There is a time during the Yom Kippur service, when the day seems endless. Somewhere during that time, I made a virtual tour of the sanctuary. The Sh’ma, the menorah, the tapestry door to the ark, the one hundred and some number of shins that represent the Sh’ma. When I was a kid, all the kids would count them to see if, by the end of the service, we could come up with the same number. Lastly, I looked up into the dome of our main sanctuary. I sat transfixed by what I observed.
Ten lights encircle the very top of the dome. As I sat staring up at the very highest point, I noticed a silver sliver of light. What would cause this sliver to dance across the top of the dome? I discovered that it was an insect, a gnat or a moth, that flew in and out of the light.
When in the beam of light, the inset looked like it was part of a holographic show. When out of the light, it was invisible. As I sat watching my private light show, I thought about how this example applies in our everyday struggle between visibility, viability and invisibility.
Maurice Freehill said, "Who is more foolish, the child afraid of the dark or the man afraid of the light?"
When you are literally or figuratively in the light-you can be magic. When you are afraid of the "light", making yourself invisible, you do become invisible to the business world around you. To make visibility profitable requires a three-step process.
First, you need the mindset. The mindset to look for and take advantage of all opportunities to be visible. Often not knowing what the benefit will be, but knowing there is benefit in being visible.
Second, you need the vocabulary to match your mindset to be visible. Just attending an event will not procure a client or close a deal.
Third, you need to add non-verbals and combine the mindset and vocabulary to get results.
How do you know how you are doing? I coach my clients that they need to look for measurable, observable evidence. To hold a mirror up to their communication style. It is not whether or not you think you are effective. It is whether your audience thinks you are effective.
So I have developed a tool. It is called the Leadership Strategic Profile. This tool will allow you to rate yourself or have others rate you in multiple settings.
Have you noticed that while President Obama is an eloquent speaker, his debate and news conference skills are not at the same level of excellence? That is because the umbrella of communication includes a multitude of spokes. A 21st century leader is required to be excellent at all spokes in the communication umbrella to be effective on a daily basis.
On the left side of this profile you rate yourself in eleven different categories. On the top, you rate yourself at three levels of performance: Competitive, Distinct, Breakthrough.
For example, your strength may be in small group settings, you may rate yourself as Distinct or Breakthrough. In Creating Buy-In you might rank yourself Competitive. Unfortunately, Competitive in today’s world rates you only a C. Are you or your organization satisfied with average performance?
You may exhibit strengths with those above you on the organizational chart, your Board for example. At the same time you may be less effective creating a network underneath you, which is very important to your enduring success.
Are you afraid of the light? How would you rate yourself in each skill? Are you creating your own light show? You and your organization deserve breakthrough communication skills.