This question may make you feel uncomfortable; so let me clarify a bit. I’m not talking about what you think about your physical appearance. I’m talking about what you value and the resulting actions fortifying what you value. My coaching experience leads me to measure a businessperson’s attractiveness by the thoughts and actions of one’s customers. I’m talking about your internal customers and external customers.
Being attractive means being clear on what you value, the purpose of your organization, what kind of behavior you expect from people who work with you and most importantly what kind of behavior you choose to exhibit.
I recently watched an interview with Warren Buffett, Lloyd Blankfein, Michael Bloomberg and Jack Dorsey. Lloyd Blankfein the Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs facilitated the discussion as part of a Graduation Ceremony for Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses graduation.
- Warren Buffett emphasized “Delighting Your Customers” not just satisfying them, but Delighting them. Obviously, this includes the internal and external customers.
- Michael Bloomberg’s advice is “Tear Down the Walls” in your company. Integrate yourself with your team. He has done this with his company (20,000 employees) and his 12 years as Mayor of New York City. His statement about the design of the workplace is in concert with facilitating better communication and teamwork. He echoes this mantra when people ask him, “What makes you successful?”
- Jack Dorsey (co-founder and CEO of Twitter) talked specifically about attracting the right people to your business. As founder of a number of companies he says it is key to:
- Be clear on the purpose of your venture
- Be able to clearly articulate your purpose to people
- Find people who are passionate about the purpose of your company…you can teach skills, but you can’t teach passion.
- If you have someone on your team who is not in alignment with your purpose, make the difficult decision and part ways.
All three of these world-class business leaders were extremely clear about the purpose of the person leading the business or team. They all spoke about the leaders providing the resources for the team members to do one’s work as an individual and as a team member.
As I tell my clients, “Your job is to create an environment for your team members success.” This is often about learning new skills and behaving in a different fashion from what you did to gain the leadership position. I grew-up listening to my father (one of the founding fathers of the 82nd Airborne Division who fought 6 years of war), “The troops always eat first.” Talk about providing an environment for success!
In my 25 years of business coaching, attractive leaders are emotionally intelligent and passionate about their purpose. They are extremely clear on the purpose of the business, focused on making the business teams work more efficiently, providing the resources for success and rewarding people for profitable work.
A few months ago I had the privilege of attending the annual manager’s meeting for Crowne Partners, Inc., a high-end apartment builder and operator headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. Crowne Partners, Inc. is a long-time client of ours.
Alan Engel, a Principal (along with his Partner Alan Levow) at Crowne Partners, Inc. gave a talk to sum-up the two-day event. Alan Engel shared his thoughts about passion as the driving force for success at whatever you do in life. Be passionate about what you choose to do in life, be it parenting, gardening, working or just plain living.
Make your business more attractive by hiring people with passion, clearly articulate your purpose and weed out the people who choose not to align with your mission and principles.