American Idol fans may not realize it, but Simon Cowell, the judge they love to hate, is also a judge and producer a British TV show with a similar format called “Britain’s Got Talent.” I had never heard of this show until the YouTube video of contestant Susan Boyle showed up on my Facebook page tonight. She performed on Saturday night.
What I love about this story is Mr. Cowell’s exchange with Ms. Boyle:
- Cowell: What’s the dream?
- Boyle: I’m trying to be a professional singer.
- Cowell: And why hasn’t it worked out so far, Susan?
- Boyle: I’ve never been given the chance before, but here’s hoping it will change.
Isn’t that what we all want in business and in our lives? Just a chance — an opportunity — at something better?
But how many times have you made the wrong business decision because you jumped to conclusions or weren’t willing to give someone a chance? You may never know what you missed out on.
Or maybe you’ve found yourself in Ms. Boyle’s position. She clearly has tremendous talent, but she just hadn’t found the right opportunity where she can to pursue her dream. Maybe your big break is waiting for you if you keep persevering. Or maybe you aren’t telling your personal story as effectively as you probably could in an interview or after you’re hired. Or maybe you’re just not in a job which really leverages your strengths.
I don’t know.
But to me, Susan Boyle overcame the challenges that Simon Cowell and his audience put before her for one reason: her performance was genuine, authentic and honest. She communicated and connected herself with the audience.
Ultimately that’s exactly what makes for effective communication, isn’t it? But when was the last time you saw a business communicate as honestly as Susan Boyle? But that’s exactly what the best businesses do. (Or at least, that’s what businesses at their best do.)
On Saturday, Susan Boyle just reminded us of that.