I’m speaking today to a local Rotary group. They invited me back three-and-a-half years after my first presentation. Came up with new jokes, new stories and a new ‘takeaway’ angle for them – especially after the person who invited me said, “I really don’t care what you talk about just as long as you’re funny again.”
Seems I heard the same thing about this time of year in 1978. It was my senior year in high school and the graduation committee – made up of my soon-to-be fellow alumni – asked me to deliver the speech at our baccalaureate. I remember saying, “Wow, I’m honored. Can’t wait to share my views on life, education and making a difference in the world.” The head of the committee said, “I don’t think you understand. We just want you to tell jokes and make everyone laugh.”
I guess it’s not only actors who get typecast (see: Culkin, Macaulay).
So my message today will be about two recurring themes I’m seeing in my recent coaching work with clients. With the challenges of the past few years, leaders are struggling to: remain positive you’re making the right decisions (confidence); and, present your solutions in a way that leaves no doubt in your audience’s mind of the position you’re taking (conviction). The first is an internal emotion, the latter external.
There’s no magic bullet or secret formula for overcoming these. You just have to look in the mirror each morning and think, “I’ve got this one.” As things occur in your business, remain steadfast in your belief everything is going to work out fine. You’ll do the right things.
As the saying goes, “Never ever let ‘em see you sweat.” And when you’re having ‘one of those days,’ take a deep breath and share a funny story. Laughter heals.