Many valuable conclusions, decisions, thoughts occur spontaneously or we unexpectedly hear appreciation that motivate us. During one of my trips I was faced with the challenge to discuss the topic of confidence and success in business consulting with a complete stranger! All of a sudden, it turned out to be very helpful and inspiring!
Recently I was returning from an international conference on global leadership and I was in a big hurry to catch the plane. I took my seat with the last effort and with the hope that I would be able to rest during the flight and to consider new strategies for effective leadership. Next to me was a middle-aged woman. I do not know if you have had similar experiences on planes, but I usually know in advance what kind of person is the one sitting next to me. At a first glance I realized that the woman wanted to talk. Her living eyes and smile revealed it.
During the flight, more than three hours and a half, I did not want to start a conversation, but I had nowhere to hide. Anyway, I felt she was about to begin. I tried to close my eyes to block the chat, but in the meantime she started – “How are you?”. I do not know how you feel in such situations, but I felt that she asked me the least favorite question in the world. I feel afraid of this question because there are so many different answers that I can give. If I really want to end the chat quickly, I would say something indifferent, but her eyes were so trustful and insisting that finally I confessed, “I am a consultant on organizational and personal effectiveness.” The worst in this response is that it provokes the next question, “Oh, what do you do then?”
I thought, “What do I really do for the effectiveness of organizations and individuals? Do I need to tell her?” It occurred to me that in an article published in a prestigious business magazine I have read that confidence moves the economy. So I shared with her that confidence is a key driver for success in everything – family, politics, and especially in organizations. It is impossible for subordinates not to trust their manager! It is impossible for employees not to trust the competence and inspiring force of their leader! It is unacceptable not to have a reliable consultant whom you can trust and who can support your organization on its way to success!
I admitted that there are certain risks and crises in the consulting business. However; a crisis often has many different positive effects. The most important of them – it sorts out the good players from the not so good ones on the market. This happens in any business, but it is especially dynamic in the consulting one.
I told her that I promote organizational change and clarify why successful leaders operate from a position of integrity. I described why they appreciate and trust authenticity, credibility, honesty and integrity. I pointed out that high-class business develops integrity and authenticity, so that leaders are feeling deeply and are guided by the values of the organization.
Throughout the flight I was able to share that good people in the organization have to feel secure and respected with dignity in the workplace. It is not enough to develop staff only through trainings. I explained to the woman that intelligent people do not want to be educated; they want to find new opportunities. They need the ability to feel the power and importance in order to reach the highest professional performance and personal value.
Three hours of the flight passed imperceptibly, during which my companion often said: “You are a woman who earns trust, because people entrust their organizations and their people to you! This is a great responsibility!” I had not conceived until now so extensively about trust, responsibility and the people with whom I work every day.
After this flight, whenever I sit in an airplane I am looking around to see that woman.
Manager of Smart Strategies