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Victoria Labalme Coca Cola Storytelling Speaker

How do you bring out

the best in others…and in yourself?

How can you help people

perform at their highest levels?

This topic is close to my heart.

Based on my client’s particular

circumstances and needs, there are

a number of ways I’ve approached

the subject with skills related to

communication, collaboration,

innovation and risking forward,

listening, teamwork and appreciation.

There’s another very practical angle

to the topic of high performance

that I wanted to address here.

It’s top of mind right now

given a visit I made last week

to Coca Cola’s headquarters in Atlanta.

(This is my third project for the company

and every one of them

has been a first-rate experience.)

From the kindness with which I was greeted

by the security team and staff

waiting for me in the lobby

(what I call “The First Moment”)

to a state-of-the-art event room

with top quality production elements;

from the experienced, professional tech crew

to an actual green room

(at Coca-Cola, they appropriately

call it the “red room”)

where I could get ready and focus…

it collectively supported

my ability to perform at my best.

After all the prep I’d put in

through the months leading up to this event,

these final elements greatly impacted

the quality of my work.

And here’s where it relates to YOU:

What do the people on your team

—or those supporting your project––

need to perform at their best?

A good friend of mine was hired

a few years ago at a reputable company.

On her first day, she was shocked

to discover that the chair

in her tiny workspace

was dilapidated and lumpy.

The ceiling above was slanted and low

due to a staircase overhead.

All day long, she had to contend

with a cramped space

and the thumping of co-workers.

How can someone possibly do

their best work in that environment?

Another example:

a client of mine who is a young leader

told me that she wanted to host

her meetings at 7:00am

to start the day early,

let her team know she was serious,

and “get the most out of them.”

I encouraged her to rethink that plan.

Going back to Coca-Cola…

one of the many striking and impressive facts

about the company

is the number of people who have

happily been there for

15, 20, 25 or more years.

When I asked a few of them

why they thought this was the case,

I heard a common refrain:

“The people…and how the company treats us.”

“They take care of us.”

And so, building on last week’s post

I shared about The Power of Appreciation,

I wanted to add these questions:

What can you do to take care of your people?

And what do they truly need

to perform at their best?

You’ll find that oftentimes

a little can go a very long way.

Risk Forward & Rock On,


P.S. I have a particular fondness for the Coca-Cola brand as my great uncle (Raymond Loewy) designed their iconic slenderized bottle.

P.P.S. This post relates to you personally, too. If you’re hosting guests for a weekend, what do they truly need to feel at ease and have an excellent experience? Key distinction: it’s often not what you think they would like. The real question is: what do they actually need? An extra comforter at night? Access to coffee first thing in the morning? Time to sit quietly and take care of unfinished work?

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