I admit it. I was hooked on season three of Dancing with the Stars. With one look at Emmitt Smith’s smile I was smitten with his charm and enthusiasm. So every Tuesday I had to be home in front of the TV.
TIVO would not do, I had to see my Emmitt in real time.
The finals came down to Mario versus Emmitt.
I appreciated Mario’s technical skills, Emmitt made me smile. I liked to watch Mario, but I wanted to dance with Emmitt.
The French have a word embrasser or embrassez. This word looks like our English word embrace. The French word means to kiss and the English word means of course to embrace. There has not been a word invented to describe how Emmitt connected: embracing each one in the studio or home audience.
On the same day the results were announced, Americans voted in an AOL survey. Two questions were asked online: who do you think was the better dancer and who should win. When I added my vote, 166,000 thought Mario was the better dancer. Yet they thought Emmitt should win. Go figure. But before you label Americans as fickle, let’s look at why. The magic is always in the “why”.
Voters generally agreed that Mario’s technical skills were superior to Emmitt’s dancing skills. Now look at it this way: which one would you rather dance with?
Regardless of your expertise, your title, or your profession your success is rarely about your technical skills. It’s about the total package. Do your clients want to dance with you or watch from the sidelines?
Let’s look at why Emmitt won? Emmitt Smith is the NFL’s all-time leading rusher. Many who watched Dancing With the Stars may not have known him as anything other than the guy with the smile. I suggest three reasons why he won the contest and why you can win your next sale, promotion, or position.
- His shoes. Emmitt always wore dancin’ shoes that matched his ensemble. When he was wearing pink, his shoes were pink. When he wore green, his shoes were green. Small detail? Audiences, clients, customers, patients, and guests need a way to remember you.In a world where we are bombarded by messages, you’re lucky if people remember one thing. What would someone remember about you?
- There is a saying in speaking; the art is in hiding the art. I think it applies to the masters in any sport, art, or science. Michael Jordan in his prime made flying through the air look easy. We look at a painting and do not see the pain of the artist, we see the finished product. We click on Google and get information in 2 seconds. We don’t see how we get there. You may be tempted to talk about the process, what you did to get to where you wanted to go.Think again, look at Emmitt; the art is in hiding the art.
- Emmitt had fun dancing, so we had fun too. Coincidental that when the CEO of Southwest charged his employees with having fun, the airlines became profitable? Think about what Emmitt went through for eight weeks, practicing six to eight hours a day. Yet, when the cameras were on, he had fun. Can you make your job fun?
Urban myth or fact: when Steven Spielberg got his first break to direct a Hallmark special he almost blew it. The Hollywood legend he was to direct was at first insulted by the “boy producer”. It was his enthusiasm that won her over. Would your enthusiasm win a client over?
Mario versus Emmitt. You versus a competitor.
Just ask yourself which one would you rather dance with?
I admired Mario, but Emmitt made me smile.
I liked watching Mario. But I wanted to dance with Emmitt.