The mission of showing up

Years ago I found myself not wanting to go to family functions, but a pivotal moment in that changing for me was realizing I had something unique to bring. In other words, that something would be decidely missing if I didn’t go.

I started calling it the “mission of showing up.” And inexplicable moments of connection started happening, not because I went with an agenda. Just because I went ready to engage.

Corporate or customer evangelism didn’t originate with Guy Kawasaki, but the story of how he was chosen by Steve Jobs to be an evangelist popularized the notion. Now it’s increasingly a job description in many organizations.

But it doesn’t have to be part of your job description. Perhaps more importantly, it’s such a foundational part of anyone’s role as a connector that it shouldn’t have to be part of your job description.

If you have a mission, it’s likely that accomplishing is going to require doing something uncomfortable. If you’re a celebrity or maybe the CEO, you may not have to do the going, but you and I have both seen people who “arrive” and forget the very things that made them successful in the first place.

Leaders show up. In their neighborhood.