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Who are the people who get things done these days — and how do they do it? Can I suggest it is the Diplomat Leader who makes the greatest amount of progress in a time when we hear a lot about what DIVIDES us and not a lot about what brings us TOGETHER? From that foundation I began formulating the Diplomat Leader model for a client — and it’s something I want to share with you today.

First, understand the power here. We all want to see our ideas move ahead, but how do we do it? Too often we turn to the people who are already on our side, and frankly we spend a lot of time preaching to the choir. A former Arizona Governor once told me, “When I propose an idea 25% of the people will be behind me, 25% will hate it. My job is to connect with as many as possible in the remaining 50%.” The way to success is moving beyond our core and gathering broader support. It can be scary at times, but that’s where Diplomat Leaders make the most progress.

Who is a Diplomat Leader? There are three characteristics that signify we are a Diplomat Leader:

– When we speak we understand different audiences are listening and we want all of the audiences to hear our message. The difference here is we know not everyone will be completely behind us, but we at least want to be heard and understood by as many in the audience as possible. (By contrast, these days we often hear people who are just interested in connecting with their “base.”) We are effective as Diplomat Leaders because we know we need to at least include a broader group in the message.

– We talk first about others before we speak about ourselves. As Diplomat Leaders we readily acknowledge the importance and place of others in the equation. Again, in contrast, we often hear people who too readily will go on about themselves instead of putting the other person first. People who know they are acknowledged are much more interested in hearing your message.

– We demonstrate knowledge above opinion. The quickest way to build credibility with any audience is to show you know something they are interested in — and can help them with that knowledge. Simply put, are you a bag of hot air who spews what you THINK or do you help others by sharing what you have worked to KNOW? The opinion is a lot easier to attain, but it often does little for others.

As Diplomat Leaders we can have a bold plan, strong beliefs and an ambitious agenda, but we don’t go about our business like a bulldozer. We are much more likely to move our plans ahead by being mindful of others and acknowledging the bigger picture from the start.

Think about what you want to accomplish this year. How can you incorporate the characteristics of the Diplomat Leader to get there? Let me know how you do.

For more insight into how you can best communicate your message, follow Cary on Twitter — @CaryPfeffer.