A few years ago, I found myself in front of a 100 or so scrapbookers wearing a coconut bra and a grass skirt. The "tiki" theme that we had chosen dictated the need for my costume. The fun part was that everyone in the room knew that when I hit the stage in my crazy outfit, someone was going to win a prize!
Shouldn't a leader be above dressing silly at a big event? Never! Would it help if I mentioned that I did have a t-shirt on under the coconut bra? And that we all wore Hawaiian shirts the rest of the time? Or that I've worn a Santa hat, light up necklace, blue hair, pink bowling shirt with matching glow-in-the-dark bowling shoes for other events?
So why did I go the extra mile? Did I have to wear a coconut bra and a grass skirt to give away prizes? No. But did it add to the excitement and the atmosphere? Yes. It brought a sense of fun to the event and unity among the team. A large event is a huge undertaking. Having everyone on board keeps the whole team motivated.
Now maybe you will never be in a situation where you need to wear a coconut bra and grass skirt. Maybe you just need to be reminded to participate in group dynamics. If there is a meeting, actively take notes. If there is a team challenge, work for it. If there is a dress up theme, dress up. If there is singing and dancing, sing and dance. If there is a softball game, play ball!
I am not asking you to be someone you're not. I am asking you what kind of leader you want to be. Do you want to be approachable, or stand-offish? Fun, or dull? One of the team, or above the rest? Do you want to engage your team, or leave them alone?
As always, you get to choose what kind of leader you want to be. By the way, if you need it, I have a coconut bra and grass skirt you can borrow!