By Guest Contributor Paul Dupuis
In order to excite, the leader needs to connect. And excitement comes from being connected. Leadership requires the ability to influence. The ability to influence ignites action, it inspires people to stand up and move with energy and focus. Influence then, is about creating a sense of excitement.
A quick look back at the journey so far;
Envision – With a carefully crafted vision in hand, the leader is faced with taking the important message to the team. Read the blog here.
Express – The omni-channel strategy to express the vision comes to life in town halls, social media posts, vlogs, newsletters and impromptu chats by the water cooler. The message is starting to spread, and the leader is encouraged by the progress. What was once a vision taken from the mind of the leader has now been shared with the team. Read the blog here.
The ball is now teed up for the next crucial moment of truth for the leader to bring the vision to life – Excite.
Have you ever thought what it means to be a comedian? They stand in front of an audience with one clear mission – to capture the listener’s attention, and through their words and actions, to make them laugh. It takes real preparation and effort, and when a comedian gets it right, it’s magic. The ability to spark a reaction from an audience full of strangers – made up of a variety of demographics, different views of the world, with varying hobbies and interests – is remarkable. Even more so when you consider that the comedian on stage goes from “nice to meet you”, to inducing belly-shaking laughs in a matter of mere seconds.
I met a comedian recently and after hearing her talk about the joy she gets from her craft, I then asked her the question, “On the other hand, what annoys you most about being a comedian?”.
Her answer; “When I’m off stage, hanging out with friends on a day off when someone hears that I’m a comedian, they’ll go – “Oh wow… Say something funny!”. I found that to be an interesting comments. Essentially she was saying that comedians don’t just flick a switch and suddenly become funny. Like any craft, it takes hard work and preparation to get it right.
- Leadership is a way of life, it isn’t performed on demand
- Leadership is a commitment, and it must be natural, authentic
There are some interesting similarities when we look at the leader who is tasked with taking his/her vision public, and expressing it in a way that excites the team and inspires them to action. Even the best crafted vision and well-prepared script to express that vision can fall flat. But why is that? What is about the comedian who simply couldn’t get the audience to laugh, or the leader whose unveiling of the new vision for the company was met with deafening silence?
Let’s consider the objective of the third E of The E5 Movement, Excite
In order for the leader to ignite the spark that leads to action, the leader needs to be connected with the listener. The leader who uses the language of the audience has a distinctive advantage. Using familiar language brings the leader closer to the audience, and instantly deepens that connection. The more relevant the message is for the audience, the more relatable, the more real it is, the greater the chance to generate a response. It’s very similar to the comedian who opens his joke with; “A funny thing happened to me on the way here tonight…”. This is the window of opportunity, the entire audience is leaning in because they can relate, and what’s said next will determine if the audience is “in’ or “out”.
- Effective leaders are connected
- Effective leaders use familiar language
- Effective leaders are human, they keep it real
The leader on stage is faced with a very similar challenge. Let’s assume that you’ve done a solid job of expressing your vision, leveraging the various channels of communication. And now you have a chance to move the vision forward to action through getting the team excited about it. This is the time to be the dreamer – it’s less about the what and how. This is the time to talk about the why, and what it means for the listeners, how their world will look once the vision is brought to life. What’s in it for them individually and as a whole, as an organization and beyond?. And perhaps most importantly, how will it feel when the vision is brought to life?.
At the core of Excite is belief
When the leader believes in the vision, and works to ensure the audience feels it, the belief momentum is triggered, This spark is less about logic and is more about emotion, and it has the potential to be extremely powerful. When we hear about speakers who captivate their audience, you can bet that these leaders triggered belief in their message which was rooted in the ‘why’ and big ideas based in ‘what if?’.
- Exceptional leaders focus on the why
- Leadership is about building followership
- Leaders must believe. Belief brings excitement
And how does the leader really know if he/she has pushed the Excite button effectively?. There are some simple measurements, starting with the body language of the audience. Are they engaged, leaning in, nodding, smiling, knees bouncing?…all signs of an audience that’s curious, buttons pushed and ready to take action. And of course, it’s also evident in the language used by the team. When the leaders hears comments like this; “When can we start?”, “What’s next?”, or even better…”I have some ideas on how to accelerate the plan to bring the vision to life”, it’s like beautiful music to a conductor. In other words, when the language used by the team is less about thinking, and more about doing, the vision is one big step closer to coming to life.
Once the leader has successfully activated the Excite button, the game-changing momentum accelerates. And the leader makes the important transition to the fourth ‘E; to become the Enabler. We’ll talk about that next time!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Paul Dupuis is CEO and Managing Director of Randstad India and the former Chairman of HOPE International (JP). Paul is bilingual, speaking both English and Japanese, and has lived and worked across Asia for more than 25 years.
Learn more about The E5 Movement
From a young backpacker, sleeping on a park bench in Japan, to leading one of the biggest corporate giants in the Asia-Pacific region, Paul Dupuis has built a career through game changing leadership – crafted through his own real-life experiences as an athlete, volunteer and CEO. The E5 is a unique leadership model; a call to action to all leaders, globally, to inspire and lead for change. The five Es are: envision; express; excite; enable; execute.
These five rules of game-changing leadership will revolutionize the way leaders approach each new challenge. The real-life anecdotes combined with the conversational tone of the book make this an accessible and impactful read. Thought provoking and practical, this book will inspire leaders to think about their leadership, adopting the five Es on their mission to lead their teams to excellence – a true game-changer. Pick your five and join the movement!
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