It was Thursday evening at Penn Station in Manhattan, NY. The NE Regional train was 15 minutes late, and 500 passengers impatiently awaited the announcement of their boarding gate. The passengers were motionless, and they were clogging the station’s boarding areas for 8 other platforms. The place was a mess.
From behind me, I heard a voice beginning to rise above the dull roar of the waiting passengers. A station employee eventually appeared, and it seemed as if he was attempting to mobilize this group of 500.
As I stood by and watched his approach, and ultimately, his execution, I jotted down some of his actions that were critical to his success. This man was a leader, and it was apparent through his display of these 5 actions.
There are two prerequisites for use of these tools: belief in yourself, and moreover, belief in your vision.
- Projection of his voice.
- His message to “form a line and make a friend”, was audible to all who were boarding the NE Regional train.
- Confidence in his ability to mobilize the crowd.
- The man did not cease in his efforts, despite the crowd’s early dismissal of his request.
- Understanding of his audience.
- The man was aware that people were irate and impatient. With this knowledge, the man framed his directions to be well received by a crowd with a delicate temper.
- Portrayal of positive energy and empathy.
- In his requests, the man never grew frustrated or impatient when the crowd did not move. He simply continued to speak to the crowd with a smile on his face, and eventually, people started to move.
- Persistence and Consistency in his presentational method and messaging.
- Never once did the man’s message change. For 10 minutes he continued to request that people “form a line” and “make friends with your neighbor-day”. Because his messaging was clear and consistent, people eventually realized that the man’s request was reasonable, and they began to comply.
5 tools used, and 500 passengers in an organized line out of the way.
There were no arguments or negative reactions from the waiting passengers, only new friends and a newfound respect for what this man was able to accomplish.
Application of these tools will directly support your ability to lead.With these in your back pocket, you will be more equipped to motivate others, and ultimately, to catalyze and realize your vision.