By: Debbie Dyson
President of National Account Services, ADP
Board of Trustee, Launchpad2X

Hold up….when you first read the title of this blog, what was your honest, immediate thought?
• I am intrigued. Or…
• That doesn’t make any sense at all. Or….
• Well, the original Willy Wonka sort of had an Afro. Or…
• Afro Sheen and the original movie might have been made at the same time.

Well believe it or not, they have nothing at all to do with one another. It was simply put to together to grab your attention and hopefully, get you this far in the blog that you are curious to find out more.

So, if you think about how, we as leaders, individuals want to be seen or heard, it is all about drawing people in to make the best and lasting (or first) impression. We constantly talk about how a leader’s presence and their voice are critical keys to success. Definitely an easy thing to say and write, but possibly harder to do.   Like how does one make their presence “felt”.

Take a step back for a moment and think of a time, when you walked into a room/got on a zoom call, feeling confident, prepared,  comfortable, and on top of our game. You stood up taller and you commanded the room. That moment is exactly like the title of this blog. Bold, confident, slightly amusing and ready. Your ability to make that type of impact EVERY time you have the “stage” is what you need to capture. The stage consistently defined as your message, your mission, your credo.

Simply by using the gifts of communication to connect will be critical skills in your tool box. Now before you say, well, I am terrible speaker and/or I am not good at writing; I highly doubt that both are a problem. You wouldn’t be reading this if neither were true. So, you lean where you know you have the gift of gab or the power of the mighty pen. These are your instruments and you must use them to your advantage.

Always think about what is the impression you want to leave. What is that key element that will be remembered AFTER you leave a room or after you send off a memo or email. That impression is the one that will help you shape your brand and your forward thinking messaging.

Probably as no real surprise, I have written numerous blogs…and the title of one was actually, Why Afro Sheen is My Best Friend and the other was What do the Color Purple, Willy Wonka and Pink all have in common? Both were massive hits and while the former was really just a grabber, the latter was all around being resilient and how showing up differently is perfectly fine.

And even further, given one of the tenants for LaunchPad2x is grounded in having something impactful to say, it seems fitting that why finding the power of you in Afro Sheen and Willy Wonka, will be something you will never forget and making a lasting impact as we emerge ahead.


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