Earlier this week I had the opportunity to hear Chelsea Clinton campaign for her mother. Chelsea commented on how she had spent quite a few hours of her life at rallies such as the one she was at, and it was apparent that all her experience paid off. She was poised, articulate and totally at ease.

I was surprised when Chelsea spoke only for about five minutes, and then opened the floor for questions. It is a lot harder to “fake it” in a Q&A forum. Author Michael Hyatt just wrote a post on how to be a true expert and not a “poser,” and gave an example of someone who aced it in the prepared presentation but was unable to handle the questions. Let me assure you that Chelsea is no poser!

She deftly gave answers that wove together personal stories about “her mom,” combined with quotes from the presidential debate, policy positions, and other things she has heard her mom say on the campaign trail. It wasn’t just encouraging people to vote; she was providing answers as to why.

Politics aside, I was struck by the depth of knowledge Chelsea was delivering. I wondered what it would take for me to be comfortable having someone not just speak for me, but actually represent me and answer tough questions on my behalf. Who would I allow to “be me” for the day, both in mannerisms and substance, knowing that their actions would certainly be attributed to me more so than my surrogate?

And then it struck me that we ask our employees to do this most every day. We rely on them to represent the company and impart its values. We count on employees to deliver service in a way that reflects well on the organization. We expect leaders to articulate our positions and respond on the company’s behalf. It’s a little less personal than representing an individual, but no less important.

Think about what you are doing to train the members of your organization and to equip them with the knowledge and understanding they need to “be you.” Every day is equivalent to being on the road stumping for your organization. Are they garnering you more votes or doing more harm?

beth triplett


About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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