Leaders should be Omnipresent
Omnipresent, means a quality or capability of being everywhere. Leader should make efforts to become Omnipresent; present at multiple locations at the same time. Omnipresence is possible through leading and living by an example, your established behaviours and principles that allows your team to apply same yard stick in decision making as you would have, had you being present physically.
To students in a school, the principal often seems to be everywhere. While we know that is physically impossible, there are things that any principal do to make it seem that way. A principal’s omnipresence sets a tone for a school and gives it a personality.
An omnipresent leader is someone who puts their people and their culture first. They have eyes and ears throughout the company, helping them develop a clear picture of everything that’s happening (or not happening). They understand that if their teams don’t have the resources they need to do their work, they won’t be prepared for success.
And they understand that a happy, motivated team has a lot to do with a shared respect for internal culture.
Start by affecting change internally with your attitude. Live and breathe the ethics, responsibilities, and professionalism that you want your entire team to embody. Because they’re always watching you for inspiration,
just like children silently look to their parents for cues and habits as they grow up.
It’s difficult to truly influence if we are not genuinely connecting with the individuals who comprise the team we are attempting to lead. Influence is a by-product of authentic connection and connection is only realized through familiarity, familiarity through active presence. We are all familiar with the value of leadership/management by walking around and most of us will agree that physical presence is critical if we are to effectively lead, but why stop there? Why not make ourselves omnipresent?
We have the opportunity and responsibility to lead and influence those within our physical reach and in this day and age we need not limit that reach to our arm’s length, our direct/indirect reports, or those with whom we personally engage regularly. If we are truly interested in leading, mentoring, and influencing, we will expand our reach and make ourselves as present in the virtual world as we are in the physical world. I am not advocating for the micromanagement that an extended virtual reach has provided too many, but I am proposing that we use our extended reach to connect, influence, inform, and lead with others who are genuinely interested (regardless of their organizational relationship within or outside our formal team).
As we lead our team, raise our children, or teach students, our audience is outside of our physical reach far more than they are within. That means we have more time to influence the truly interested while we are physically apart than together. Our written words, whether on paper or electronic, are there to be read, pondered, and stimulate others at a time of their choosing. If the team is truly a team, our words might garner a response, inspire constructive debate, and leave all participants (even, and sometimes especially, lurkers) having learned something new. Such dialogue is critical if we are to connect, influence, and lead.
The philosophy that serves as the WHY behind such a presence. If we truly want to lead, we need to be prepositional leaders. We need to expand our reach directly and/or indirectly. We need to influence the HOW that drives the leadership philosophy across and beyond our team.