Maintaining Our Poise As a Leader


In these crazy days in which we are living, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the importance of POISE as a Leader. I looked up the word. Summing up the various definitions of the word, to have “poise” means “ maintain a dignified, self-confident manner; to maintain one’s composure.” 

In my observation after leading and coaching for over two decades, the best leaders are able to be PRESENT in CRISIS WITHOUT LOSING  their POISE.

Today, I thought it helpful, to ponder on the practical attributes of a Poised Leader.

10 Characteristics of Leaders Who Maintain Their Poise

1. Poised Leaders are Calm Leaders.

They are not easily rattled. They are steady, consistent, and reliable.

2. Poised leaders bring peace to a situation rather than stir up the drama.

They squash drama, either by aggressively putting it to an end or not giving it their attention; making them a stabilizing force. Poise it typically a bi-product of maturity, and maturity understands the destructive power of drama.

3. Poised Leaders don’t lose their temper or their composure.

They never lose their dignity and rarely raise their voice.

4. Poised Leaders are quietly confident, without seeming arrogant.

They don’t constantly need the spotlight. Conversely, they often shine the spotlight on others.

5. Great leaders speak out without singling out other people.

They prompt change and use their voice to support a big cause without having to tear people down in the process.

6. Poised leaders seldom take things personally and never make things personal.

They have a confidence in themselves and a vision large enough to help them rise above petty personal offenses.

7. Poised leaders are always courteous and always respond with courtesy.

They never use the tension of the moment as an excuse to berate or belittle others. While some may see heightened emotion as a pass to vent on people, these leaders see it as an opportunity to rise above.

8. Poised leaders are quick to listen and slow to speak.

They slow down, ask good questions and take in various viewpoints to help them form a thought broader than just how they feel in the moment.

9. Poised leaders always respond, but never react.

They feel emotion, but they aren’t led by emotion. Responses are measured and processed through wisdom rather than knee-jerk based on feeling.

10. Great leaders disagree with honor and respect for the other person.

Rather than settling for artificial harmony due to sweeping things under the rug, they engage in healthy conflict. At the same time, they don’t allow conflict to damage relationships with people.

Does all of this seem like A LOT?

It actually is a lot. Frankly, it’s too much to do alone. That’s why at CourageToLead we believe, “Every Leader Needs a Coach”…because no leader can do it all alone!

Let’s set up a call with one of our coaches to talk through your own leadership poise and how you’re leading through the realities of this season.