Superbowl XLIX (Forty-Nine) is in the record books and my former team, the New England Patriots emerged victorious despite distractions all through the week. In true form, New England still overcame obstacles and managed challenges throughout the game to emerge victorious. In addition to a great game that went down to the last few second, the commercials and halftime show of Superbowl XLIX were amazing! Throughout the night, viewers were exposed to marketing that was designed to promote, influence and encourage buying behaviors!
One Commercial that Will Remain in My Memory
However, there was one commercial that will remain etched in my memory for some time. Innocently enough, you heard a phone ring, then you heard the voice of an operator answer the phone, “911, where’s the emergency?” with the caller responding. “Yes, I would like to order a pizza.” At which point, the operator informed her of her errors, and initially did not listen to her efforts to speak in code regarding a potentially harmful and life threatening situation.
Make a Choice
As leaders and followers, we too have the ability to make a choice regarding our interactions with others, but we must be open to truly listen before making a decision. You see, it was not until the 911 operator actively listened and sought to understand what the caller was going through, that he was alerted to her silent cries for help.
Leaders Should Listen Intently
After the commercial ended with a brief and eerie image of the written words, “When it’s hard to talk, its up to us to listen….” it became one of the most powerful marketing statements of the night, because those words symbolized how leaders can sometimes overlook the needs of their followers rather than listen intently to what they are trying to convey to us.
Learn from the Messaging
In the long run, this can cost organizations more than they they are willing or able to pay by way of recruitment, retention and overall performance. Make no mistake, the reason for that call was far more important than organizational development or (NoMore.org) board room decisions, but I share the comparison because we all can learn from the messaging and metaphor that it provides.
What are you doing to learn the discipline of listening to your teammates and followers in an effort to achieve the mission of the organization?
Leave a comment on my Facebook Page and share what specific steps that you use to deal with distractions and barriers to your success?