A few years ago, I was attending an awards ceremony for some of the top sales people of a Fortune 100 company.
The evening was all about celebrating the achievements of some its top sales people, while also honoring those who had been with the company for more than 20 years. It was a fun event with several hundred people in attendance.
Dinner, drinks and schmoozing was only interrupted once the awards ceremony started.
There were many awards handed out and pictures taken with the CEO, but they always saved the most prestigious award to the very end. That’s where things got, shall we say, awkward.
Before I get to what happened next, let me tell you something. The company first confirms all recipients will be attending the event. The company puts the recipients up in some very nice accommodations and seats them in a place of honor at the event. Suffice it to say, the company went above and beyond to ensure the awards and accolades were given to the right people.
Back to the story.
The time came to give out the last award for the highest producing sales person. The CEO is centerstage. The MC announces the recipient’s name once…twice…and a third time.
The recipient is nowhere to be found.
So, the CEO began to walk off the stage, obviously annoyed, but stopped short of the exit. He paused and then walked up to the microphone and said:
“Sometimes, life is just about showing up.”
It was an awkward moment for everyone involved but the CEO’s statement is a simple and yet important principle – do what you say you’re going to do, even if it means just showing up.