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The Third Kind of Presence

By Doug Sterbenz, PresentToWinLeaders.com Finally! NFL Football has resumed! Nearly everyone is excited about the start of NFL football. I love to watch football. However, I really love what football fans can teach leaders about being Present.

By now you have heard Doug talk about Leadership being just like the raffle, where Leaders Must Be Present to Win (TM). In my last blog, Train Wreck Leaders, we learned about the second kind of Presence: Mentally Present.

What is the third kind of Presence for a leader?

It happened at Arrowhead Stadium. The Kansas City Chiefs were having a magical season, and it was very loud in Arrowhead Stadium when the Chiefs were at home.

chiefsChief’s management decided that they wanted to set the record for the loudest outdoor stadium in the world. The previous record was set at CenturyLink field in Seattle at 137 decibels. The Chiefs chose to make the world record attempt during the game against the Oakland Raiders.

A couple of times during that game, messages scrolled across the stadium JumboTron instructing the crowd to “Get Loud.”  But it didn’t work. Some Chiefs fans dropped their heads, but not because they were going to lose the game. The Chiefs were in the lead, but the score was close. The fans were disappointed because they didn’t think they would break the record and become the loudest stadium in the world.

The Oakland Raiders were driving for a possible game-winning touchdown late in the game. The Raiders' quarterback, Terrelle Prior, threw a pass, and his receiver was in position to catch it for a big gainer. But instead of the Raider catching it, the Chiefs defender, #31 Marcus Cooper, intercepted the ball and sealed the win for the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs.

The crowd erupted instantaneously, spontaneously. The stadium's press box shook hard. The meter said it all: 137.5 decibels—the loudest outdoor stadium in the world.

They couldn’t plan it. They couldn’t organize it. They couldn’t do it on cue or on command.

I can’t explain it, except to say that those Chiefs fans were Emotionally Present!

What Leaders Learn Leaders must be Emotionally Present.

We have to do more than just tell people what to do—that alone doesn’t work. Don’t be a JumboTron. You can’t just flash the instructions up on a board. You can’t just hold a big meeting and logically explain what needs to happen. It doesn’t work that way; it takes more than that.

People might make decisions with logic, but they act on emotions. People don’t charge a hill on logic. You cannot start a fire in the heart of your organization unless there is one burning in you first. Leaders must be Emotionally Present.

Be a real human being. Connect on a human level. Don’t be that stuffy executive who rides in on a white horse, reads a nice, logical speech, and rides out.

Leaders show commitment by revealing their passions and emotions to connect with people on a human level. As leaders, we can never lead something we don’t passionately care about. Show that passion. Show your emotions.

To inspire real action as a leader, be Emotionally Present.


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