Have you ever heard little kids laugh when they hear something they think is funny? My wife and I have 2 fantastic little boys, ages 4 and 2. They explode with laughter every time they hear Bono sing the line: “Ju Ju man, Ju Ju man” in Breathe…which they call, “that breathe song”.
The first time it happened I about jumped out of my skin. We were bouncing around town together while they were talking amongst themselves in the back seat. I was focused and already thinking of the next stop to make, pondering the lyrics earlier in the song, and wondering where to score my next cup of coffee when all of a sudden the explosion of laughter and “that guy said Ju Ju man, Dad!” came out of the back seat with a volume to rival any rock concert in history. The only thing that mattered to them in that moment was that they just heard some guy say, “Ju Ju man.”
Have you seen an example of the same message being heard in two different ways? Have you ever been through the same event with someone else and realized that you both had completely different experiences?
As a leader you may be focused on where you are going, what your organization is about, and how to keep yourself going; but what about your team? What about the people figuratively in your back seat? What message are they hearing? What is their experience along the way?
My kids experienced a great laugh. We had a family bonding moment. That’s personal. (And in my opinion, awesome.) However, in business, if your employees aren’t dialed in to where your organization is headed; if they aren’t focused and energized…then you might as well be zipping around town with the latest tunes crashing through the speakers. Which again, in your personal life can be a memory to treasure. Professionally speaking though, it may not be the best way to lead an organization. Just sayin’.