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We are counting down the weeks to our C-Suite Network Social Media Legends Award Ceremony where we will recognize the leadership and accomplishments of C-level executives in social media engagement and thought leadership. You can find out more on our conference website or follow this series of posts about the traits of an outstanding C-Suite leader.

Do you know an outstanding C-Suite leader? Nominate them for a Social Media Legends Award.

This week’s trait: Approachability

5 Surefire Ways to Become a More Approachable Leader

via INC Whether you’re a startup or Fortune 500 executive, you can’t be an effective leader if people are hesitant to approach you. Sure, a stoic hard-ass personality exudes authority, but this shield will only push people away–which isn’t leading at all. Here are five simple steps that can make you a more approachable leader.

1. Share your failures

In the past, admitting my failures always seemed like an embarrassing scenario, so I often avoided it. Because I was leading people, I couldn’t let them see me sweat. In reality, this made me appear egoistic. No one wants to talk about their mistakes with someone who can’t recognize his own. Putting pride aside and realizing it’s OK to admit your failures will only strengthen communication within your company.

2. Step down from the CEO pedestal

When I was an intern at Ernst & Young, the idea of approaching the CEO, Jim Turley, terrified me. But after watching Jim dress up in a goofy DJ outfit and show off his turntable skills at our retreat, I went up and gave him a high five–and that set the tone for our relationship. Ten years later, I did a Backstreet Boys skit with our first five employees at our 2014 company retreat. Jim helped me realize that letting my guard down encourages others to do the same, and it shows people I’m human, too.

3. Be transparent and real

When we started Influence & Co., one of our core values was transparency. We actually tallied the number of times we said “transparent” on our whiteboard. But as our company’s grown, we’ve learned that transparency is more about honesty. It means having difficult conversations about how we can improve or telling a client why the relationship isn’t working out. It might be hard at first, but people will grow to appreciate your openness and trust that your words are genuine. Read More

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