I attended a recent Indian Valley Chamber of Commerce event called Reinvent. Four CEO's were in panel format in a local theatre to discuss their leadership models through and after the pandemic. I was so impressed with each speaker. Jenny Fujita of Fujita & Miura Public Relations, Inc shared mostly on the modern home-based workforce and proper well-being of the individual. Mark Bergey of Bergey's Auto spoke on personal and leadership development during a supply chain shortage. Mark is a self-admitted podcast junkie, so I immediately connected with his message. I loved his passion for growing as a leader and the man runs a company with close to 1,500 employees! Craig Edsill of the Clemens Food Group has over 4,000 employees in multiple states. He taught me a wonderful crisis and leadership model they used during the pandemic - Discuss, Decide, Support. It's so simple. Take the time with your team to brainstorm, mastermind, and debate in the discuss phase. Make a decision as the leader and do not go back to the discuss phase. Go forward. Have everyone put aside their personal differences and support the decision to make it happen. I loved this! Finally, Dave Freeman of QNB Bank shared the status of available money in the banking system for lending. They are seeing a major decline in the need for money due to the stimulus cash in 2020/2021. This has hurt banks, but he was confident of the return to normal. Every speaker talked about being flexible in your leadership style as nothing is business as usual anymore.
Somewhere in the middle of the panel discussion, Jenny Fujita dropped a MAJOR value bomb that I had to thank her for personally after the conference. I'll paraphrase.
"I've been working from home for 9 years. I'm a mom, wife, and I run a PR firm. I have to run errands during the day in each of my roles. Sometimes, I go the post office to drop off professional packages and sometimes I'm at the grocery store or the kid's school. I'm out and about. Regardless of my day's plan, I dress for success every day no matter what. Even though I work from home and many of the newbies show up on Zoom calls in pajamas from the waist down, I get ready for work as if I were going to the office. Do you know why? Because I am going to the office. So what if my office is downstairs. When I'm on Zoom calls, I can still see myself on camera and it gives me more personal dignity and self-confidence when I'm dressed up for work. Since I'm dressed up, I can go to any of my errands always looking professional. What if I'm at the post office and run into a friend or potential prospect? I want to present myself at all times at my best level because I never know who I'm going to meet."
This was a punch in the gut as I get lazy on my work-at-home days. I am talking a big game about being a professional company, but often go to the store or post office in sweat pants or jogging shorts. I need to take this message more seriously. I am an ambassador for my business every where that I go. The way I look makes a difference. The way I smell makes a difference, so I better shower! The way I interact with others makes a difference. The way my vehicle looks makes a difference. Everything makes a difference. Here's the question that people think but don't ask. "If he takes this much care in his presentation when he's not cleaning, how good is his cleaning?"
Thank you Jenny for the gut punch! I needed it and I'm sure listeners of this show needed it!
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