Aug 10

Sending the Wrong Signal

One of the keys to winning an interview or delivering a compelling speech is combining facts with authenticity and a genuine sense of enthusiasm. In regards to the latter, I’ve often told a client subject matter expert that if she isn’t enthusiastic about her product, service or organization why should any time-pressed reader, listener or viewer pay attention? 
Sadly, Luis Rojas the beleaguered, baffled and befuddled manager of the rapidly-fading New York Mets is a poster child for sending ALL of the wrong signals.
Check out his expressions, tonality and sense of frustration and resignation as he dissects the Mets loss to a truly miserable Miami Marlins team in a recent post game press conference. The word grim comes to mind. 
Ask yourself this after viewing the video: Would you follow this guy into battle (and that battle could be injecting a little more enthusiasm in the workplace, delighting a client with a totally unexpected creative idea or winning a new piece of business thanks to developing amazing rapport with the prospect).
I sure wouldn’t. 
Everything about Luis Rojas adds up to one word: defeat. 
It’s clearly not his fault that the team has fallen from first to third place in the incredibley weak National League East. But it IS his fault that the team has mirrored his hangdog expression and negative body language throughout their three successive losses to the Phillies this past weekend.
It doesn’t matter if you’re leading a baseball team, a Fortune 500 corporation or a self-proclaimed NextGen digital firm. Leaders must lead. And leaders MUST rise to the occasion no matter how grim the current prospects may be.
I’ve had to rally myself in the aftermath of 9/11, the 2008 economic downturn and, of course, during the ongoing pandemic. 
Through it all I’ve tried my best to project a positive, but realistic, demeanor. 
It’s easy to lead when one’s managing a first place team or is the CEO of health care agency that has more business than it can handle. 
But the true mark of leadership comes when the chips are down and the future looks bleak. That’s the time when great leaders are acutely aware of their words and actions, dig deep and find just the right physical and verbal messages to keep an organization’s hopes up and performance at its very best.
Sadly, Rojas was either poorly media trained, decided to skip the session entirely or believes his words and actions alone cannot right a sinking ship.