Wipe That Smile Off Your Face!

I had a crappy day recently. We all have losing streaks (just ask Joe Torre—couldn’t resist that). And I was on one. A host of “little things” (collectively a Big Thing) went consecutively wrong around a couple of my events. I was in a pissy mood. And determined to stay in a pissy mood, if for no reason other than to demonstrate how good and utterly convincing I can be at pissy moods. None of which portended anything positive for the Danish audience I was about to address. Hey, I exist to foment revolution among my seminar goers—but today I didn’t care if my mood rubbed off on them.

Time for my A/V check. The Danish lad who worked with me was literally whistling. (Screw that!) He chatted me up about the gorgeous Fall weather (okay, I admit, it was gorgeous); he chatted me up about his girlfriend; he veritably bubbled. (And screw that.) And he kept bubbling. (“All this” took but about 15 minutes.)

Damn him! Despite myself, I began to brighten. The audience began to appear. Looking fit and vigorous … and anticipating in turn a vigorous show from me.

Unbidden, my Danish pal, doubtless reading my mood, fetched me a cup of tea. And I learned more about his girlfriend. Whoops, I was beginning to border on downright cheerful.

I had a great seminar. And it was all due to that S.O.B. A/V guy. Truth is, it’s almost impossible not to be infected by a cheerful soul!

There’s one heck of a message here for project managers and HR types involved in hiring! (And for me.)

Enthusiasm is infectious!
(You knew that.)
(Me too.)
(But a reminder is still worthwhile.)
The Speed of Infection is … AMAZING!
(Think “15-minute Turnaround.)


(If it kills you.)
(You will … I promise.)

Tom Peters posted this on October 21, 2004, in Talent.
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