Just like the Circus – Every business needs a RingMaster and not just because you have to deal with clowns and wild animals at times.
When I read Malcolm Gladwell
‘s “The Tipping Point “ I realised that I am a Connector and a SalesMan when I read his next book “Blink “ I understood why intuition, gut instinct and first impressions result in the best decisions and when I read “Outliers “ I realised how unfortunate I have been in life to be born of December 27th…….. I was treated in school and sport in junior years as being up to a year older than my body…. and maybe got left behind a bit.
I must admit those discoveries have been very valuable over the past 10 years in understanding who I am in a business environment…. and now I want to explain why I think business today needs people like me more than ever…..At last I am indispensable.
When I write a blog I need two things to get started —- A headline and a memorable Image.
The headline here was easy because I am about to change my enovAsia Job Title to Ringmaster and wanted to explain why . So I found a striking impact-full image that would grab interest and one that allowed me to add to my story as well
The wild beast on the leash reminded me of the President and CEOof Dun and Bradstreet Software (CBS) – John Imlay. In the late 80s I worked for McCormack and Dodge – a Dun and Bradstreet Company. In the early 90s we merged with MSA our most bitter rival to form the world’s biggest Business Software Company.
At the first DBS Sales Conference I attended in Atlanta John Imlay came on stage to present with a with a Tiger on a leash. This was his trademark – as a leader he was tough, forthright, feared and respected.
This definitely wasn’t the image I wanted to portray and maybe it wasn’t the real John Imlay. Some months later I was working at head Office in Atlanta and waiting for the lift on the Ground Floor. The lift doors opened and there was John on his way up from the basement carpark. I got into the lift but noticed nobody else did. After a brief and pleasant chat I got out at my floor to be told by my colleagues that nobody got into the lift with John Imlay …that was the rule.
Maybe they forgot to tell John the rule.
So the message for me was Leadership style and actions need to be in sync – Talk the Talk and Walk the Walk.
When I first started eNova I was asked what I did and even before Gladwell told me I was a connector and salesman I answered that I saw myself as the old fashioned Switchboard Operator who made sure people found the right people to talk to and made the connection.
Unfortunately like the SwitchBoard Operator most of the time I was making that connection and dropping out of the conversation.
So clearly as a consultant this was not the metaphor I was looking for….as dropping out of conversations is not good for billing services.
As I said the “Tipping Point” had a real impact on me and gave me an understanding of why connectors and sales people were important within organisations. I don’t necessarily mean the traditional sales man selling their ware to the public – But the sort of internal salesman we all are day in day ….One that can turn Connecting and Selling into leadership. And lets not confuse Leadership with Management or with status ….anyone and everyone can be a leader in the business if they want to.
So enter the RingMaster. The person who knows what the organisation is all about … knows all of the people inside and outside the business and above all knows what the customers want.
At the Circus some want the clowns and others want the big cats while others want the glamour of the trapeze. And the customers range from toddlers to grand parents. It is up to the ring master to make sure everyone gets the experience they paid for.
She aims to get the best out of each individual and at the end of the show bring them together in harmony for one dazzling Grand Parade.
The Ring Master doesn’t care about titles only about talents and above all the customer experience.
I recently read a new book about the evolution of Digital Media by the founders of Razorfish, Converge – Transforming Business at the Intersection of Marketing and Technology . Its all about the changes digital media is bringing as we are living in an era of converging technologies and practices … I wrote some years ago about Media Convergence and the future it offers us.
And it is this convergence and the breaking down of traditional barriers within a business that highlight the need for the RingMaster in every business.
Below are key points Ray Velez and Bob Lord make in the book are applicable to every business. As they suggest this can be a roadmap to the future…… And I believe you need to find your RingMaster to keep you focussed on the most important element …. The Customer
• Organise your company around the consumer by busting silos and applying the principles of agile development across your business
• Leverage the power of the cloud for inexpensive easy-to-use solutions to marketing challenges
• Inspire cross-disciplinary thinking and collaborative action
• Create a religion around convergence, explaining how to tell the story, throughout the organization
• Adapt processes to keep up with and takeadvantage of rapid technological change
• Engage customers by creating your own media instead of interrupting them in someone else’s
• Bridge traditional and digital media interactions to offer customers real-time shopping experiences
Every Business needs a RingMaster …. find yours now.