Monthly Archives: April 2015

Leadership and being “understated” in the business world


What does it mean when someone says “You’re understated?” My perception of this is that maybe you’re not seen as verbose and loud enough and that you’re not quick enough to voice your opinion in front of other people. Of course these situations build the brand and persona of who you are in the business world and that can heavily influence how people see you. But does it make you any more or less effective as a leader?

The thing about being a great leader is that there is no one true model to follow. All the studies I’ve done and all the people I’ve observed – the one constant is that everyone has a different approach to leadership. Some are loud, some are quite, some are collaborative, some are dictatorial….and some may be understated.

You are who you are and being under/overstated is one trait that I personally don’t feel is as important as others. I have constantly battled with the idea that I have to be more “overstated” and “verbose” and just give an opinion for the sake of it – so that I’m noticed. But do I? No…I can’t say I have.

A colleague of mine shared a really interesting article with me the other day titled “One Trait A Great Leader Can’t Live Without” – I couldn’t agree with it more. The article talks about a leader’s aversion to anything that makes them appear weak. You’re a leader – you know everything right? Being humble separates being a good leader from being a great leader. So could a perception of “being understated” make me appear weak? That could very well be the case – but I would rather stay true to who I am and what I represent.