People including Fordham president Tania Tetlow wear academic regalia.

Tania Tetlow, president of Fordham University, shares 10 tips for developing your presidential voice and leadership brand.

  1. Listen deeply. Understand your audience’s perspectives, concerns, and key priorities. Tailor your messages accordingly.
  2. Share your vision. Paint a compelling picture of a preferred future to inspire and motivate. Help people see why they should care.
  3. Be authentic. Lead with integrity, transparency, and humility. What you stand for is more important than political correctness.
  4. Build trust. Be consistent in words and deeds. Follow through on commitments and admit mistakes. Trust is earned.
  5. Love your mission. Share your passion for the work and your commitment to the institution’s mission and purpose. Enthusiasm is contagious.
  6. Recognize and celebrate wins. Acknowledge progress and achievements along the way. Share stories of impact and success.
  7. Share your values. Explain your principles and priorities openly to guide decisions and shape culture. Values provide a moral compass.
  8. Look out for and defend common interests. Serve as a champion for the whole organization and community. Emphasize what unites over what divides.
  9. Speak candidly but tactfully. Be forthright in your communication style while still considering sensitivities. Criticism should build up, not tear down.
  10. Take responsibility and make tough calls. Willingly accept accountability and make decisions that are thoughtfully considered, fair, and timely. Be transparent about the factors that influence your judgment.

Being a leader of consequence means crafting a voice that is authentic, compelling, principled, and unifying. Listen, share a bold vision, build trust, recognize wins, define shared values, look out for common interests, speak with courage and care, take responsibility, and make a difference through meaningful action.

The resulting voice will be one that mobilizes people around a common cause, inspires excellence, and empowers everyone to rise to their greatest potential. A leadership voice for the greater good.

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