Become the Real Deal and you'll become the leaderyou're meant to be. If you want to make change in your organization and in yourworld, and advance your own career, you need to become a person whocan effectively influence others to take action. When looking tobring about organizational change of any kind, the main skillrequired is influence. Nothing will help your cause more than beingable to effectively influence others to take action. Become theReal Deal presents a modern and practical approach toleadership that yields unlimited dividends for leaders at alllevels. Author Connie Dieken calls these dividends your Return onInfluence® (ROI). You'll discover your own Centers of Influence through aseries of visual dashboards and learn how to capitalize on theseCenters of Influence to become the powerful, purposeful authorityyou're meant to be. * Readers will learn how to override personal influence-killingtendencies, such as narcissism, anxiety, long-windedness, silence,social façades, and invisibility. * Connie Diekenis the country's foremost Fortune 500communication coachan executive coach to the world's topbrands, an Emmy award winning former TV news anchor, reporter, andinductee of the Radio/Television Broadcasters Hall ofFame. For anyone seeking to be the "real deal," this bookuncovers the strengths and skills you need to gain influence andlead your organization to success. The enhanced edition integrates four videos featuring theauthor, Connie Dieken, illustrating the book's concepts aboutleadership in greater detail.
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Audio Video Table of Contents
Praise for Become the Real Deal
Introduction: What Is the Real Deal?
Layer One: Inner Presence: How You Experience Yourself
Chapter 1: What Is Inner Presence?: Managing Yourself
Chapter 2: Centered Inner Presence
What Centered Presence Looks Like
What Do You Value?
Your Purpose Is Your Power
Traits of Centered Inner Presence
A Centered Presence in Action
Chapter 3: Too Little: The Worrier
What Too Little Looks Like
Tips to Increase Inner Presence
How to Manage The Worrier
Chapter 4: Too Much: The Egotist
What Too Much Looks Like
Identifying an Egotist
How to Dial Back Too Much Inner Presence
How to Manage an Egotist
Inner Presence Review
Inner Presence Action Plan
Layer Two: Verbal Presence: How You Reveal Your Messages
Chapter 5: What Is Verbal Presence?: Managing Your Words
Developing Verbal Presence
Chapter 6: Centered Verbal Presence
What Centered Looks Like
Are You Centered?
Traits of Centered Presence
How to Stay Centered
Chapter 7: Too Little: The Mouse
What Too Little Looks Like
Traits of the Mouse
How to Increase Low Verbal Presence
How to Manage a Mouse
Chapter 8: Too Much: The Motor Mouth
What Too Much Looks Like
Traits of a Motor Mouth
How to Dial Back Too Much Verbal Presence
How to Manage a Motor Mouth
Verbal Presence Review
Verbal Presence Action Plan
Layer Three: Outer Presence: How Others Experience You
Chapter 9: What Is Outer Presence?: Managing Your Reputation
How Do Others Describe You?
Chapter 10: Centered Outer Presence
What Centered Looks Like
Three Degrees of Personal Warmth
Traits of Centered Outer Presence
Chapter 11: Too Little: The Ghost
What Too Little Looks Like
Are You Consistent?
Traits of the Ghost
How to Increase Low Outer Presence
How to Manage a Ghost
Works Like a Charm
Chapter 12: Too Much: The Pretender
What Too Much Looks Like
Traits of the Pretender
How to Dial Back Too Much Outer Presence
How to Manage a Pretender
Outer Presence Review
Outer Presence Action Plan
Bringing It All Together: Becoming the Real Deal
About the Author
The Real Deal (3:55)
The Real Deal Chapter 1 (1:58)
The Real Deal Chapter 2 (2:02)
The Real Deal Chapter 3 (2:30)
Praise for Become the Real Deal
“In choosing whom to willingly follow, it often comes down to ‘know, like, and trust.’ And, each of these will occur to the degree people sense—rather, they know—that the person they experience is the real you; the authentic you. In other words, that you are in fact…The Real Deal! The good news is that this is already inside of you. The even better news is that you are about to learn from the master in her field how to tap into this sense of authenticity and communicate it much more effectively. The result will be more self-confidence, more effectiveness, and a true connection with those you wish to connect. Make a study of these teachings and enjoy the accelerated growth you'll experience both personally and professionally. Great job, Connie. Terrific!!”
—Bob Burg, Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek Bestselling Coauthor of The Go-Giver and Go Givers Sell More
“If you are looking to earn trust and build influence with others, realness is a must. Read Become the Real Deal to learn how to make that a part of your professional fabric.”
—Tim Sanders, New York Times Bestselling author of Love Is the Killer App: How To Win Business and Influence Friends
“Become the Real Deal is a masterful guide to harnessing your natural abilities to influence others, radiate executive presence, and build the lifelong relationships you need to succeed.”
—Andrew Sobel, Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author of Power Questions and Clients for Life
“All leaders need to be the real deal and in this insightful and useful new book you get field-tested strategies—and important warnings—to make sure you Become the Real Deal. Whether you want to advance your career or move your team to take action, executive coach Connie Dieken reveals the layers that will help you master your presence and influence.”
—Mark Sanborn, New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author of The Fred Factor and Fred 2.0
“Authenticity is the foundation of great leadership, so, as leaders, we need to be ourselves every day, in everything we do. Connie Dieken artfully identifies the situations and relationships that push us off center, and then she pulls us right back to the core of who we really are. Become the Real Deal is…well…the real deal.”
—Steve Farber, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Radical Leap Re-Energized and Greater Than Yourself
“A fascinating read, Connie Dieken's insightful research and strategies will help you center yourself, engage others, and boost your leadership gravitas.”
—Sally Hogshead, Hall of Fame Speaker, CEO and Founder of The Fascination Advantage
“Connie Dieken is a master of influence and communication. Her book Become the Real Deal is the real deal. Get it. Devour it.”
—Randy Gage, New York Times Bestselling Author of Risky Is the New Safe
“Today's leaders are called to be authentic and perfect at the same time. It's an impossible standard, but Connie Dieken's new book will show you how to thread this new leadership needle to achieve both inner and outer presence. It's a must-read.”
—Nick Morgan, Author of Trust Me
“Authenticity is today's must-have leadership trait. Connie Dieken's three-layered approach will help you balance being with doing to increase your influence and become the Real Deal.”
—Carol Roth, WGN Radio Host, and New York Times Bestselling Author of The Entrepreneur Equation
“If you're looking to influence boldly, earn trust, and become a leadership powerhouse, Become the Real Deal is for you. Connie Dieken is a powerful, fresh voice in leadership presence. ”
—Michael Port, New York Times Bestselling Author of Book Yourself Solid and The Think Big Manifesto
“I've been an ardent fan and follower of Connie Dieken's brilliance for years. I listen to what Connie says and read what Connie writes and try as hard as possible to apply her insight and output to my activities and my life. Connie has changed the way I look at myself and the way I present myself to the world. What she tells me simply makes sense. Better yet—it works.”
—Bruce Turkel, Author of Building Brand Value
“I place a premium on amazing experiences. As you dive into Connie's Become the Real Deal, you'll discover compelling stories and remarkable guidance on how to transform your leadership approach. You may not want to come up for air until you finish.”
—Shep Hyken, New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author of The Amazement Revolution
Cover design: Wiley
Copyright © 2013 by Connie Dieken. All rights reserved.
Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey.
Published simultaneously in Canada.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning, or otherwise, except as permitted under Section 107 or 108 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act, without either the prior written permission of the Publisher, or authorization through payment of the appropriate per-copy fee to the Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923, (978) 750-8400, fax (978) 646-8600, or on the web at www.copyright.com. Requests to the Publisher for permission should be addressed to the Permissions Department, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030, (201) 748-6011, fax (201) 748-6008, or online at www.wiley.com/go/permissions.
Limit of Liability/Disclaimer of Warranty: While the publisher and author have used their best efforts in preparing this book, they make no representations or warranties with the respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents of this book and specifically disclaim any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. No warranty may be created or extended by sales representatives or written sales materials. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation. You should consult with a professional where appropriate. Neither the publisher nor the author shall be liable for damages arising herefrom.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data:
Dieken, Connie, 1959-
Become the real deal : the proven path to influence & executive presence / Connie Dieken.
ISBN 978-1-118-63378-6 (cloth); ISBN 978-1-118-75510-5 (ebk); ISBN 978-1-118-75505-1 (ebk); ISBN 978-1-118-75512-9 (ebk); ISBN 978-1-118-80970-9 (e-ebk); ISBN 978-1-118-82054-4 (e-ebk)
1. Executive ability. 2. Executives. 3. Influence (Psychology) 4. Leadership. I. Title.
Scholar. Nurse. Wife. Single mother.
Sunday school teacher. Girl Scout leader.
Cancer survivor. Cancer victim.
Thank you for modeling the real deal, mom, no matter what hand life dealt you. Your presence lives on in your children, grandchildren, and the countless lives that you influenced.
Connie Dieken's Become the Real Deal strikes a chord with me. She says, “The world demands perfection, yet craves authenticity.” This is a challenge for many leaders. It's a challenge of identity and reputation, which I discuss extensively in my book Mojo.
Identity, or who you think you are, is subtle. Most people will answer this question based on others' perceptions of them. For example, they will respond, “I think people perceive me as someone who...” I stop them when they start with this answer, and tell them to take everyone else in the world out of the equation, including their spouse, family, and closest friends, and ask them to consider how they perceive themselves. Often this question is followed by a long period of silence as they struggle to get their own self-image into focus. This is very telling, because without a firm handle on our identity, we may never be able to be our true and authentic selves.
Reputation, or who other people think you are and what other people think you've done lately, are less subtle than the question about identity. Your reputation is a scoreboard that is kept by others. It's your coworkers, customers, friends, and sometimes even strangers, grabbing the right to grade your performance—and tell the rest of the world what they think about you! Although you can't be in total control of your reputation, you can maintain and improve it, and this can have an enormous impact on your ability to be “the real deal.”
Connie takes the idea of being authentic—of having authenticity be part of our identity and also part of how others know us or our reputation—and gives us a solution to achieving it based on what she calls the Three Layers of Presence. Connie's layers are a wonderful leadership model that will help you as a leader succeed and lead at the highest levels. Thank you, Connie, for providing us with a model of leadership that will help us discover our true selves and our authenticity, and for giving us a solution to staying centered and “real” in the fast-paced world of business today!
Life is good.
Author of the New York Times
Bestsellers Mojo and
What Got You Here Won't Get You There
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The Real Deal (3:55)
What Is the Real Deal?
“Just be yourself.”
As a piece of advice, it's common—even clichéd. But it's far more demanding than it sounds, isn't it? Every day, you're flooded with stories and images of people whose personal qualities you may admire and want to emulate.
Haven't you secretly wondered if just being yourself is really enough? After all, to succeed in a competitive world, you need to measure up to some pretty high standards.
“Be yourself,” you've been told. But while you're at it, be as visionary as Apple cofounder Steve Jobs. As hard-charging as Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer. As courageous as Nelson Mandela. As financially savvy as Warren Buffett. As athletic as LeBron James. As intuitive as Oprah Winfrey. As effortlessly beautiful as Halle Berry. As prescient as fashion mogul Michael Kors.
“Be yourself,” the world tells you. But this tidy little tidbit is woefully incomplete advice. “Be yourself, but measure up,” is what the world is really telling you if you want to reach your highest potential.
If you're a leader, you're on the receiving end of relentless and often conflicting advice about how to present yourself to the world. Perhaps you're urged to be active on social media in order to stay visible and to engage others. But what if you're naturally private? Maybe you've been prodded to display your vulnerable side in the conference room so that your staff will find you relatable. But what if you feel that exposing your personal experiences leaves you susceptible to career-limiting rumors—or even a leadership coup?
“Just be yourself” is well-meaning but inadequate guidance. It begs for more substance and measurement.
Over the past decade, I've been privileged to work with senior executives at some of the world's biggest corporations. These leaders, whose massive corner offices are often perched 50 stories above the concrete jungle below, appear poised, all-knowing, untouchable. And some of them are.
But the truth is, many executives fear that they're falling short of their full potential, and they worry about how they come across to others. That's where executive coaches like me come in: Our role is to help them reach their performance goals and motivate others while conquering the paradox of twenty-first-century leadership:
The world demands perfection, yet craves authenticity.
Think about the paradoxes in your life. You want to exude executive presence—yet still be genuine. You want to hone your speaking and influence skills—but not appear manipulative. You want to inspire top performance from others—yet not drive away top talent with your demands.
You want to be—and to be seen as—the real deal.
How do you balance the polarities of perfection and authenticity to lead at your peak level?
Like the rest of us, the super achievers I work with every day feel that the pressures of society and their work are constantly knocking them off-center. I've written this book to help anyone—from senior leader to junior hopeful—stay centered and be the real deal, using the lessons I've learned in boardrooms and conference rooms around the globe.
In today's hyperconnected, social-media–fueled world, public figures are immediately mocked for any perceived mistake or slip-up. Society tends to tear down anyone who seems too perfect. The truth, of course, is that we're all human—so we all make mistakes. That means no one can be perfect and authentic. But that doesn't stop us from trying.
As a recovering perfectionist, I've struggled with this for years. When I look back on my two decades on television, I'm amazed that I survived with my sanity intact. I'd set off a feeding frenzy when, heaven forbid, a hair got out of place. So I shellacked my locks into place. My hair didn't move—it was teased, it was lacquered, it was a helmet. And yet, beneath the façade, I was still expected to come across as warm and authentic. My Q-score—a measure of popularity that can determine whether a television personality keeps the job or gets the boot—depended on it.
So what's real and what's not? And what does it matter, anyway?
Some leaders who were once branded “the real deal” were faking it in plain sight. Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong converted seven yellow jerseys into 87 million yellow wristbands—and hundreds of millions more in personal endorsement deals. But the former champion was disgraced and stripped of his titles and status when his use of performance-enhancing drugs was revealed in 2013.
Bernie Madoff was a former NASDAQ chairman turned financial advisor to high-society individuals and nonprofit organizations, an expert trusted by the elite to grow their financial assets. But in 2009, once his Ponzi scheme was exposed—along with the devastating reality that he'd inflicted up to $50 billion in losses on his clients—he was sent to prison.
And news of General David Petraeus's extramarital affair in 2012 undermined the reputation that he'd spent years building—among the Washington elite, with the thousands of soldiers he led, and with an adoring public.
The mismatch between what these people wanted us to believe and what we learned to be true made it clear that they weren't the real deal.
We are living in an almost excessively “faux” world. Think about it: you witnessed faux singing at Barack Obama's 2013 presidential inauguration. Pop singer Beyoncé later admitted that she lip-synched the national anthem because she wanted her performance to be perfect for the momentous occasion. And it was perfect—until the United States Marine Band threw her under the bus by exposing that she wasn't singing live.
You've seen a faux girlfriend exposed. The heart and soul of Notre Dame football's 2012 season, senior linebacker Manti Te'o, was humiliated when the touching story of his girlfriend's death—the narrative that catapulted him into the limelight and the Heisman Trophy race—was later exposed as an Internet hoax. Not only did this girl not die of cancer as Te'o had claimed, she had never even existed. Even worse, Te'o had told reporters that he was—wait for it—“completely devoted” to this girl—a fake person he'd never met. You may still be scratching your head over that one.
As Catholic cardinals from around the world met ahead of the conclave to ultimately elect Pope Francis in 2013, a faux cardinal snuck in. An impostor wrapped a purple scarf around his waist and managed to slip past the Swiss Guard in Vatican City. The impostor shuffled right up to the real cardinals and even posed with Italian Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani before the guards noticed he was wearing a fedora instead of the traditional headgear. “He's not a cardinal—he's a fake!” they realized, and escorted him out.
It seems that no one and no place is sacred. What's real? And what's not? Shams and phony posturing extend beyond inner qualities to external features. Seemingly tight tushes are actually “Spanx'd” in place to conceal jiggling flesh. Glowing tans are airbrushed over pasty white skin. Voluminous-looking hair is clipped in to make thin tresses look fuller. The list goes on.
Digital manipulation is especially rampant. Even network news anchors have been sucked into this vortex. When CBS News introduced Katie Couric as its new CBS Evening News anchor in 2006, the network admittedly Photoshopped her promotional picture to make her look 20 pounds thinner. Katie was fooled at first, too. “Wow! I look good,” was her first impression, she told More magazine, before she learned of the electronic alteration.
Savvy television viewers realize their favorite so-called reality shows are anything but real. The performances are contrived and heavily edited—more trumped-up than Donald Trump himself.
Reality-show producers want to deliver tidy, audacious narratives that trash the truth. They want people to make spectacles of themselves to generate headlines. The programs have too much at stake to leave real storylines to chance. So they fabricate narratives, coach participants on what to say, and then cobble together provocative programs. Make it snappy. Chop, chop. If something is dull or lukewarm, they juice the footage by shuffling scenes out of order and out of context.
J. Ryan Stradal, a story editor on The Bachelorette, told Time magazine in 2006 that this technique is called “Frankenbiting.” He explains, “We're using things said at different times, put together to imply a statement or observation.” Of course, some producers beg to differ. They lean on author James Frey's “essential truth” defense. Tony DiSanto, executive producer of Laguna Beach, told ABC that the show was “enhanced” but genuine. Right.
Coming from a broadcast journalism background, I understand the editing-room mentality. Editing can transform run-of-the-mill interviews and facts into something much more compelling. It's akin to the ingredients in a salad—when everything's tossed together, the product comes out enhanced, depending on which ingredients you put in or leave out. My college professors trained me to keep it real; in the 1980s, the focus was on Journalism with a capital J. But today, with the Internet frontier providing an environment as wide open as the Wild, Wild West, that's certainly not the case anymore.
I also learned the protocol for how to present myself as a TV news anchor, a position that I held for many years. The first rule of anchordom is to project a spit-shined version of yourself. When you sit behind the anchor desk, act like a news anchor. Smooth out your rough edges.
Our opinions about and actions toward others flow from this one simple question: Is this person the real deal? When we believe that someone—particularly a leader—is the real deal, we trust them, we listen to them, and we willingly follow them. When someone doesn't strike us as the whole package, the opposite occurs. We suspect their motives and second-guess their ideas. We stall and sabotage instead of following their lead.
In the 13 years that I've been preparing to write this book, I've discovered why being the real deal is so crucial. I've explored the reasons as I studied leadership influence, working on the root causes of why some leaders have a consistently strong influence on their followers, while others manage to influence others only episodically.
I surveyed more than 3,500 leaders at my executive coaching sessions and corporate programs around the globe: the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Australia, and Europe. I interviewed leadership teams, sales teams, human resources professionals, engineers, and more.
Their answers electrified me and can change your approach to leadership.
What especially struck me was how people explained why they wanted to be influential. I kept hearing the words, “I want to be the real deal.” At a recent corporate leadership class, I asked the seasoned leaders how they wanted others to view them. “One word,” I said. Table by table, they revealed their one word aloud. Some shared terms like powerful, influential, or bold—but more than half answered real. More than half.
They told me that being is much more challenging than doing and that most of leadership influence is achieved by learning how to be.
I believe the most powerful step you can take in the competitive modern marketplace is to be real. The sooner you develop this ability, the farther you will go. The benefits are clear. When you are the real deal:
The study participants went even deeper into why they wanted to be the real deal. They cited “presence” as a crucial factor—which raises the question, what exactly is presence?
Of the 3,500 people surveyed, the largest group by far—53 percent—felt that their verbal skills give them presence and constitute the primary factor in their ability to influence others. The next largest percentage—25 percent—said their inner presence is most important to their leadership influence skills. A mere 6 percent believed that their outer presence made them influential.
Here's where it really got interesting: 16 percent attributed their influence to combining inner, outer, and verbal presence.
Let's focus on that 16 percent, since these are the ones who report they're able to consistently influence others. Who are these awesome people? How did they get there? And how do the rest of us get there, too?
When my team assimilated the answers, we discovered that the ability to be the real deal is based on what I now call The Three Layers of Presence®:
Let's spend a moment discovering what these layers are.
These are the Three Layers of Presence—the proven path to influence and executive presence. Combine them, and you are consistently the real deal.
But here's the rub: each encounter, each person you interact with, forms its own unique situation. You may be the real deal with one person, totally centered in all three layers. But in other situations or with certain people, you're completely thrown off-center. Damaged relationships or bad habits may prevent your ability to show up as the real deal in those cases.
In this book, you'll read a lot about all three types of presence—and what may cause you to struggle to achieve them. You'll also discover how to handle someone else who's off-center. Think of presence as your center—like the center of a seesaw.
Life has a way of knocking you off-center, making you think you aren't enough.
I see this issue time and time again with my coaching clients. People fear they're not good enough, not smart enough, not attractive enough. So they puff themselves up to try to appear more impressive—or make themselves small and hope to fly under the radar. But we miss opportunities when we distort ourselves like this—whether we're adding a veneer or stripping a real layer away.
We may be reluctant to admit it, but many of us are motivated by the way the world perceives us. We enjoy recognition and status. It's not easy to free ourselves from the need for approval. But when we do, it changes the way we experience the world—and the way the world experiences us in return.
You have to develop and hone most business skills. But the most crucial skill is already inside you, ready to be let out. You don't have to be born with a set of special talents to become the real deal. You can discover your potential right now—which is something that you should find extremely encouraging!
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