The Show Must Go On

Consider this: the actors performing Hamlet deliver the same lines if it’s a free show in the park or a special appearance at Carnegie Hall, no matter the size of the audience. At least, we in the audience hope for as much, don’t we? Those performers know what some of us forget: The show must go on. Not because it’s important to you, but because it’s important to them — those who have paid you in money, time, or even just excitement. Because the people in your audience matter — no matter how many of them are sitting there, or how much they paid.

Never underestimate that which is small, whether they be questions, commitments or engagements. What may seem trivial or minor to a leader might be seriously significant to the person asking. Unfortunately, it’s tempting to give half attention to something that seems small or unimportant. Take for instance, my profession as a speaker. It’s oh-so-easy to write off smaller groups with a, “Oh, it’s just 12 people,” as if that doesn’t demand or deserve the same level of respect, preparation, or commitment as an audience of 1200. But true personal leadership and professionalism means you bring your A-game regardless. That’s integrity. And you know what? Integrity tends to pay off, because the attention you give to that issue you deem minor may allow that staff member to better serve a client, a client who may end up referring more business or increasing their contract with you — or, in the case of that small audience, there may be a power player or your next client among those twelve.

It doesn’t matter if it’s large and important or small and “trivial” to you — your responsibility is the same. Let your work reflect that.