Last week I attended to the WOBI event in NYC, with an impressive cast of speakers, who talked each one between 45 min and 1h30 min, and there were so much to take on, that I am trying to digest and bring the content from the event to my world.
There were 10 speakers, I knew all of them…from TED Talks, Books, and Press. Some of them I knew very well, and some I knew only the highlights.
I was trying to rank the speakers, what they said, how they said but there was something more than that, how I felt when I listened to them, and believe me I was there with my full heart and body to all of the speakers!
I had to admit there was a keynote speaker who made me cry, and I am not going to forget about how that speech made me feel!
It was Todd Davis, talking about leadership and all the Toolbox of the 15 Best Practices to build effective relationships at work.
It started with something new, which actually caused a bit of distraction in the beginning, having the staff handing over to everybody in the audience a set of cards explaining the 15 Best Practices…then Todd looked like so corporate in all the description of each one, stating you need, you have you should…but with good quotes. I remember I Twitted some of them during the speech. Then towards the end, Todd Davis, gave an example, putting a picture of a beautiful young lady and said she was Sydney, his daughter. He talked about the struggling she was having as a teenager of being accepted in high school!! He mentioned she was deaf since she was a baby after meningitis…when he said that, done!! he got my full attention and my heart, couldn’t write or tweet anymore, and I was straight in my chair!
Then Todd told a story of how to motivate his daughter for something different for her to feel the accomplishment of something bigger and discover her potential. So he thought why not a marathon?
So he asked his daughter to do a marathon with him, which they would need to practice everyday. Sydney said yes, and actually she was happy to do it. But as the hard work and cold weather was coming, Sidney was gave up… Todd was saying that he tried to motivate her to keep doing but then he admitted that he accepted it and he kept practicing and focus on his timing.
After 3 times like that… Todd had a different look for himself, and tried to see himself as a leader motivating Sidney, so he was seeing him with big encouraging quotes, and smiling all the time to her, but as his daughter was slower, she was running the laps alone, while Todd was working on his time as well.
One more time, Todd decided… his timing wasn’t important and the only goal was to have Sidney motivated and keep her goal to participate in the marathon with him. Todd stuck to her all the time, helping her out in all the moments…and at the end they made it, and they were so happy, even if it was 1h30 more than Todd ever did. The happiness for this accomplishment was more than everything else.
The big take away is the leader can’t be only the cheerleader needs actually to stick to the plan and help others with effort.
See the tree, not just the seedling (card number #5).
So when Todd Davis mentioned that after this reflection, he dedicate his full effort to motivate Sydney and be there no matter what, and when he posted a picture of the family finishing the marathon with a big smile in the screen… I cried, and started to clap as crazy!…me and all the audience…
Very touching story that I will remember forever to use with my family and my teams.