My writing is around leadership and is often focussed on how business leaders can “be more”. Perhaps some may find this post title a little “woo woo” for them, but hey, to model the title, those aren’t the audience I’m seeking.
The people I want to meet, to reach, to support, they understand that beyond their skills, tools, experience, who they are and how they show up are key to who they will meet.
Take this up a level and the same is true for any business or organisation. How anybody in that organisation behaves, how they “show up”, can at any time have a major impact on what other businesses will want to connect and do business with them.
As often happens, I’m spurred to write once again about this by several recent meetings and calls that reminded me of the truth, not only of “be the type of person you want to meet”, but also that the type of person you are being will dictate the type of person you do meet.
Today then, I’ll muse a bit and then simply link back to various posts I’ve made on this theme from the archives.
Two stories from this week from talking to friends and clients around business leadership.
First, a client told me that they had been approached recently for a business partnership. During the conversation, the person who had approached them told them that they had extensively “asked around” about them and their company. They got consistent answers back which had them know that my client and their company were the ideal partners. My client smiled and said to them that I’d told them that once they get themselves and their business to a certain level (both in how they show up and the foundations systems and structure of their business), then the phone will start to ring with people wanting to partner with them and even buy their business. Now it has started to happen for them.
The second example from a friend and past client who has found themselves moving upwards more and more in their business over the years. Right now they being considered once again for another elevation in role. When I asked them how they would approach this in an upcoming meeting, we talked about it and they decided: “I’ll simply be me”. After all, being who they truly are (and they are an inspirational and caring leader) has worked well to date, so stick to a winning formula!.
Enough from me on my musing, so now I will give you some links to past posts, with excerpts from each one. Each is selected to give pause for thought on how we show up ad individuals. Please read them, then, if you lead a business or organisation, please consider the impact of how each of the people you lead show up. Do they (metaphorically) pick up litter? look to make a positive impact in each interaction? make the tough choices that are aligned to values?
So here we go:
In this post I wrote on what made Ed Percival who he was to me:
“..to Ed Percival, and considering his best qualities?
A stream of consciousness first:
- Unconditional support
- Expertise… oh my word, so much expertise
I find myself being concise in this, and Ed was even more concise. Everything he learned and practice in over fifty years as a coach and mentor was distilled into what he wanted and what he supported in everybody he touched in his life.
Ed passed away on June 25, 2015 and his presence is with me every day. One way I honour him is in the page on this site that talks about what my clients are looking for an how I support them, and it is called #BeMoreYou.
In that bullet point list of Ed’s qualities, I feel I see some of them in what I bring as coach, sounding board, mentor.. and as a father to my three boys… and it is an honour to carry on and evolve his legacy in my own way.”
In this post I wrote a word of caution around negative behaviour:
““how you do anything is how you do everything”
If you are in a position of influence or authority, you will find that people are respectful towards you the great majority of the time, but is this a true assessment of their character?
if you have any doubt at all, look to spend time with those people in environments where you can assess how they behave when they aren’t making a conscious effort to impress you.”
“as a way to observe this in yourself and others, watch how people treat those who they feel don’t matter to them.
When you are in busy public places? do they act in a considerate way to others or just push past in a single-minded fashion? In a restaurant, how do they treat the staff? Do they thank the bus driver when they get off the bus? In general, are they present, observant to other human beings, no matter their station or status?”
“If you are a leader, it is one thing to talk about vision, values and culture, but do you ensure that the way the entire organisation operates is in line with that?
I’m sure your gut response is “yes, of course!”, but in decades in business and over a decade supporting brave leaders, nothing in life is absolute, and it is in the moments of truth, small and large, that we demonstrate our leadership.
Even when it hurts our commercial results, even when we put our own job or ourselves at risk. Fire that client, make a decision that reduces your profit margin, stand up for what you stand for, what your organisation stands for.
“All we need do is simply take a stand for what we believe in, by simply being of integrity to that and acting from that place. Leaders who do not, lose their followers.””
“Ed Percival told me once that he actively looked to make a positive impact in every interaction with others.
If he went to a coffee shop he’d look at the name tag of the barista and call them by name as they asked for his name for his coffee cup.
If someone used the typical “how are you?” greeting or to open a conversation, he’d open up the energy of his 6’5″ frame and say something such as “wonderful! If I was any better I’d be you!” and unleash his megawatt smile!
Now the thing about being positive and making a positive difference in every interaction is that it physically changes you. I won’t bore you with the science, please simply trust me on this. Being positive creates physical and other changes linked to exchange of positive energy created by such interactions.
Now, why did I choose that photo above? As a relatively new Londoner, let me explain and bring awareness to our choices in how we act in everyday interactions.
One of the friends I’ve made over the last year or so in London is a long time city dweller who rides forty minutes each way to and from work all year long, no matter the weather.
He is one of the most positive and generous people I have met, and, anchoring on the phrase “how you do anything is how yo do everything”, he is always interacting with people in a positive way as he walks around public places. Opening doors, helping with a bag, saying hello. A tiny but telling example was the other day as we left a meeting and I walked him to his bicycle outside a busy railway station, he saw a piece of litter, picked it up and put it in a bin. Such a tiny action, yet so rare in a busy city. Positivity, and I’m certain that just as his generous and positive actions charge the batteries of those he connects with, it also constantly recharges his batteries as surely as the dynamo light that is charged by the front wheel of his bicycles as he rides across London to and from work.”
Also published on Medium.