I remember my 1966 Mustang. I sold it for $600 in 1976 before going to grad school and I’m still kicking myself over that! Everyone loved Ford in those days. But it’s not easy to believe in Ford these days. The auto giant has lost over $15 billion, closed factories, shed tens of thousands of jobs, sold-off Jaguar, Land Rover and given-up the No. 2 position in sales to Toyota!
Their new Chief Marketing Officer, James Farley, formerly with Toyota was rehearsing for his speech to dealers, stockholders and company leaders. As the lights dimmed, Mr. Farley didn’t calmly announce his future plans or quote statistics. Instead, he spoke from the heart, revealing a depth of passion for Ford that turned the room dead silent. He became swept up in the emotional power of the moment. “I believe, in many ways, the future of Ford is the future of our country,” he said. “The work here is simply more important than the work I was doing at Toyota.” When he finished, the dealers rose for a standing ovation that left Mr. Farley momentarily stunned. After the applause died down, he savored the reaction. They were waiting for someone to believe in.
Computers, automation and mobile connectedness has had a strange impact on people today. It has caused a desensitization of emotional response. We want to quantify and analyze everything. It is draining the passion and heart from all that we do. I would like to encourage business leaders today to let their true emotions show. Cry real tears, quake with true laughter and shake with anger if you must. Don’t downplay the power of REAL EMOTION. Your team is depending on your genuine emotional display to motivate them. It is the fuel for their continued belief and a precursor to talking action!