“Gimme a reason to fight for you, and I’ll fight to the death for free.”

That’s a lyric from a song called High Class Catastrophe by a punk band named Hot Water Music. It’s come to mean something special to me of late.

Let me explain…

In leadership, there is a CONNECTION that we build with our followers that is hard to put into words. One that I have had the pleasure of building with many different people over my years in a leadership position.

The company I work for is special for a lot of reasons. . .
The individuality that we get to express
The competitiveness that we enjoy
The work ethic to out run all other competition
The Core Values that guide us…

But it all pales in comparison to that CONNECTION that we create with “our people”. It’s the glue that BONDS us together.

I have to admit…I had forgotten just how important it really is.

That lyric at the top in bold…It’s not just a cool way to start this post. It’s not just a great song either. It’s something that came into my life for a reason. As I began to realize how I had lost touch, and had started to get back on track with the guidance from a mentor and patience from my team, I heard that song. It was 2 weeks ago on a drive back from Lafayette, LA when I actually HEARD the lyrics.

The timing was insane because then my company’s National Sales Meeting was only a week away, and I got to be surrounded by hundreds of examples of CONNECTIONS that I had with others. I was along side six members of my team, and I got to spend time with the four mentors that influenced my life.

There’s a lesson in here, and it’s one that is, well, counterintuitive…

Slower is Faster with People

That was taught to me a few weeks ago by one of the people that I consider to be one of those four mentors that helped shape my life/career.

Slower is faster with people?? That’s a weird saying. And it sort of contradicts itself.

So what the heck does it mean?

I’ll keep it short and sweet… When you are working with a person, and you rush it, nothing really happens. You THINK you made an impact, but really, you did not. You may have said a handful of great things, or acted like you listened or understand, but if you’re in a rush, then you can’t make a connection.

Now, if you go slow, you will touch on less topics, and you won’t be able to accomplish as many things, but something special will happen. You will realize that the “topics”, and the “things” aren’t the point anyways.

What is the point?

That connection. It’s not about WHAT you teach them, or how many THINGS you teach them…No, it’s about investing in THEM. Going slow and building a relationship as well as building their knowledge base.

Reflect on those that you HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY to build that connection with.
Reflect on those that you haven’t done that with yet.
Strategize on how you can impact MORE LIVES with your teaching, mentoring, and words.

In our society, faster is becoming the new normal. Accomplishing THINGS is what seems to be cherished. But as a leader, you will never turn yourself into a mentor focusing on either of those THNIGS.

It’s about that connection.

Use this quote from Theodore Roosevelt to guide you:
“No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.”

And . .

Give me a reason to fight for you, and I’ll fight to the death for free.

-NG

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