Raw and Fearless

Raw and fearless.

In the onslaught of tributes to comedienne Joan Rivers, these are the adjectives I hear most often.

Raw and fearless.

To people who didn’t like her, Joan Rivers was crass, loud, unabashedly insensitive.

Too much.

I liked Joan Rivers. A lot.

One thing was abundantly clear as I watched the 2010 documentary Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work: Rivers was first and foremost an entertainer. She lived to be on-stage. She abhorred not being on-stage.

We are not all entertainers. We are all, however, on stage. All the time.

I get frustrated with the professional who doesn’t embrace that.

The one who doesn’t care enough to” show up.”

Dick Axelrod, author and organizational consultant, delineates two types of meeting participants: Meeting investors and meeting bystanders.

Joan Rivers was an investor.

Raw and fearless was her currency.

Rivers showed up. Big time.

Raw and fearless has, in most business environments, been replaced by polite and fearful.

Even folks who yearn to invest act like a bystander.

Polite and fearful will not get you there.

It simply doesn’t work when you’re on-stage.

I don’t encourage insensitivity. And yeah, raw and fearlessmay be “too much” where you work.

Pick your own currency. Choose how you invest.

What would be “more” without being “too much?”

Bold and inquisitive?

Curious and provocative?

Courageous and surprising?

Probing and opinionated?

Fearless and committed?

Choose to be an investor. Pick your currency. Two adjectives.

Know that polite and fearful will not get you there.

Two adjectives is all it takes.

When you show up at your meetings this week, embody your currency.

You likely won’t sound like Joan Rivers.

But you will instantly BE an investor. You will energize those around you. And you will energize yourself.

Now, that’s not too shabby, is it?