[June 25, 2019] In 2007, I had the pleasure to meet comedian Robin Williams in Al Faw Palace, Baghdad, Iraq. He and I had a warm, captivating conversation. We talked about our families, where we came from, and the interesting people we’ve met. He told me that his life’s mission was to spend more time with people and that’s why he was in Iraq.
“I used to think that the worst thing in my life is to end up alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel alone. “ – Robin Williams, American actor and comedian
I get to speak with many local community leaders in my travels throughout the United States. Every one of them says they spend too much time on administrative tasks like answering emails and talking on the phone. Each admitted that they were not spending enough time with the people in their care; an honest observation.
This is a persistent problem not easily solved. Part of the answer is to delegate more to subordinates. Another is to block time in the schedule to walk around and just talk with people. A leader who does this will be more trusting of others and more trusted in return.
Robin Williams was voted the funniest person of all time. My brief encounter with him, more than a decade ago, impressed me about his insights about people; enjoying your time around them, caring for them, and making each encounter something very special. Williams committed suicide in 2014.
It has been said that the most important thing that parents can do for their children is to make them likable. And the only way to do this is to ensure their kids spend time playing with other kids. The same applies to good leadership habits; be likable and spend more time with people.