The Leadership & Likability Connection

Tirza Barnes-Griffith

I have become convinced one perfect definition of leadership just doesn’t exist. Searching to describe it, I’ve concluded that the concept of leadership is so vast, broad, and deep that to define it with only a sentence or two cannot effectively capture the essence of what it is. It could even diminish its value.

I am also convinced that there are two essential leadership factors: that leadership is not just a matter of a formal title, and there is a connection between leadership and likability.

The premise that a leader is an individual with a formal title like “boss”, “CEO,” or “Director” is flawed. One does not require a formal title to be an effective leader. In fact, many people who are not in positions of power do lead with excellence and have the capacity to influence others just as well as, if not better than, the title holder. This is best described as informal leadership and is as important as formal leadership. Both require certain abilities and traits like drive, discipline, focus, vision, and purpose.

“Likability,” is another trait that is highly valued but not often explored. No matter your leadership position, formal or informal, one thing is certain—cultivating likability can position you for success.

Likability can be described as: charisma or a trait in someone who is warm, familiar, comfortable, and easy to be around. It is a trait generally noticed right away, it creates an instant feeling of connection and trust, and it’s desirable. People often want to possess it and wish to be around others with it.

The description may seem superficial, but when cultivated correctly likability is in fact a trait that invites you to be your best authentic self while also inspiring others to be their best authentic selves.

Developing the likability Tirza Barnes-Griffith into a real strength will require you to be self-aware, reflective, and conscious of your strengths and weaknesses. It includes the process of operating from a genuine place and honing in on your personal power.

Your true personal power comes from within. Leading from within instantly creates the likability factor.

The leadership-likability connection empowers you to produce results, make an impact, and successfully navigate, advocate, and negotiate for yourself and others. It is the art of engagement, the truth behind interpersonal intelligence, and the secret to people and personality management.

Leaders who possess the likability quality resist the temptation to lead with their ego. They choose instead to focus their energy on being influential, inspirational, and impactful. Their approach to leadership seeks an intimate connection with others, which in turn creates the space for positive interactions, trust, and accountability.

Your Call to Action: Now that you have further insight into the leadership and likability connection, what will you do today to develop as a leader?

Challenge yourself to develop likability qualities. As a first step, consider what your personal power is and how it will help you make better connections with others.

Be fearless in the process, and then engage with others and observe how this trait is working in your favor to position you as a trusted, creditable, and well-liked leader.


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