Many leaders have a degree of “look at me.” After all, being on center stage may have been one of the lead incentives attracting you to the role. There are time to indulge in the fanfare, but many other times to hold it in. On the Nerdist podcast, the Walking Dead’s Josh McDermitt was relaying some advice he received from Tony Hale, acclaimed actor from Arrested Development and Veep, on how to best interact with supporters.
If fans are going nuts over you, remember that it’s not about you. It’s about them and make sure you keep it about them. And that’s an interesting perspective cause for a celebrity, they can sit there and think, ‘Oh yeah, look at all those accolades I’m getting,’ and start to get a big head or get a misinterpretation of the situation at times. But if they make it about the person…now I can share in the excitement and not be this figure.
When someone on your team approaches you with exciting news, avoid the reflexive response to make it about yourself. Direct their comments back to the organization-at-large, their department, and/or the individual. For instance, if you are told, “This new process is working out so well,” don’t mention the turmoil you spent drafting it or the endless hours selling it to department heads. Bring it back to their experiences – what do they like about it, how is it helping, and how happy you are that it’s made their lives easier.
People want to talk about themselves. Let them. Ask question, show interest, and they’ll walk away feeling you just had the best conversation ever.