Guest Blogger: Anthony Lambatos
When I played football in High School, I vividly remember the moments before a game in the locker room. Coach would give some final instructions and reminders and then turn it over to the players. The captain of the team would come to the middle of the room and the team would circle around him. He would wait and then in a deep, booming voice would yell; “I’m fired up, You fired up?” To which the whole team would echo back, “I’m fired up, You fired up?” This would go on three or four times echoing back and forth before he would roar “Let’s go Blazers!” and we would all charge onto the field ready to give it our all.
In college I had a professor, Bill Daley, in a class called Business Technology, where I basically learned about all of the Microsoft Office products. He would talk about Microsoft Excel like it was the ninth wonder of the world as he taught us about the things it was capable of and all of the possibilities as it applied to business. I barely knew what a spreadsheet was and yet the excitement this guy had was contagious. It left me wanting to learn more and do extra work to refine my abilities. Still to this day I credit Mr. Daley with my fascination with using Excel to validate and explain what is going on in our business.
One of my favorite move speeches is from Animal House. After learning that all of the fraternity brothers have been kicked out of school, John Belushi’s character, Bluto Blutarsky, rallies the troops despite the infamous reference to the “Germans bombing Pearl Harbor”.
I tell these three random stories because the common thread among them is ENTHUSIASM! Most people relate enthusiasm to success and see the jubilation, excitement, and joy after someone has accomplished something great. A sports team winning a championship, a company celebrating an IPO by ringing the bell on Wall St., or families and friends gathering for weddings. We often look at the end result and see an enthusiastic response. However, I’ve found that success is not usually the pre-cursor to enthusiasm, but rather the other way around. Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” I couldn’t agree more.
While my stories above didn’t necessarily solve the world’s problems, they do demonstrate that enthusiasm can bring out the best in people and lead to success. As leaders we have to be able to get excited about what we want to accomplish and sometimes be willing to express that excitement in outrageous and unconventional ways. A timid approach for fear of being judged hampers enthusiasm and minimizes the potential excitement that can be generated among your team. This isn’t something you can fake either, if you’re trying to manufacture your own excitement, it may even be detrimental to what you are trying to accomplish. We have to be able to express our genuine interest, excitement, and dedication to whatever it is that we want people to follow. If you can’t do that, maybe it is time to champion a new cause. But if it’s deep inside of you, now is not the time to play small, let it out and share your enthusiasm with the people around you. It just may be the spark that inspires something great!
So, what are you waiting for?