What’s going on in this picture? What’s the little guy doing?
That’s right, he’s watching his dad. Why is he watching his dad? Because he wants to grow up and be just like Dad. He wants to eat cereal like Dad, learn to read and write like Dad, work like Dad, do sports like Dad, and hunt and fish just like Dad.
Leaders Like Fathers
That’s exactly what it’s like when you’re a leader. When you walk out onto the floor as a leader in your business, everybody is watching you.
Many people reading this have heard me talk about how leaders must be present. Just like the raffle, Leaders Must Be Present To Win.
The word has so many—and sometimes confusing or contradictory—meanings. The best meaning of “presence” is to actually show up somewhere where you really don’t want to be but know that you should be.
Being present is harder than it sounds, and it’s about more than just being in the room. We are flooded with distractions, pressures on our time and the buzz that competes for our attention.
My co-author in our new book, Must Be Present To Win, said it best:
“We can’t be ‘here’ if we are somewhere else.”
Being present will require you to go against the current tide and devote–yes, devote—your time and attention in a different way.
If you actually become convinced that showing up and being present is really important to you and those you lead, and if you decide to actually do it, watch out!
Why? Because everybody will be watching you.
That’s right, everybody: the people who work for you, the people who you work for, the people who work around you, your competitors and your customers.
They are all watching you when you arrive in the morning, when you talk on the phone or to people in the hallway, when you send emails, go out in the plant or just walk through the office.
They’re watching your face and your body language when you are under stress and when you’re not. They’re listening to everything you say and don’t say. They’re watching what you eat and drink, and they’re watching whose company you keep. They carefully watch and listen to your teammates as well.
Everybody is trying to figure out what you think and what you will do next. You are leading them all in more ways than you might think, not just with your formal authority through the chain of command.
A fellow professional speaker, John Eades, said it well: “You are always being watched. Everything you do is open to scrutiny.”
So, just like that little guy in the picture, everybody is watching you. Your presence – or lack thereof – is noted by all those around you. That’s what makes being present so impactful.
So as Father’s Day approaches, get out there this summer. Schedule it on your calendar, and then follow through. Be present. Show up and let them watch you be the leader.