THE FOLLOWING IS A TRANSCRIPT OF MELTON’S VIDEO “What’s the Deal with Selfie-Sticks?”:
Hi, I’m Tom Melton with Melton leadership. I work with some of Denver’s best leaders in the process of running large organizations and building complex teams, and they realize as successful as they are they want to get better and that’s how I help.
I help leaders on a path to better.
So today I want to share a few of the things that I’ve learned along the way that are helping leaders every day as they apply them to their life. So, I want to share a little experience I had recently. I just got back from Italy and traveling around for about 20 days with my wife and another couple. I’ve travelled a lot over the years – 60 different countries. I’m pretty observant of stuff and you know I kind of have my way of doing stuff, but I have to say – and I just got back a couple of days ago and I’m still kind of buzzing about it but it drove me crazy.
A couple of things I noticed: No matter where we were, the younger folks we’re all walking around with their selfie, and it’s not enough just with the selfie right here but they got an arm on the thing. It might as well be a boom thing from a Hollywood projection. And so, they’re walking around, in the end they’re actually following it. It looks like they’re being led by their selfie. And I’m thinking, not only is this bizarre, and I’m thinking these guys are idiots, but they also are not paying attention to anybody else. It’s like there’s nothing else going on… so they bump into people.
And this one really fried me. We’re standing there and there’s a distance, you know, 20 feet between the the person that’s taken the picture and the other, and we’re just walking and you don’t see them so we walked right in between [the “photographer” and the “model”] and they went off! “Can’t you see I’m doing my selfie here?” To which I explained to him in primarily sign language how that could affect other people, but there’s this blindness and because they’re so self-absorbed in their own little thing.
I saw another piece that drove me crazy where we’re sitting or wherever we were in large crowds of people, whether it’s getting on the airplane or going down the aisle, and somebody’s walking like this and they decided to turn and they all have backpacks on now. Not the kind that I had when we were growing up with a Kelty pack that you were very aware that you had a backpack and you knew it. These backpacks are designed so you can’t even tell you have them on and so people act like they don’t know they’re on so they don’t realize that you got a two-foot thing behind you. It reminds me when I was first doing some stuff in my backyard I borrowed my neighbor’s backhoe and if you’ve never driven one of those things that’s got this big backhoe and I knocked down the outbuildings because I didn’t realize. That’s what these backpacks are like! They’re doing damage to people around.
So I looked at these two things – as I said I’m still stewing about it – and I was sort of finding myself saying “All these darn young people” and now I’ve become the old man and the end of the cul-de-sac that says “Get your ball off my lawn!” But then it hit me – I had an Aha! I realized maybe I’m a lot like these guys. Maybe the way that I’m leading, instead of having a selfie arm like that, what I’m leading is the same way of just saying, I only care to know how this affects me, how the company works, how does this program work – the main thing that I’m concerned is what’s my role in it? And I wonder if that’s doing the same thing that these guys are.
I also became aware of with aAha! about these guys with the backpacks… I wonder if it’s possible that the fact that my older brother who never paid attention to me, who I wanted his attention, would affect the way that I had now today as a grown man. I want people to pay attention to me. I walk around with this this baggage that I’ve never unloaded. Or maybe I’ve never even aware of.
So I want to challenge you as you lead your company or your organization or your family to take a look at your own style of doing things. Are you leading with the peril of a selfie-stick, walking around only asking how it affects you? Or are you knocking people over with your baggage?
If you haven’t looked at these things there’s a difference between self-absorption and self-awareness, I encourage you to take look. And if you do, I think you’ll find that the world around you will be much more friendly and that you’ll be able to navigate your company, your leadership team, and the market that you’re leading in a different way.
Now if you’d like to learn more about being on a path to be a better leader, contact me. I’d love to sit down with you and see how I might be able to help you gain self-awareness and identify and deal with baggage.