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Approaching Senior Leadership: They Put Their Pants on One Hairy Leg at a Time

Some people are just incredibly intimidating. There's no way around it.

People in power. Maybe the CEO or someone in the C-Suite in your company. A general in the military. A celebrity. Obama. They're all intimidating people.

When someone has complete control over the jobs and livelihoods of hundreds or thousands of people, it can be a little intimidating to talk to them.

I get it.

If you want to be a people manager, you have to learn to talk to intimidating people.

Let me share a trick that works for me every single time.

A few years ago, I decided it would be a good idea to talk to the CEO of my 5000+ employee company. My rational mind kept trying to convince me that he was a regular person, after all.

But my heart wouldn't stop beating in my throat. Do you know that feeling? Ugh. It's the worst.

Anyway, I tried to get up the nerve and thought of a phrase I've heard a hundred times, "He puts his pants on one leg at a time, too."

That got me thinking... I bet he has really hairy legs. Like, super hairy. Ungodly hairy. So much hair that he has trouble putting on his skinny jeans.

It worked. As soon as I visualized his hairy legs, it didn't feel so bad walking up to him.

So now, when I need to or decide that I should talk to someone in power, I visualize their hairy legs. Man or woman... it doesn't matter.

Try it out. Make it your own. What will disarm them for you?

If you'd like to listen to more on this topic from my soothing voice, listen to Management Material, my podcast for those who are growing to become people managers.


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