Get in the Champ’s Corner
Being trusted and valued by a business champion means helping them fight competitors, round-after-round.
While watching the McGregor vs. Mayweather fight, I found myself focused on the guys in each champion’s corner. On both sides, they mirrored the fighter’s personal style and brand. Mayweather’s big, imposing team wore all black and bling. They looked like they could be working the door at an exclusive Vegas club. McGregor’s fashionable posse resembled members of a boy band in black vests, pants, white shirts and ties.
The men in each corner were there to do more than psych up their champs, throw down strategy, give water and Vaseline faces—they were there to make Mayweather and McGregor feel and look like winners.
Professionals who finally make it to the C-Suite and business owners who have built their companies beyond their wildest dreams often find themselves no longer able to authentically count on the people around them. They look around and say, “Who can I really trust? Who can I count on to tell me the truth? Who’s really in my corner?”
Who’s In Your Corner?
It’s true that it’s lonely at the top. Who can you trust when you’ve made it? Who’s in your corner?
Years ago, when I was an executive at Turner Broadcasting, I would have lunch with the heads of each network on a monthly basis. Although they were presidents and I was just a director, they took the meetings because they felt I was in their corner– cheering on their vision, giving them winning strategies and making them feel like champs.
At one lunch, I asked CNN’s president, ‘‘What do you think your audience isn’t ‘getting’ about your network that they should know?’’ He answered, “That we break news first.” From there, I came up with a strategy to send 30-second “CNN Hot Spots” to affiliates when the network was first to cover a big story.
Today, I still zero in on what is uniquely important to my clients. During a recent branding workshop with a digital agency, I asked the executives, ‘‘What do we want the industry to say about us?” Asking questions like this means you’re in the ring with them, taking a keen interest in their agenda, product, and future.
Leadership Tip: Championing the leaders’ vision builds your executive presence.
Championing the vision of the company leader builds your executive presence and puts you inside the ring.
Many roads lead to career growth and vitality. I’ve found that being part of the leader’s posse and a champion of his or her vision is the quickest route. It’s not about brown nosing; it’s about being seen as integral to the company and its success.
Here are three ways you can get in the champ’s corner and help your leader beat the competition and deliver a knockout, just like Mayweather:
1. Tell the Truth