Leadership Is a Ticket
Leadership Lessons at the Benefit Raffle
Remember the last time you were at a raffle. You know how it goes. In exchange for a donation to the good cause, you put your name on a little blue raffle ticket. Then the day of the raffle, you stand there and wait to see if your name will be called for the grand prize.
The host pulls one ticket out of the basket and reads the name. When the name is read, you look around to see whose name was called. When nobody hoots and hollers, the host tosses that ticket aside and reads another name.
But why was the first person's ticket skipped? Everybody knows the number one rule of the raffle: You Must Be Present to Win!
Leadership is just like the raffle. Leaders Must Be Present to Win™. What kind of “Present” am I talking about?
The best leaders I know get out there with the people when it counts. The best way to engage people is to be physically present.
Think about how valuable it is when people are there for you when you need them. There are times for email, voicemail and texting, but many times the only right thing for a leader is to be physically present.
Responsible, highly effective leaders show up. Being physically present and involved creates opportunities for the leader to impact and mold the business and show that he or she cares.
Leaders always say they have an “open door policy,” but how many people want to wear out the path from where they work to your office? Being physically present, where the work is happening, makes communication far more likely and much more effective.
Leadership also requires a high level of trust. Being physically present is a trust driver while lack of presence is a trust destroyer. It is easy for us to trust somebody we see frequently, but it is hard to trust somebody we never see.
If you want to be assessable, build trust, communicate and keep people connected to the mission of the organization, be physically present.
We have so many distractions in our daily lives, and those distractions can easily become more important than the people and tasks right in front of us. When you are with your team at work, are you mentally present?
Being mentally present means being fully engaged in what is happening at the moment. Being mentally present also means thinking deeply about the leadership aspects of your business.
Regardless of the responsibilities listed in their job descriptions, mentally present leaders are always in tune with themselves and those around them. They address their technical duties as necessary, but spend most of their time on leadership.
If you want to make great strides on your leadership and the performance of your business, be mentally present.
People might make decisions with logic, but they act on emotions. You cannot start a fire in the heart of your organization unless one is burning in you first. Leaders must be emotionally present.
Telling people what to do is not leadership. We can’t just hold a big meeting, logically explain expectations and expect change. It takes more than that. Leaders show commitment by revealing their passions and emotions to connect on a human level. Don’t be that stuffy executive who rides in on a white horse, gives a nice, logical speech and rides out.
As leaders, we can never lead something we don’t passionately care about.
To inspire real action, be emotionally present.
Your Challenge is Coming
One day, somebody will draw your ticket, and you will face a challenge that will test your leadership skills. When the time comes, remember that leadership is just like the rules of the raffle—Leaders Must Be Present to Win™.