Last week I surprised my daughter with a trip to ComicCon for her birthday. We had a blast taking in all the costumes, browsing the artistry and had our caricatures drawn (She-Ra and He-Man!). In a rare moment wandering through endless vendor booths and stage areas, the sea of people parted and we spied a direct line to the autograph area where no one was in line to meet Lou Ferrigno – musclebound star of The Incredible Hulk and two-time Mr. Universe.
I boldly walked up, extended my hand and told him how much I enjoyed his acting work. In fact, I admire his arms even more: at 66 he’s still at the gym every day and it shows. That’s discipline.
A five second interaction that left me stoked. Two days later I cranked through a very tough workout (more burpees!) thinking about the determination that saw Lou rise to the top from humble beginnings. I want arms like that! But not green.
CEOs and Senior Executives can have the same impact. Most are rarely seen by the majority of employees who love it when they mingle with the crowd, expressing sincere interest. At Cenovus, Enbridge and The Salvation Army I facilitated the appearance of executives at strategic moments to meet team members and learn about what they were doing. It has always had a positive impact on morale and motivation. It was memorable. People want to be noticed and appreciated by those who have an influence on their destiny.
Changing Your Mind
For Executives: Do you consider time spent meeting employees to be a cost or investment?
If you are rarely seen by employees, where would your presence have the best positive impact? Where would it be surprising for you to show up and say hello?
For Managers: How can you bring your executive’s presence to bear to motivate your team?
Who’s appearance would be most significant to the team? How can you facilitate a positive interaction?
You can do this spontaneously or plan in advance. I’d love to hear how it helps pump up your team!