Several years ago, I was working with Susie, the brand manager at a luxury automotive manufacturer. She was preparing for her speaking opportunity at an international dealer meeting. It was going to be her first high-stakes speech in the spotlight, with very big implications for the company, her team and her career. She was excited. She was prepared. She was also very nervous.
We talked about control. I reminded her that she was in control of everything—what she said, how she said it, where and when she said it—and that this control is what drives confidence.
Later, we were surveying the stage where she would be performing alongside the choreographed coupes, sedans and SUVs. This being the automotive industry, she would be the only woman giving a keynote at this event. As we walked across the stage she noticed a potential problem that only she would face: a small gap between the stage and the edge of a turntable used to showcase the vehicles. She asked, “What if my high heel gets caught in this gap?”
A very good question. I reminded her that she was in control and asked her what she would do. She thought for a moment and then said, “I’d kick off my other shoe and go barefoot. And the show would go on.” Now, that’s Confidence Through Control.