"O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!" - or so said Robbie Burns once to a Louse... I think this is fundamentally, elementally true for a leader.
The way we are perceived by others affects every aspect of our abilty to lead and improve performance -
1. It dictates how much energy people commit to your strategies
If they believe in you and the values you stand for, if they trust your judgement, if they believe that the vision you propound is worthy of their best efforts and that you are the right man or woman to take them there.... and if they think you truly care about the vision and about them - then you will get every ounce of their commitment and energy. If not.....
2. It shapes the spirit in which you are 'followed'
If you have respect and people believe you mean what you say (and that you'll check with them later), then they will usually do as you ask. Beyond this, if they actually want to please you because your goodwill and approbation are important to them - see the 'Referent' one of the 5 Powers elsewhere in the blog - then you might just get the extra motivation to go beyond compliance to achieve optimum performance
3. It dictates where you sit in their 'priority list'
These days, most people have multiple tasks to achieve, often from several different stakeholders. Quite simply, what they think of you and what you represent decides whereabouts in the 'list' you end up. Do you want be first, or last?
Years ago, I had a PA who had a poster on her wall that summed this up perfectly....
"Everyone brings joy to my life... some when they arrive
...and some when they leave"
I always tried to be in the first group.
And I still do.