I had the pleasure (No, really, I did!) of joining with a group of local leaders and entrepreneurs today for lunch. A very dear friend and trusted advisor invited me to participate and it was a lot of fun.
It is interesting to watch the various leadership styles and personality types interact with one another. Some are very far along the entrepreneurial path and are running successful ventures. Some haven’t taken the plunge fully. Some are completely confident and at ease in that setting. Some . . . not so much.
One of the outcomes of the meeting was that there will be a little more structure in the upcoming meetings. Each of us will have an opportunity to speak to the entire organization about our companies. It was suggested that we take a few minutes to discuss our venture. We would take a few minutes to discuss a success. And we would take a few minutes to discuss a challenge that we are facing. I think that is an excellent idea.
It is an excellent idea because it will cause us to hone our “pitch.” One person said that in reality we are each really salespeople trying to sell the public on why they need our product, our service, or our message. But more importantly than than refining our “pitch” is that it refines our core message. Each time we speak about who we are and what we do we will get better and more succinct.
What is the leadership lesson here?
The leadership lesson is that we need to be constantly practicing the leadership craft. We need to be always developing our key leadership messages and the style in which we present those messages.
Will it be uncomfortable for some? Sure. And I really do empathize with those who find that particularly difficult. It comes easily and naturally to me. Many years ago I owned a business where I was a professional speaker. Speaking in front of a crowd is as natural as breathing in and breathing out.
I am working on an article about speaking and developing a public voice. I hope you will look for that in the coming days. In the mean time, if you need help in this area, would be happy to help you. And several of our other key voices can help you as well. Just reach out to us and we will work with you to become more comfortable tomorrow than you are today.
And here is a bonus leadership lesson!
Successful leaders surround themselves with other leaders. Surround yourself with people who inspire you and can make you better. I am surrounding myself with some folks who inspire me, encourage me, challenge me, support me and make me want to be a better leader.