I’ve made two significant but ridiculous mistakes in the past month. The first one involved talking with a potential client who was interested in investing in workforce issues. I spent 10 years of my career immersed in workforce issues. And yet, when I had a chance to tell them about my experience in doing similar work, I rattled off my work history, sharing the same story that I always do, and glossing over the reasons that my career took the path that it did. I missed an opportunity to really share why workforce development and helping people get jobs is so important to me. The client decided to go with another firm.
Two weeks later, I had an opportunity to make a presentation to a group of workforce development professionals. I did better at telling my story, but I still missed out on some key points. Part of it was nerves. Part of it was me running on autopilot. I was kicking myself afterwards.
Both of these situations were a good reminder to me: don’t lose sight of what is important. Don’t gloss over the most important pieces of your history and experience. I am the first one to say that communications is strategy. You can’t underestimate the power of sharing your spirit and your story. Others will be able to relate to it, and it becomes a personal connection. Passion is critical, so keep it a primary element of your priorities. It will help you continue to do good in the world.