Recently I heard two different leaders commit two different small actions BIG RESULTS. Let me explain.
Two senior executives, Eric and Matt, are leading a three year initiative called Innovation through Diversity. I’ve been working with them to craft the plan for this change and as a subject matter expert who “pushes the boundaries of [their] thinking.”
Eric and Matt convened the virtual meetings to invite critical players onto the team that champions, guides, directs and executes plans to achieve the Innovation through Diversity vision. We didn’t want to pressure the eight participants into saying “Yes” on the spot, so we asked them to email their responses to me, within two weeks. Attendees were from New England, California, England, France, Germany, Japan and China. Two meetings would accommodate the range of time zones. Eric led one and Matt led the other. The content and slide sets were identical.
Why You Are Here
As Eric led the first session, he interrupted his formal presentation to address why each participant had been chosen. His statements were personal, specific, and inspiring, in that quiet sort of way. “Craig, you’ve hired the most diverse team in the U.S. The rest of us need to know why and how you do this.” When the call ended, Craig’s email popped onto my screen immediately, “I’m in.”
Why I Am Here
Matt led the second session. He too, interrupted the formal presentation, for a different reason. Matt talked about “the most profound conversation I’ve ever had with my fourteen year old daughter,” who was attending school in Europe. She told her Dad how much she and her views had changed as a result of having classmates from 40 different countries. She compared this experience to the lackluster sameness in her neighborhood school back in the states. We heard the delight, pride and respect in Matt’s voice and understood his commitment to diversity was real and personal.
When Matt’s call ended, every person emailed “I’m in” within the hour.
Tips for Leading Change (or anything else)
Tell them why they matter.
Make it personal.
Tell your story.
And Why it matters to you.
Small Actions Big Results