If you’ve followed my blog for a while you will know that I’m a lover of music. One thing I’m not really a lover of is TV. When it comes to music however, I’m a sucker for reality television. I love watching artists reach for their dreams and grow under the tutelage of some of the great producers and artists that are a part of shows such as American Idol, The X Factor and The Voice.
The Voice is my favorite of the bunch, because I love the way the coaches work together and support each other. The show also seems to attract a really high level of talent, and the premise that you get selected “blind” with only the performer’s voice to go on is a great way of filtering out all of the assumptions we make about someone merely from the way they look and move.
This year’s winner was Tessanne Chin of Jamaica. Aside from having the best voice in the competition, she is a beautiful person in every way and really bonded with her coach Adam Levine of Maroon 5. During the final show when they were preparing for her final songs, they spoke of their journey together and how it was coming to an end. Tessanne said she had been thinking about what happens when the show is over and spoke the question “What now?”.
I loved Adam’s answer … “That’s a question you have to make sure you don’t ask yourself. You just answer it. You focus on the task at hand.” Which in this case is winning a $100,000 prize and a recording contract.
When I heard this I was brought back to my post In Between from a couple of weeks ago. After I published that post there was a comment from Andrew B. that said “For me in between means I’m moving and progressing. It says my landscape and reference points are changing and that suggests a certain excitement for me … I think for me in between holds angst when I’m “in between” too long. I’m no longer travelling forward nor perfecting my current state.”
These two things compelled me to add to my thoughts of a couple weeks ago. It has brought me to the realization that “in between” isn’t about being in between things. It is about moving from one thing to the next. It is about the courage and confidence to take actions that will allow us to release the current state and move actively towards the new. It isn’t about asking questions … it’s about answering them. It isn’t about planning, it’s about doing. It isn’t about asking “Why?”, it’s about asserting “Why not!!”.
If we are taking action, in between becomes exciting as Andrew points out. We are actively involved in defining our future state. We are testing things out, trying to figure out how everything fits together. We are building bridges from our current state to where we know we want to be.
What “$100,000 prize and recording contract” is in your future? For me I see two prizes. I see my new role as I complete the transition to my successor, and I see a rewarding and meaningful “first retirement” for myself after that next role. What I need to focus on is the next thing that I will do to make those future desired states a reality for myself. I know what those things are because I’ve planned for them. But guess what? Plans don’t happen unless we do something!
I think there is a pretty obvious connection here to our roles as leaders. Our team members all have plans for themselves, both for their current work and for where they aspire to be in the future. Do we help our team members understand what it is they need to do to accomplish their goals? Do we make them accountable for taking action? Do they know it is up to them to make their plans reality?
Thank you Adam and Andrew for adding clarity. And thank you Tessanne Chin for your beautiful artistry. Here is a sample of her work signing one of the biggest songs ever … Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing”.