“Let them eat cake. It did not work for Marie Antoinette and it does not work today. The recent pandemic has opened our eyes to how images of people are projected and especially how leaders show up. We are so used to highly produced videos or commercials of CEOs or other leaders all prim and proper and think – that’s how a leader is supposed to look and act.
You are not fooling anyone with that $800 dollar suit. Teams can spot someone who is disingenuous a mile away.
Now, you may have that $800 suit and still be able to connect on a personal level, but you know you can’t just go through the motions. You must connect to your teams on a personal level. As you may have read in our article The View from the Top Can Be Lonely. It Does Not Have to Be, opening yourself up on a personal level will only build that trust faster.
So, What Do You Mean Connecting On A Personal Level?
I was watching with my husband (doing a lot of watching videos and TV these days) ACM’s version of their country music showcase from the artists’ homes. No auto-tune, acapella, or acoustic guitar, minimal make-up, and wardrobe was a pair of jeans or sweats. It was raw, it was real. What I found was I really connected more with these artists. Not because of a fancy outfit, stage lights, or audience applause, but the quiet effect of a simpler approach as a means to connect as a human.
What Does This Mean For Leaders And Their Authenticity?
Businesses are modifying their approach from formal highly produced videos or commercials to iPhone video capture with kids on laps, dogs vying for attention, noisy birds, to everything in between. The one I loved was a video of someone delivering a learning lesson via Zoom and his son dressing up in costumes walking across in camera view to add a bit of fun and personality.
I found I really like the personal touch of seeing people in their homes, with their families, and yes furry children are part of the family, doing their best to adapt and connect with people. So, how can we use what we learned to continue to connect with people as humans? I would love to hear ideas and what’s worked best for you. As we say here, together we learn.