Monday, November 17, 2008

Stay Beautiful

This is co-posted on JoAnna Brandi's blog.

I once had a boyfriend who used to end every phone conversation and every email with the phrase, “Stay beautiful.” At first I was delighted by it, but as time went on, I have to admit, occasionally it annoyed me. At that time in my life I was certainly not used to taking compliments gracefully (I’ve gotten over that) and there were many days where I felt far from anything that resembled beautiful.

So one day I talked to him about it. I explained that it made me uncomfortable – that I didn’t feel beautiful all the time (in fact I felt it rarely) and his saying it so often had the effect of me feeling “less than.”

Oh, I was so off base.

“Beautiful,” he explained from his perspective, was a state of being. It was a graceful way of interacting with the world. It was a consciousness, rather than a thing. The phrase, “Stay beautiful,” was a reminder to put myself into that way of being and operate from there.

Oh, that’s different.

Time has gone by since he was here to remind me, but that phrase often comes to me as a reminder that I do have a choice how I show up in the world. I ask myself if I am creating beauty in my relationships, my work, my attitude. I think about my clients and the people I teach – am I encouraging them to create a vision of what beauty, caring, and positive interaction can be in their organizations? What does it take, especially in tough times, to stay beautiful in the eyes of your customers?

Today I’m in Disneyland, just hours away from premiering my latest workshop, The Positive Leader, at the NACCM Customer’s First conference. I’m in a restaurant surrounded by pictures of Walt Disney. Before sitting down I had a delightful conversation with 5 year old Tara who was dressed up as Cinderella. She’s been here for three days, and I suspect been wearing the dress just as long. The excitement in her voice and the twinkle in her eyes lead me to believe that Walt knew how to teach his “cast members” the quality I know as “Stay Beautiful.”

Stay tuned this week to the NACCM website where we will be broadcasting live podcasts, and interviews with speakers and guests.

I’m the conference chairperson this year – I’d love to know that all of you are getting to share in the excitement and the learning – even if you can’t be here in person with us.

Remember, stay beautiful.

Visit JoAnna Brandi's blog and website.

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