When we show up for ourselves, we show up for others.
When I was 24, I had a boss who changed who I would become as a leader. She was unlike any human being I had ever met.
When I walked into Talis’s office in my interview suit, I saw a glint of magic in her eye and knew I had to work for her. It was a Fortune 500 recruiting firm and they were bringing in a new kind of recruiter. I was in their first 10 hires. It was an entrepreneurial group of us all over the country who got a chance to create our own program together. The only problem: corporate REALLY liked to micromanage us – they liked to stick their pudgy fingers in our business & make it harder to make commission. Talis wasn’t interested in letting them.
Talis bled green – the color of the firm. She had started as a temp and worked her way up to District Director by the time I met her. She lived and breathed the company with more emails flooding her inbox than the entire district combined. She worked day in and day out – and yet, she showed me what balance looked like. She had learned early on that her team watched her every move and emulated her. She worked hard, but didn’t want her team to think they had to work long hours. So, she came into the office when it opened and left when it closed – and expected the same from us. The company cut their budget one year, including some holidays, so she secretly let everyone take their birthday off to make up for it – and kept that even after budgets were reinstated.
I was having a terrible day one day and told Talis I needed to call my mom. It wasn’t something I did at work, but crying at my desk was definitely not on my to-do list. Afterward, she popped her head in & asked how it went. I told her my mom had made me laugh by singing me a cheer based on BE AGGRESSIVE. She had substituted the words YOU’RE AMAZING singing “You’re amazing! You are amazing! A-M-A-Z-I-N-G AMAZING AMAZING!” From that point forward, every time I needed a little motivation, Talis would sing it to me (and still sends me notes on Facebook with that 15 years later.)
Talis would take time away from her piles of emails to remind us we were loved and that she believed in us by sending us Powerpoint slides she put together with gifs. She left us print-outs of her creations on our desks and remembered to celebrate our wins with us. She was 100% authentic and valued her team. She even hosted the annual district Christmas party at her house every year.
Talis is a leader of leaders. She set us up for success and gave us every tool we could need while never asking anything from us. And we showed up for her. She won awards because of her team and continues to work there to this day.
Of the many things I learned from Talis, the biggest was to maintain a courageous, yet humble confidence. She believed in herself and her team. She worked her tail off for us and we worked our tails off for her. She never took credit for anything we did & sang our praises to her leadership team – even when she was the one who did something amazing. She knew we were a reflection of her. She was (and still is) a force to be reckoned with, and yet gave the best hugs when they were needed.
Courageously humble confidence = leadership.
Today I googled “qualities of a leader” and found 177 MILLION results. After perusing a bunch of the articles, I found that almost everyone has a different way of describing leaders, yet they’re all the same. Continued growth, a vision, a plan, empathy, and being a good listener.
When most of us think of a leader, we think of the boss. The person above us at work. The person running the company. And much of the time, those people aren’t always the best role models for leadership. We hear more horror stories about bosses than good ones. Have you seen the movie Bad Bosses? That isn’t a movie because someone just thought it would be funny – it’s reality for lots of people.
Bosses climb the ladder of a company, while leaders spend the time working on themselves. They become the person their team needs as a leader. They show up for themselves so they can show up for their team.
YOU can be a great leader. You may be a leader already – and yet you feel like you’re missing something. You don’t have to have the vision or the plan for the organization to be a leader. You DO have to be willing to be courageous, humble, and confident.
“Becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself. It is precisely that simple and it is also that difficult.” – Warren Bennis
When Sarai & I were working out how we wanted to bring our SPEAK With Confidence course to the corporate sector, we went back to The DISH Method. We looked at the DATA, our IMPACT, the STORIES, and the HUMANS. Every road kept bringing us back to leadership. The data showed there were plenty of executive coaches and leadership training programs, yet the presentation training and personal development training were separated. We looked back at the testimonials of our corporate Rockstars to see the real impact & the stories they told us on what they were getting out of the experience so we could shine more light on our purpose in that space.
One corporate Rockstar told me that as much as she was learning speaking at SPEAK With Confidence, she was really learning how to show up and show off for herself so she could have the confidence to teach her company. She was teaching core values internally to her organization and wanted to make sure it was compelling enough for them to implement across the board. She went back and pitched – and got the go-ahead to implement it all.
Another corporate Rockstar almost didn’t end up coming. She called that week and said she was overwhelmed and unprepared. She didn’t care about writing the talk as much as she didn’t want to embarrass herself presenting. Her boss had told her numerous times that she had to stop looking like his secretary and more like a leader. She got on stage the final day and gave us the most compelling speech about how she deserved to be his second in command. We were blown away by how much she had physically changed in 3 days because she was ready to show up and show off.
A returning Rockstar (she’d come three times!) told us she had a conversation with a leader she really looks up to about her presentations and the woman looked at her incredulously and said, “what took you so long?” She had been watching this particular Rockstar get on stages and was impressed by how far she had come with her confidence and presence since coming to SPEAK With Confidence.
Every Rockstar took tons from the speaker training, yet each & every one of them walked away with the confidence they needed to ask for what they wanted. It was almost impossible to describe how different they were – even physically – by the end. Some were almost unrecognizable. It was exactly what they needed to succeed in life and in their work.
Once we knew we had SPEAK With Confidence rolling on a solid process, it was time to do something for those who do presentations on the daily. Those humans who sat in uninspiring cubicles and were asked to give inspiring pitches to their board of directors or leadership team. Those humans who wanted to move up in their companies by making more money as salespeople or taking care of their clients as project managers. Those humans who were asked to give a sponsorship talk at an event and just hoped they could be interesting enough to keep the audiences attention.
When we got to the end of The DISH Method steps, the final (and my favorite step) is HUMAN. We had to know exactly who we wanted in this program. It wasn’t just anyone, it was the leaders of the future. The leaders who wanted to be better leaders and wanted to show up for their teams in ways they’d never dreamed of. The kickass humans who wanted to create more kickass humans. The courageous leaders who were ready to take on the humble confidence they needed by taking one big step with us.
So, we took everything we loved about SPEAK With Confidence when it came to pitching & presenting along with all the personal development stuff and married it with a corporate theme. That’s how we created Rock Your Pitch.
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” – ee cummings
Melanie Spring Productions has created a place for you to show up and show off so you can lead with that courageously humble confidence Talis had. The kind that people won’t be able to describe as much as they’ll want to emulate.
Great leaders have two things in common: presence & courage. Rock Your Pitch Retreat is a 2-day live pitch training to craft a presentation that convinces and inspires others to give you what you want – with presence and courage.
Before you get to the live in-person event, you get 4 weeks of group calls, a printed workbook delivered directly to your door, and a community of rockstars to start you off on the right foot. When you arrive, you get to bring your friends for some pre-event inspiration at a happy hour where I’ll be giving a talk about why this is so important. Then we kick off the next two days with breakfast, courageous activities, and more new friends than you will ever be able to handle.
By the end of your time with us, you’ll go back to work a a better leader. It’s not just another conference. It’s not just another workshop. It’s not something you can come to and walk away the same. You’ll have a light shining from the inside out. The courageously humble confidence you need to get everything you ask for and to lead the leaders on your team.
It’s time to be YOU. The YOU you’ve been waiting to become. The YOU you really are. The leader you’ve been looking for. It’s time to show up for yourself so you can show up for others. If you’ve been waiting for something like this, this is your sign.
Grab your spot at irockmypitch.com
(or send me a note with your questions so we can make sure it’s a great fit for you)
I can’t wait to see you leading with confidence.