My wife bought my niece a “My Little Pony” unicorn toy for Christmas. I didn’t even know My Little Pony still existed but apparently that is what my niece wanted. I didn’t exactly check out the toy before my wife wrapped it so I was just as surprised as my niece when she tore open the wrapping paper while we were exchanging presents. After the 7:00am gift exchange, it was time to start playing with the toys and out came the unicorn.
This unicorn toy was one that would “talk” to you every time you squeezed it. But the unicorn didn’t have too much to say – it would shout the same three phrases over and over again. By 8:30am everyone in the family could recite the same phrases that would come out of the toy’s speakers. Annoying? Yes, incredibly. But it took me back to a leadership lesson that I learned years ago.
I remember the time I had dinner with a very successful business owner who leads an organization of over 200 people. I was trying to learn more about his firm and was asking a variety of question. Every response he gave to my questions would come back to two or three statements around his vision for the firm and also his business building philosophy that would help him get there. He wasn’t dodging questions or being closed off- he just always had the same message. And it was the same message he told me in phone conversations prior to and after dinner. Everything came down to his long term vision, short term goal and business philosophy.
At first, much like the unicorn toy, I thought this was annoying. I was hearing the same stuff on repeat. I felt like I wanted more from this successful leader. I wanted more “magical’ answers. I wanted more creative responses. But this leader was only programmed to communicate a few, repetitive messages.
After reflecting and also sharing my frustrations with another business owner that I deeply respect – it hit me. I figured out the brilliance in his simplicity. He didn’t allow himself to get caught up in anything other than what he was focused on. I know where this leader is taking his ship and I know that all his team-members are aware too. How fortunate are the people in his organization to always get a clear message? They know what the vision is, the upcoming goals and their expectations. They individually know how their everyday work supports the leaders constant message.
What phrases or messages will you program yourself to say in 2014? What messages will you communicate when your employees or clients “squeeze” you this year?
Eddy Ricci, Jr., has been labeled as “the emerging expert in developing Gen Y sales professionals” by the chairman of Publicis Kaplan Thaler and is also noted as “understanding what motivates Gen Y sales teams. He is on my radar and should be on yours” by international speaker and NY Times bestselling author, Erik Qualman. Eddy is the director of a unique training and development collaborative platform that services financial planning firms in the northeast where he has arguably worked with more Gen Y financial professionals than anyone in the country over the past four years. He is the founder of The Growth Game, LLC. ,a professional development company and has authored a book that holds the same title. Eddy is a certified coach and specializes in helping professionals develop sales skills, leadership approaches and implement business development activity systems. WWW.THEGROWTHGAME.COM