As a manager or a business leader, your brand is always on show. Every time you interact with others in your organisation, or outside for that matter, you put your brand on show, and are judged by your actions. Every email, meeting, delegation, conversation, interruption, phone message or presentation allows others to form a judgement of you and the way you operate.
So how is ‘brand you’ looking do you think? Do others see you as organised, focused and responsive? Or do they see you as chaotic, distracted and reactive? You might ask, does it matter? I reckon it does, much more than we might think. You might be good at your job, but if you are not underpinning your technical skills with good productivity skills, you may be causing a drop in your team’s productivity as well as your own. Not to mention putting a dent in your brand as a leader!
I remember hearing a great story from a friend who had attended the Disney Academy in the US to learn about their amazing customer service culture. One of the stories that had become legendary in the Disney culture was related to Snow White.
Apparently, there is a vast network of tunnels underneath the Disney theme park to allow staff and workers to get from one location to another without ruining the fantasy created above ground for the patrons. This means that the kids who believe with all their might in the Disney characters, see only the ‘show’ and not the behind the scenes stuff that makes the park run.
One day, Snow White (or the actor who plays her), came out of the tunnel complex to have a quick cigarette. As she puffed away, a little girl and her family came around the corner and stopped dead in their tracks when they saw the little girl’s idol smoking. The dream was shattered, and I don’t think that Snow White lasted in that role for very much longer.
Remember, you are always on show. You need to uphold excellent productivity standards, and hold others to account on theirs. Be on time to meetings. Do what you say you will do. Be responsive. Make yourself available to your team. Don’t forget stuff. Don’t delegate at the last minute. Be present and engaged.
It is not easy to do all of this consistently, especially when we are under pressure and busy. But if not us, who?