5 Lessons from Regis
Today marks Regis Philbin’s final appearance on Live with Regis and Kelly. I thought it would be a good opportunity to reflect on his life and what we as individuals and organizations can learn from him. Surely, anyone known universally by their first name (think Cher, Pele, Celine, Bono, etc. ) has lessons to teach.
- Be personable, approachable- Most of us think of Regis as an eccentric neighbor, a crazy uncle, or a kindly grandfather figure. He makes us laugh. Regis also makes us feel comfortable.We’ve invited him into our living rooms for close to 17,000 hours of television over a few decades. We’ve invited him into our lives. Does your organization get invited into the lives of its members, employees, and/or customers? Or are you viewed begrudgingly as an uninvited guest or an obligatory participant? What can you do to change the dynamics so your constituents want to spend more time with you? So you’re invited to be a part of their dialogue?
- Share the spotlight- Part of the appeal of Regis is that he doesn’t have to have the spotlight to himself. He’s actually more effective when he has a co-host- someone to bounce ideas off or have playful banter with. Getting along with others and playing nicely in the sandbox is a lesson we learned in kindergarten. What can your association, company, or agency do to better recognize and promote its partners, vendors, thought leaders, and other members of its circle of influence? Are there opportunities to turn competitors into valued partners to better advance your cause? What are the ways that highlighting the work of others reflects well on you and your accomplishments?
- Say what you think- Another key ingredient to the success of Regis has been his willingness to make off-the-cuff remarks. Now, this is the area in which we tread lightly, especially those of us accustomed to the carefully-crafted press release or prepared statement. Saying what you think doesn’t always win; sometimes it may get you in trouble. In this era of social media, however, organizations need to have quicker responses, they need to move as a living organism and not hide behind official statements. Associations, companies, and agencies need people who are well-trained and can think on their feet. The moment won’t wait for you and your team to do research, polls, or surveys. Train them. Trust them. Let them go. Are the wins adding up? Are they greater than the temporary setbacks of missed cues or foot-in-the-mouth moments?
- Be outRegis- From crazy costumes to inane skits to interesting guests, Regis has shown his willingness to take risks. He showed himself to be vulnerable. Regis snatched success from the jaws of failure. Most of us would have been too self-conscious to pull off much of what he’s done. But, we’re the National American Society for the Association of Professional Hydragoposcatators (NASAPH, for short). Who cares?! Take a moment to recognize and enjoy the accomplishments. Ensure that there’s time to get to know members, employees, and customers on a personal level. What are you doing to stand out? And not just as a mammoth organization or a leader in your industry?
- Thanks for the memories- From humble origins in the Bronx and a Catholic education to the national stage, Regis genuinely seems to connect with childhood friends and mega-superstars alike. He’s also invested in the lives of young men by providing scholarships to Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx. He took a circuitous route through local television in California and back to New York to become a fixture on national TV in his late 50’s. Take time to remember where you came from and who got you there. It’s taken many people and perhaps many years to get you to where you are today. Do you have moments to celebrate and recognize the contributions of staff, volunteers, customers, members, etc.?
What are the lessons you’ve learned from Regis?