What do you miss the most?

Toward the end of last week I was enjoying the sunshine and scenery on Coronado Island. Thursday evening my client/host and I met for a refreshing beverage around sunset.  Great place.  Great conversation. Great moments.

During that conversation Barry simply asked if there was anything I missed about my previous gig working for a big company.  I thought about it.  It was easy actually.  The thing I miss the most?

My people.

I have managed and lead many people during my professional career.  Although, I wasn’t necessarily referring to my direct reports.  It was more of a reference to my kind of people.  Like minded.  Shared values.  People on the hustle.  Building great relationships.  Targeting the competition.  Delivering value first.  Rocking Shock & Awe campaigns.  Stepping up to the podium.  Making their number.  Up early.  After it.  Accountable.

The last few sentences might not mean much to the casual reader (my apologies).  But I have a feeling a few of “my people” will be smiling.  They know.  The good stuff is inside them and once it is part of your DNA nobody can ever take it away.

I had a chance to reunite with a few of those people over the course of the last week and it was an absolute pleasure to watch them continue to ascend with passion and purpose.  To pass new tests.

It reinforced for me in a very real way the notion that people, passion and performance are the keys to building a culture that becomes a competitive advantage.  If you are very disciplined about talent strategy, the way you approach work and the people you work with will become key performance drivers.  There is probably nothing more rewarding for an authentic leader to watch people on the team buy in, embrace a philosophy and succeed.  Leadership is all about helping others stretch to achieve their potential.  Teaching.  Coaching.  Managing.  Mentoring.  Service.  It involves tough decisions.  Honest conversations.  Increasingly more transparency.  Effective communication.  Real, meaningful relationships.  Confidence.  Trust.  Commitment.

When others entrust you to guide and shape their talent it is an awesome responsibility.  Embracing the weight of that challenge is incumbent upon today’s effective leader.  It is a phenomenal time for emerging leaders to add more value to the business, impact people and accelerate performance by doing the right things.  People are hungry for meaning.  People want to have input.  People want to be invested in and developed.  People want to have renewed confidence in the future.  People want to contribute to something that matters.  People want a better work experience.

I look forward to our webinar conversation about this next week.  For those in the hometown we will be live on WCCO 830 Sports To The Max show with Mike Max from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. this evening talking about talent.   Join us.

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