I did two events last week. The CEO’s for both companies were present. I got to meet, interact, and observe them during the times I spent at their companies. Each event was fantastic and each point of contact said the programs exceeded their personal expectations. There was a lot of participation, lots of laughter, lots of interaction and response. Both events went better than either company’s participants expected.
I could feel really good about the event and my ability to pull it off, but I realized something from observing the CEOs. A large part of the success of the programs was because the CEO’s were well known and respected. The participants knew the CEOs and were comfortable around them. They demonstrated respect when these leaders were talking. They also welcomed their presence during the event.
One group had people who came from North, Central and South America. That CEO called each person by name. The other CEO talked to me about several different people within the organization who were from a particular locale where I had lived in for 14 years. Then he took time to make introductions.
The camaraderie at these events between the CEOs and the other participants revealed an important factor of great leadership. These CEOs demonstrated that they weren’t just leading the team; they were a part of the team. They are accepted and respected participants on the team. These leaders are followed not because of their position or authority, but out of respect and admiration; and in part for their camaraderie.
Points to Ponder –
How much should the leader of a team be involved in the team? Can you think of situations where this might change?
How well do you remember names? Can you think of a time when someone remembered your name and you were particularly impressed?
Do you remember a time when you called someone by name and they weren’t expecting it? How did it make them feel? How did you feel?