Every day he awakens and drags himself out of the bed. He heads into the bathroom and fires up the shower as one of the many steps of his morning ritual.
He shaves, brushes his hair and his teeth and considers whether or not his ear hairs need trimming. This morning he opts to leave them alone. He pulls his suit pants and a bright white shirt off their hangers.
He heads out of the bedroom gives his wife and kids a kiss good bye and heads off to the garage with his coffee, car keys and backpack.
Off to work he goes, just like hundreds of thousands of us in North Carolina every day.
Does any of this sound unusual? Not really. In some way or another we all do nearly the same thing every morning. We all put our pants on the same way.
Yet, many of us forget this once we get to work. I too used to suffer from the disease I call C-Phobia or Exec-Paranoia.
This is the not so uncommon fear of calling on the CEOs, CFOs, Executive VPs, Division Managers, CIOs and many other influential business men (& women). Lots of people would rather go to the dentist and get a root canal done.
These diseases stem from the inappropriate statements we here every day. Stuff like:
“He’s the big man, don’t bother him”
“You’re a peon and are not supposed to talk to Mr Big Britches. Better not knock on his door or call him.”
“He is far too busy to talk to you”
Add your own statement here – Why did you fear calling on these people?
For the most part, these statements are not true. I don’t want to mis lead you. There are a lot of Mr Big Britches out there who for no real reason think they are better than the rest of us. This is unfortunate and shameful.
Most men (& women) put their pants on the same way the rest of us do.
Yeah, they have a important job and maybe a fancy-dan title, but they are people like the rest of us and their needs are very similar to the rest of us:
- They want to have open and honest conversations about business & life
- They don’t want to be sold or taken advantage of
- They don’t want to be told what their problems are, they want to figure it out themselves (likely with help when they ask for it)
- They want to discover good solutions to their personal and business problems
- They want access to people with ideas who can improve their business, team, revenue and families
- They want to know good people who they could consider adding to their team
- They want business ideas and opportunities that can create value for their organizations and clients
- They want to know what is going on around town, state & world that can have a positive (or negative) effect on their business & life
- They want to capture knowledge that can help their team and business.
- They event want to hear a good joke (at the appropriate time)
- They want the same things the rest of us want
Knowing that these folks are busy and that they have the same needs as everyone else in business, how do we get over our C-Phobia or Exec-Paranoia?
- Keep the points above in mind when we call, email or walk up to these good people.
- Don’t waste their time trying to sell them. Spend time getting to know them and what is really important to them.
- Be respectful, honest, transparent and willing to help them where we can and they want help. When we help a C-Level executive he will want to help us in return.
They put their pants just like the rest of us. They’re busy and have hectic lives but still need the same stuff we do.
What else do you need to know in order to call or walk up to him (or her) and say, “Hello”?
Does this help – picture his bare white legs and black socks. Can you see him pulling his suit pants up, tucking in his shirt and putting on his belt? He puts his pants on the same way the rest of us do. Really.
Thanks to Nick D for reminding me of this point today.