Today, during another truth telling practice with one of my favorites, I reminded my client that he’s not the old, experienced leader he works with. So, stop acting like it, I kinda scolded him.
To get his attention I compared him to Elle Woods. Yeah, Elle Woods from the movie Legally Blonde. You see, my client is doing his job the way he sees his leader do his. He’s winging it and counting on his charisma, conviction, and competence to carry his ideas forward. Instead of flying, most are simply falling flat. He’s got to change his approach if he wants to change his trajectory. Fact. So, today, I hit him with some hard truth about his preparation habits. They suck. He’s got to prepare a lawyers argument and come into each and every meeting like someone with something to prove. He’s not the senior leader. He’s not the main man, at least not yet. Like Elle, he could be if he takes himself a bit more seriously.
Elle’s problem wasn’t that her leader and colleagues didn’t take her serious. Of course, her good looks and Valley girl persona made her an easy target to not take seriously. The bigger issue was she hadn’t taken herself seriously. It all changed when a truth teller told her to stop letting one pr#$& hold her back. In that MOT (moment of truth) she saw the light and began to believe she was not just a blonde, she was legally blonde. My client and I concluded practice today laughing at the irony in my analogy. He got the message. I made him play it back to me and decide on his baby step PA to begin building his legal resume, if you will. Remember, leader, you don’t get what you want. You get what you earn. And, you’ve got to prepare a lawyers arguement if you want to earn the right for one of your ideas to be taken seriously. Prepare like your life depends upon it. Prepare. Good.
Most of the professionals who appear to be winging it, aren’t. They’ve just prepared for so long, and mastered their craft so well, that it appears they simply show up and the sea parts, as if by magic, to let their idea move from one side to another. No magic. You, simply, gotta do the work. Elle Woods did the work. How ’bout you?