The theater was filled with 150 employees from a call center. Each one of them elated to be anywhere but work. Except 1. He didn’t even want to be there. Maybe he was having a bad day, or maybe he was that kinda guy.
The young man (let’s call him Jason) was in his late 20’s. He entered the room and immediately took his seat in the last row of the theater. No one approached him and he didn’t talk with anyone. It wasn’t until we were about to start did anyone actually go near him to communicate. It was another young man, about his same age and attitude. He sat 3 chairs away and occasionally they made quiet comments to each other in the 90 minutes we were together. Outside of that there wasn’t much more.
You know that awkward moment when a presenter asks for a volunteer to come forward and everyone immediately gets quiet, avoids eye contact and offer prayers of “Please, please – not me!”? Well… that happened.
And then another “usual” thing occurred. It happens in nearly every presentation I do. The team collectively knew who their champion was. Almost simultaneously, the majority of the team shouted and pointed: “NANDO!“.
Nando is a thirty-something employee in the same department and sat in the 4th row. Nando didn’t stand out like Jason did. In fact, I didn’t know who Nando was, until the group voluntold him.
The team needed someone to “represent” them, someone willing to take that risk, someone who would give 100% to the unknown task and most likely succeed. And they ALL knew who that was.
He smiled, laughed nervously, and reluctantly made his way to the stage.
Nando is a “Charismatic Connector” – and he may not even know it. But others do. They weren’t being mean or throwing him under the bus. In fact, it was an honor for them to have Nando. Others recognize that there’s something about him that puts him at the top of their list. They view him as someone who has that “it-factor”. The kinda guy you want to work with.
“ There’s just something about him that people are drawn to“.
Being a “Charismatic Connector” is more than just being outgoing. In fact, the key word is “Connector”. It’s not about you – it’s about them. Connect with others, be interested in them and what they have to say, contribute or share. A good listener and someone who wants to communicate with others. Even if just a smile and hello while passing in the hall.
There’s a very clear difference between Jason and Nando. I’m sure that there’s value to Jason and the knowledge or skill that he brings to the company. But if I were in charge of putting together a team of individuals that I’m confident will accomplish the task, rally the team to get it done, and inspire the motivation it takes to go above and beyond, I would hire 149 other Nandos.
Be of value to your team.
Be a “Charismatic Connector”.