Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Your office is your theatre

"OK so, we’re getting ready for a launch… we have all the data flowing. All colour coded: 

Every issue.

Every launch.

Up comes the launch, everything about it, red, Red, RED.

The room goes silent. I started to clap...



All the eyes turn to me. 

That’s the sign,

Mark’s gone,
he’s gone,
he’s red.

I said, Mark…. That’s fantastic visibility."

These words are taken from a radio interview with Alan Mulally, Chief Executive of Ford on the BBC World Service. I've put a link at the end of this post.

When I listen to this interview, I'm captivated. It's pure theatre. Alan tells his story with so much drama that you can't tear yourself away. And yet, his story is just one of management efficiency and communication.

When things are exciting, it's much easier to stay motivated. When we're motivated, we're at our best. We try hard as leaders to create motivation, and yet how hard do most leaders try to create excitement from the drama that exists all around them every day in the office? In fact, quite the opposite, how many meetings have you sat through with someone saying 'it doesn't look like we'll make the deadline', but delivering the line slumped back in their chair, fiddling with a pen, and avoiding eye contact. I'm not sure Bruce Willis would have got very far taking that approach.

I'm not suggesting that we all turn into Shakespearean actors overnight. No, that would be weird. But I am suggesting we all buck up a bit, relish in the highs and lows, the dramas of our work, and the shared experiences with our teams. We do great things every day.

Here's the link for as long as the BBC keep it active. Listen all the way through.