When I was in college I got the chance to have a conversation with Louie Giglio. We were in a room full of people who had volunteered for him and wanted to talk to him. It was one of those situations where he was expected to work the room, so you would imagine that he might be distracted while talking to someone like me. But what struck me in talking to him was his presence in the conversation—like I was the only person in the room. It stuck with me and made an impression that I still remember now over 15 years later.
I see people not present all the time. Dads at a restaurant with their kids knocking out work on a smartphone. Football players walking into a stadium with headphones on to drown out the world around them. The woman who rear ended me while we were both stopped at a stop light because her kids distracted her.
Distraction is so common.It’s epidemic. But leaders who can be present are not common at all, and are often the ones who have the greatest success. Consider this: what would happen if you had your phone off during your next important meeting or interaction with an employee? Would you be better focused? Do you think you’ll actually miss anything important by totally focusing?