Pay No Mind
Mind on email, mind on socials, mind on next meeting… no mind. When you are on a call and the person you are talking with on the other end of the line is doing something else in the background, they are not actually on the call. Their mind is elsewhere. You are speaking to an audience and someone has their face under the desk looking at their phone, they are not actually in the room. A parent asks their kids about their day and during the answer the parents mind drifts off to the meeting presentation they have to do in the morning first up, they are not at the table, not in the room or even still in the house… and your kids know it. No mind. I was a having good think about it again today after watching The Last Samurai for the 100th time… The scene… too many mind ..mind the sword, mind the people watching, mind the enemy, no mind. When you look inside the mind of a great leader, they are totally focussed on the one thing they are doing at that exact time. Michelle Obama focusses on exactly who she is speaking to, no looking around, no distractions… No Mind. When country megastar Garth Brooks shakes your hand, he makes you feel like you are the only person on the planet… focus… no mind.
Be the few
Necessity is the mother of invention, so they say… but to me it must come with great desire. A desire to change, a desire to innovate, a desire to take on the challenge and to persist regardless of the hurdles placed in front of us. Elon Musk recently is a wonderful example…. and it's all scale and depends on your category or situation. Take fashion designer Anifa Mvuemba. Last month Mvuemba held a virtual fashion show, streamed over Instagram Live, in which each garment appeared in 3D against a black backdrop, as if worn by invisible models strutting across a catwalk, the garment hugging every curve. Technology has been a key part of Mvuemba’s process since she launched Hanifa in 2012—and much of her fascination she said comes from necessity. Tens of thousands of Mvuemba’s quarter of a million followers tuned in. We have to have an internal dialogue of…."There has got to be a way”. Leaders in every category are being forced to think differently, however a only few will challenge the hardest of challenges and find a way. Be the few.
Lessons from Elon
Everything about the Space X launch to the International Space Station spoke the style, standards, brand elements, and philosophies of Elon Musk, Tesla and SpaceX. As the astronauts walked out of their Tesla car to board….the car, their spacesuits, the ship itself, the boarding platform, the support crew uniforms…. in fact everything spoke to the imaging, style, and tone that has followed Elon Musk through everything he has done. Even to the point of him and his dreams that go way beyond his own lifetime and started when he had no qualifications and no skills. Just entering the cockpit of the spaceship, the crew, their suits and the beautiful clean and minimalist screens in front of them were indicative of the same style you’d find in a Tesla car, a dealership, or walking in to buy his solar battery panels. Anyone who takes the time to look at the process of how he operates can take massive learnings in terms of consistency, standards, brand values, the value of big dreams, persistence, discipline, and ensuring that everybody in your company understands and buys in to where you are going and how you are going to get there. Yes he has his shortcomings but when those two guys floated into the International Space Station it was testament to how Elon Musk sets his dream, and then sets his standard, and he is amazingly consistent…. everything is done right.
Tell Me Your Story
Michelle Obama is signing thousands of autographs at her Becoming book signing. In the Netflix doco by the same name, Michelle looks in the eyes of every single person, in fact through the whole doc she does it, and engages with them, every one, one on one to make them feel they are the most important person in the room and she actually hears them, their story and cares about what they say. Michelle said "It's important for me to take in every person as they come up. When somebody walks up to me, don't look around, don't look beyond them, look them in the eye, take in the story. Sharing somebody's story gives me the perspective that I need.” This is such an amazing doco for any leader to watch as she drops gold. Imagine if everyone you interacted with felt the same way about you that these people did when they met Michelle Obama… it would change the world… and maybe Michelle is.