Before joining the developUs team, I had a decent amount of experience speaking in front of large audiences, sharing a message on live television, and delivering information for print articles; never batted an eye. So, when I was asked by our CEO to lead a team building session, I was thrilled to take on something new. I have a thing for getting things just right, so I pressed our CEO for the right way to lead each module along with the exact language I should use to deliver the message. I had an outline typed up with important lines in BOLD, special words italicized, and the parts that would incite a laugh underlined. I was ready. Unlike my passion project that I had repeatedly shared with media and audiences, this audience required me to be flexible, off-the-cuff, capable of starting and stopping, ready to assist and advise, this was when I realized that I was all dressed up with nowhere to go! I had gorgeous notes, and the presentation was flawless (in front of my bathroom mirror), but as soon as the requirements shifted, I was pulled out of the script, and I froze.
Losing Is Learning
It was obvious that my delivery was cold and felt inauthentic. The content was killer, but so was my delivery. I had shown up trying to imitate instead of simply being inspired by our CEO. I attempted to deliver a message out of place that I had no business being, had never attempted, was unexercised, and worst of all wasn’t mine. Luckily, I work for an incredibly understanding organization. The developUs culture wholeheartedly embraces the fact that LOSING IS LEARNING. We are encouraged to try it all and see what sticks. We are allowed to make a mess and not beat ourselves up too badly when it all comes tumbling down.
The Loss Drove Me to the Win
As I came home with my tail between my legs, it killed me to share that I had let us down and was eager to debrief how the wheels fell off of something that I so carefully assembled. The Achilles Heel had been to try to facilitate the exact the way our CEO does, why not, right? It was always a hit, and the audience loves her, but what drove her presentations felt like a road block in mine. I didn’t anticipate the twists and turns that happen organically, and she so fluidly navigates. Nothing inhibits a leader more than inauthenticity. Being human, being yourself is the foundation of relating well to others.
Kill the Heel
For teams needing to battle the Achilles Heel keeping them from presentation authenticity and an engaged audience, developUs crafted PLAB (Present Like a
Secure a seat in the next PLAB course: https://www.developus.com/present-like-a-boss-leader/