeling a little unconfident about things. What exactly are leaders meant to do, after all? Relax - you're not the only one to feel this way and, anyway, there are no exact rules to steer you into becoming an excellent boss.


You don't have a choice. From the moment you take up a leadership role, people will be watching you, so you are leading by example: the question is whether it's the example you want to set.

Be strategic. Identify the behaviours you want people to emulate. Some of these are driven by your organisation's values, others by the business context.

Walk the talk. Leading by example means you don't ask others to do what you are not prepared to do yourself. The whole idea is strongly linked to integrity and, right now, people's antennae are tuned to hypocrisy.

Show your tough side. It's not all about self-sacrifice. Giving tough feedback to people who are not performing - in a developmental way - may be the behaviour you want people to emulate.

Be visible. Leaders need to lead. It's not enough to retreat to the boardroom and tell people what you want them to do. You need to meet people face to face, rather than avoiding anxiety-provoking situations.

Validate. Check that the example people are digesting is the one you intended. Cultural surveys and 360-degree appraisals can help secure this feedback.

THE LEADERSHIP MASTERCLASS and THE MANAGEMENT MASTERCLASS are published by Headline and are available in all good bookshops and online, RRP ú10.99

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