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So … what did you do today?

OK, now what did Warren Buffett, Angela Merkel, and LeBron James do today? No, that’s not a trick question. The small, daily decisions and actions of great leaders – whether in business, politics, sports or otherwise – can impart large lessons about a leader’s credibility.

“Everyone thinks it is pretty easy to assess a leader’s credibility because they assume it is largely about how good they are at their job,” says Dr. Suzanne Peterson, Associate Professor of Leadership at Thunderbird School of Global Management. “However, being good at your role is only one piece of what makes a leader truly credible.”

In her June 29 lecture, part of Thunderbird’s Global Speaker Series, Peterson will reveal what high-impact leaders do differently (hint: it’s more about everyday choices than temperament, personality, or values) and how simple leadership behaviors can boost reputation, commitment, and loyalty.

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‘True credibility’

In everyday situations, the best leaders find ways to show people who they are, Peterson says.

“They understand that they may be respected for their knowledge or their results, but that has little to do with followership,” she says. “At the same time, they know that the opposite is also true – those who are great at inspiring followership don’t always produce or accomplish much.”

“True credibility comes from both; the best leaders in the world know how to produce results and inspire followership at the same time.” Peterson says.

“The best leaders in the world know how to produce results and inspire followership.” – Click here to tweet this

Peterson says certain behaviors that drive superior results while inspiring loyalty and followership are “simple, universally actionable, and context-free.” In other words, they are behaviors that can work for just about anyone – across cultural, gender, and age differences.

Beyond the Global Mindset

At Thunderbird, a connecting theme in curriculum and on campus is the ‘Global Mindset.’ Peterson notes that achieving a global mindset is absolutely critical, but is not the end of the learning process. “So you have a global mindset. Now what?” she says. “What you do with that mindset on Monday is what is going to move the needle in your organization’s eyes.”

“So you have a global mindset. Now what? How will you behave differently on Monday as a result?”  – Click here to tweet this

“The point is that leaders need tools to leverage after they achieve a Global Mindset,” Peterson says. These tools don’t have to be that complicated. “There is no mystique about leadership behavior. The best leaders simply make more informed choices about how to behave and never lose sight of how they will be perceived when behaving.”

In her upcoming lecture, Peterson will describe what makes certain leaders so special. She will describe how a few simple, actionable behaviors can change your leadership trajectory.  

Professor Peterson’s lecture is free and open to all. June 29. Reception: 5-6 p.m. Keynote: 6-7:30 p.m. on Thunderbird Campus and via Livestream.

RSVP Today!

Join the discussion! What are the actual day-to-day behaviors that you see in top leaders? Share your insights on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

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