“To me business isn’t wearing suits or pleasing stockholders. It’s about being true to yourself, your ideas and focusing on the essentials”

 – Richard Bronson, Chairman Virgin airlines in an ad for Samsonite

Leadership is a quality that more and more corporate Public Relations Managers try to imbibe, and practice in order to understand and improve their ability to lead themselves and the prple in their organization to better performance levels. The way they deal with and motivate people in the organization is the only lever they have for creating a true and enduring competitive advantage. Leadership is the manager’s guide to empower change and for new standards of excellence in the organization.

One of the foremost Management Institutes in the world, has developed a Global Leadership Centre, which outlines a unique set of qualities in an effective and successful leader whom others will follow in an organization, and in the world outside. Among these, seven which are extremely important for young PR managers of today are considered to be

  1. Identifying personal and professional priorities and committing to an organizational action plan for achieving success. As a leader this means identifying your unique challenges and at the same time understanding your personal effective and limiting behaviors.
    You have to organize yourself to build networks, trust, and obtain a critical “buy-in” action plan that is constantly assessed and followed up for results. You need to adopt a “best practice” approach to managing PR in an organization and thereby managing change. Best practice practices of those who have been successful over the long haul need to be studied and the good things adapted, adopted and used for your organization if possible.

  2. Developing skills to lead high-performing individuals and teams by enhancing your interpersonal relations, coaching, and mentoring qualities. In other words leading with actions. With the ability to direct team strategy, facilitate various points of views with ease, and by learning to proactively and successfully resolving conflict, and capitalizing on opportunities. In other words creating one winning team!

  3. Adding credibility to your actions and your advisory role as a PR  manager and leader. Being an evangelist. This can be done when you become a critical resource to your management and peers. They seek your advice, and you advise them strategically and with new clarity.
    You need to constantly refine your skills backed with up-to-date information and knowledge of business and human behavior and organizational change. Adopt a new approach, learn from a cross-section of professionals from various cultures and industries around you that will help you create a healthy environment in the organization.

  4. Transforming your view of your own self, by reviewing your professional and personal PR style. Using concepts in psychology, psychoanalysis and psychiatry to gain insight into your personal and professional life when dealing with people inside and outside the organization. Discover the power of personal authenticity, explore the relationship between personality, leadership style, organization culture, and communications internally and externally.
    Create a personal brand that influences how people perceive you – and how you create value. Different from others, yet one who builds strong relationships through PR.

  5. Reflecting upon and exploring the leader within you. Learning from emerging thinkers in management philosophies and actioning greater consciousness of “what’s new” and “in”. You must develop awareness, vision, imagination, responsibility, and action.

  6. Today, and more so in the future, learning to develop “international” PR  management skills in professional, private, cultural and social aspects is vital for PR manager leaders. Gain awareness of systems that impact PR and communication approaches globally. Reflect on your responsibilities and re-vision your thinking and action to global levels. Increase your capacity to manage complexities of PR leadership in the local competitive marketplace as well as in the changing global world today.

  7. Being aware and knowledgeable of local and corporate governance concepts and skills. Meet with governance leaders. Gain insights on methods, composition and direction in corporate governance for the latest thinking on critical issues facing management at different levels, and impacting your organization.

In life, change is inevitable. In business, change is vital.  Today, leadership in PR  is about making internal change happen – sometimes making the impossible happen.  From how it’s always been done, to new standards of excellence by shedding the inertia and inbred adherence to doing it the usual way.

As a PR person you must stand up and be counted! Impossible to ignore. And you must learn to do this fast, and enjoy the journey to your success!