The Boss Whisperer

Listening to ideasI have always been about new ideas and strategy. Having never received any formal business training, I am usually way off the beaten path. I came from comedy, music, food and sales. (In that order) I always thought that if you could get to a CEO and pitch something really creative you would be able to make a difference if he or she bought in. Well, it’s not as easy as I thought.

What I have found that once you gain access to the C-Suite you find a world so removed from reality, and the air so thin, you need oxygen. In my years in big pharma, I have been able to get close to many a CEO because I was the video producer of their corporate on line messaging.

In that role I was able to coach, cajole and commiserate with them to help them refine their message and bring about a good on camera presentation. That’s where the whispering comes in. You struggle with tone, body language and delivery.

In that process you built a symbiotic relationship based on trust, personal taste and a messaging goal that would have a company wide impact. And that trust doesn’t come over night.

Some of these sessions were grueling because the message had to be read from a teleprompter and be precise but credible. A call to action with emotion and clarity.
What I call “transcending the lense.”

Most of the time the CEO showed up with what I call a “handler” who had to remind him what the topic was, why he was presenting it and that he didn’t have a lot of time because he needed to be somewhere in 30 minutes.

This is where, in my role as producer, an understanding of the big picture, the legal, regulatory and even political aspects of the presentation is critical.

Coaching someone in that position through a tough, critical, messaging session can be a rewarding experience and change the relationship in a positive way. Forever.

When you see the CEO in the hallway later you can see that look in their eye. It’s a great feeling to get up close and personal with someone responsible for the trajectory of a large organization. Very rewarding.

Please note: I welcome comments that are offensive, illogical or off-topic from readers in all states of consciousness.

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