Saturday, November 5, 2011

One of the Most Important Things...

Malcolm Gladwell has interviewed a lot of people.  He writes for a living and has written several engaging, non-fiction books that I really enjoyed reading.  One of his books, What the Dog Saw, has a chapter called 'The New Boy Network' in it.  For most of the chapter, Malcolm is intrigued with why one particular college student is perceived  to have 'the right stuff' by big IT companies within seconds after they talk with him.  Throughout the course of his interview, Malcolm finds himself agreeing with the companies.  Why is this fellow so likable that Steve Ballmer, the CEO of Microsoft, would offer to be his mentor after hearing him ask one question in a conference setting?

The student reveals one of his big secrets to Malcolm at the end of the chapter.  He says, "One of the most important things is that you have to come across as being confident in what you are doing and in who you are.  How do you do that?  Speak clearly and smile."

I couldn't agree more.  This lesson struck a chord with me as I was watching different bands in our church play on different Sundays.  Why did I feel more relaxed and engaged when one particular band was playing?  It was because the lead singer often smiled when she sang.  When I got assigned to a band myself, I tried to make a point to do the same, and we as a band were commended on it.