I love a scene in the movie Braveheart right before the Battle of Sterling Bridge. It is a short exchange between William Wallace and his friend Stephen.
Stephen: Fine speech. Now what do we do?
William Wallace: Just be yourselves.
To be yourself, to show up in the full weight of who you really are is essential to making long lasting and powerful connections. When that happens we offer so much. And even before we do business, become close friends or share much of anything we have given a gift of art. Seth Godin in his new book The Icarus Deception says it so well:
“Art isn’t pretty. Art isn’t painting. Art isn’t something you hang on the wall. Art is what we do when we’re truly alive.”
Here is an example. My friend Dennis Rivera is a photographer with an incredible eye for beauty. He shows up everyday on my Instagram stream with images that capture my heart and inspire me to show up in my own way. And it does not stop there. Others see his art and respond the same way. But Dennis is not just a great photographer he is also the kind of person you want running your customer engagement campaign. In his own words he is “the most vocal person arguing for the customer, the reader, the end-user”. He has the wit and charm that is needed to help others navigate customer needs. He shows up.
True connection creates art. We are meant to create it together. And it begins by showing up with yours. Others will follow in your wake.
This is a second post in a series on the basics of connecting with others. The first post was all about the fear flinch and killing it: Nine Cold Showers: The Connection Flinch