You would think that when interviewed about architect Frank Gehry, artists, colleagues and clients would focus on his amazing gifts for sculptural forms. That they would wax rhapsodic about his phenomenal ability to bend materials so that they undulate like slivering snakes.
And they did. In filmmaker Sydney Pollack's documentary "Sketches by Frank Gehry", Gehry was heralded as one of the greatest architects of this century. But what I found most fascinating was the emphasis on fun. Clients loved working with Gehry because he was fun. Artists mentioned Gehry's great sense of humor. And colleagues commented on his brio which Webster's defines as "vigor and vivacity."
Show me the brio.
As a communication coach, I work with clients who want to fine-tune their positive messages. They want to exude the confidence that inspires colleagues to see their vision and live it. And since they're high-performers they need to bank on the positive energy and enthusiasm that gets under people's skin and accelerates success.
According to Daniel Goleman in his seminal book Emotional Intelligence at Work, "The greatest difference between average and superior leaders is in their emotional style. The most effective leaders are more outgoing, more emotionally expressive, more likable." To paraphrase screenwriter William Goldman, "the people who work in Hollywood are more fun to be with." There's that word again...fun.
To demonstrate brio one must discipline oneself to stay resilient and optimistic in the face of daily disappointments. To do that, we must become aware of what's going on inside our heads. Self-talk that's diminishing, deprecating and demoralizing is going to limit your opportunities. Frank Gehry didn't get to be Frank Gehry telling himself he was a rotten architect.
Brio takes confidence and energy. It requires humor. You need to be excited about what you do. You need a sense of purpose. And you must communicate that excitement through every form of communication including image and actions.
For high-performing clients, it's not enough just to get the work done. They want something deeper, richer, more satisfying in their working relationships. They want the energy and the excitement of operating at the top of their game. They're in pursuit of the fun of success.