Relate Like A President

Statue from G.H.W. Bush Presidential Library
Fall of the Berlin Wall Statue

While President Ronald Reagan famously called for the end of the Cold War with his now famous line, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”, during a recent visit to the campus of Texas A&M University, I found an amazing artwork giving credit to President George H.W. Bush (“41”) for his pivotal role in the actual tearing down of the Berlin Wall.  The Berlin Wall, as you may recall, was perhaps the world’s most tangible representation of the separation of East and West during a very tense time in global politics.

While President Bush did not attend Texas A&M University, it is home to the Bush Presidential Library and has become his adopted collegiate home.  It is a place full of reminders of the way America was, in the proud years following WWII. Texas A&M was founded as a land grant school.  Many of the traditions of the school are rooted not only in it’s “A”gricultural moniker, but also the “M”, which stands for “Military”.      A great number of the military traditions started so many years ago on campus remain very much alive today.

If you have ever visited College Station, undoubtedly, you have encountered some very friendly folks. Proud of their school and its traditions, students, alumni & faculty alike smile at strangers visiting this piece of true Americana.

Growing up, I found something comforting about President Bush.  Perhaps it was that on some level, he reminded me of my maternal grandfather.  They both served in World War II. They both had an easy, yet commanding demeanor.  There was a kind of quiet confidence and strength about them.  Traits that many people would be well served to learn from today.

So often, while speaking to conference attendees or facilitating training sessions designed around team building, customer service, and project management, I am floored with how people seem to have forgotten how to simply relate to one another.

This week, pay special attention to how YOU communicate to relate to those around you.  Are you guilty of barking orders, or do you build up your co-workers, customers and vendors.  For your organization to thrive, you need all three.  If you don’t like what you notice….try something new.  You’ll see the results on the bottom line.

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