The Power of Likability – Have No Missed Opportunities!

When someone runs for President of the United States, and a regret they have is that they were possibly “too serious” – that’s a learning moment for all of us.

“I did feel a heavy sense of responsibility. I wasn’t as loose or open as I could have been.”

This week on The View, Hillary Clinton shared a key takeaway from her presidential campaign: she came across as “too serious” — and it inhibited the warmth that many said she had off-camera.

We all know hindsight is 20/20, and as leaders, many of us don’t get a do-over. We have to make the most of every opportunity, every pitch, every meeting—it’s our ability to connect, authentically, that requires a shift. Our clients often say, “to be taken seriously, I have to be serious,” which is practically the same thought process that Hillary shared, was part of her downfall.

Like Hillary, our default is to lead with competence—when, in reality, our audience needs connection. As Dr. Amy Cuddy says, “Warmth is the conduit of influence: It facilitates trust and communication and absorption of ideas.”

Start by connecting with others through a light face or a smile. It’s an easy thing to practice. Lift your cheeks and lighten your face when you speak. Show more affect and emotion—it boosts your likability and allows you to influence. Almost all of us can do it better. If we coach one thousand people, there’s only one that probably smiles too much.

Let’s learn from these misses—we all have amazing opportunities every day that we can smile about!

Emotion Earns the Extra Mile

For Father’s Day this year, my three boys joined forces and created a special homemade book filled with memories about what I meant to them. It was bound together with a little help from Mom, I presume. And they presented it to me while we were away on a family … Continue reading

Stop Compartmentalizing: Find a Story to Tell

Last week I was working with an executive, and he got flustered. “I can’t think of a story,” he said. I told him, “Just think about it – the stories will come to you.” And sure enough, they did. Why were we looking for stories? Not just because it’s trendy … Continue reading

A Real MVP

Before this week, I only knew Kevin Durant as a prolific NBA scorer and a star from the movie Thunderstruck (a family movie that my boys love). After watching his MVP speech, I now feel differently. You may or may not know (or like) Kevin Durant, but your attitude will … Continue reading

Communicating Trust – and the NSA

The NSA blew it, and Ed Snowden changed minds. What a difference communication makes! We were lucky to take part in TED 2014 last week. Of all the ideas shared, the most conversation-spurring topic was privacy: Do we want it? Do we have it? Is it eroding? Are we okay … Continue reading

The Straw that Broke the Camel’s Back

I’ve heard over 100 presentations on philanthropy and giving. I spend a lot of time recording people speaking on video. Luckily, many of us are motivated to give back, and we want to urge others to do the same. This is not a complaint – instead, there is a great … Continue reading

Chipotle Wraps You in Emotion

My career started in advertising, churning out sticky messages to folks like you about everything from cleaning supplies to Powerball tickets. I learned quickly that great ads (and great messages) appeal directly to our emotions. Chipotle (and their ad agency) knows this, too. They’ve been receiving lots of press over … Continue reading

Emotion and Story Rule

You’ve heard us say it before, and we’ll say it again: People buy on emotion and justify with fact. There’s no better place to watch emotions unfold than on the Super Bowl, and it’s no surprise to us that the commercials that stood out were the ones that got us … Continue reading