I spent 3 months with Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi and his campaign team during the 2017 civic election. We worked on 8 video projects together, helping him share his vision and tell his story. Here's what I learned from the guy who won a World Mayor Prize:
1. Be the real thing.
Authenticity is everything in this era of live media. Nenshi was the same guy on TV as he was with me in private. My team and I were working for him as one of many vendors and volunteers. He always treated us with respect and courtesy, while acknowledging our expertise. He even hugged our whole team, and that was well before election day. Sure he can be feisty at times, and that is a part of who he is. He doesn't hide it. And that isn't out of line when the media or opponents attack you. And yes he doesn't like Uber, and to each his own opinions. So don't pretend to be someone else. Be the same person wherever you go.
2. Treat people with love.
That sounds a bit mushy, but frankly, who doesn't appreciate a loving person. They really make the world a better place. And you'll make a lot of friends too. Sure, some people are hard to deal with. You are a better person if you treat them with respect anyway, then move on. Nenshi's kindness and positive attitude was contagious. It made me want to be kinder and more gracious with others.
3. Know your stuff.
Nenshi had the reputation of being "One-Take Nenshi". And sure enough, he delivered on that reputation. Nenshi had scripts and speeches handed to him before going on camera. He would glance at them and proceed to leave them behind. He would speak from his heart. And those messages were always clear and passionate. So if you are running a business or any sort of leadership position, practice articulating what you do and why it matters. It will have a real impact on others. If you don't know, you're probably doing the wrong thing.
4. Grow your passion.
If what you do matters, then get passionate about it. It's a bit of an overused term these days, but excitement spreads like wildfire. Nenshi spoke about the future of Calgary with great anticipation and desire to see big positive changes. It always came out in his voice, expressions, and body language. Having a deep passion and belief for what you are doing will communicate so much more than any advertising.
5. Live efficiently.
There is no end to the topic of work efficiency but I say, live efficiently. Nenshi is well-known for attending multiple functions all over the city on any given day. You can't do that if you waste your time. Take an honest assessment at how much TV you watch, how much time you are on your phone, how much time you take to do coffee, even how much time you spend in the bathroom. To achieve big goals, you need all the time you can get. And all those minutes in between tasks, and doing mindless things just might be wasting your life.
I don't profess to live all these principles well. But I was inspired to live better after meeting Nenshi. Please share what daily principle you live by.
And check out the Best of Nenshi here: https://vimeo.com/244698620