Do, or Do Not: Solo and Team Performance

Fundación BBVA, Madrid. With Willem Jeths

Have you ever tried to move a chair?

Exactly, there is something really odd about that question. You either move the chair, or you don’t. There is no trying. Trying is nothing.

Try it.

The similarity between moving a chair and performing a concert

Once the date of a concert has been agreed upon, it will not be changed, ever. On the day of the concert, there will be an audience, the curtain will go up, and you will be on that stage. There is no trying. There is only doing the performance. Period.

Try it.

What? There are suddenly some hurdles to overcome. Putting on a performance implies quite a bit more than moving a chair, I hear you say.

Yet performers do it, because in their minds, there is no trying.

4 keys to the mindset of a top performing musician. And you too can get there.

Performing with the same flow as when moving a chair means exercising the three muscles of personal power. And then adding a fourth something else.

Yes, personal power can be trained. I did it, and you can do it too. Here are the first 3 keys:

1. Letting go of what is not useful: it means turning down irrelevant mental processes and turning up the relevant ones, engaging the brain to be precisely tuned to the exact task demands. It means a state of mind that is equal parts all-out effort and all-out zen. Isn’t this a nice want-to-have besides a musician’s interesting friends?

2. Controlling fear and managing emotions: it all starts by facing them head on, putting them in a place where they can’t interfere with you building your skill and showing up on that stage. Making a distinction between self-worth and performance works nicely too.

3. Taking massive action: it means seeing the big picture of all the actions that need to be taken to achieve the desired goal and how they interconnect, and then taking them. Practicing, memorizing, finding the best mentors, talking to the right people, choosing the music, picking the right clothes and even deciding who will iron them, and everything in between. It also means changing the emotional meaning behind all activities, tying it to a concrete and compelling goal: in 3 years I want to be the next Beethoven and play for 3000 people in Carnegie Hall!

And then the something else:

4. Continuing until the end no matter what happens along the way: whether a musician makes a mistake, forgets the lines, the instrument breaks down or the ceiling of the concert hall comes crashing down, once a performance starts, a musician does whatever it takes to solve the internal and external problems encountered, and see the performance through to the end. There is no starting over. There is only giving the audience something memorable they can take home with them. And the audience loves a musician for it.

Would you like to achieve transformation the way a task-oriented musician does? A coach can help you tune in to your our own inner voice and develop the capacity to take massive action towards different and desired results.

How does this work in a team? Solo performer goes ensemble and team

Theater Kikker with Electra New Music. Utrecht, The Netherlands

Let’s say a solo performer becomes performer within an ensemble of contemporary music. Does anything happen to the 4 keys to a top performing mindset?

No and yes.

No, because the 1-2-3-4 basic recipe stays the same. Yes, because the tasks involved do influence 3 and 4.

Besides playing an instrument, this kind of musician creates a market for a type of music for which there is no clear demand and supply. When it comes to taking massive action, the big picture of actions to be taken and how they interconnect will look different and it will include a lot more tasks: conflict resolution, selling yourself, aligning different musical parts, hiring personnel, attracting sponsors, being flexible with roles, the list goes on and on.

For this type of performer, continuing until the end no matter what happens along the way, means ‘No’ is never the end. During a project, ‘No’ is simply a sign that says, just take another road. The goal is what matters, there is no trying, only getting there. The product, the production, the concert, will happen. On the day of the concert, there will be an audience, the curtain will go up, and that ensemble-team will be on that stage. There is no trying. There is only doing the performance. There is only giving the audience something memorable they can take home with them. And the audience loves them for it.

Let’s be honest: if you are a CEO or executive manager, you want your clients to love you for your memorable products too.

imageSo, what the heck is a high-performing team and how do you get one?

A high-performing team is one that is:

  • productive = gets the job done because there is only do, or do not
  • engaged = has a purpose (a clear ‘what are we here to do?’), and a language and atmosphere that support the being together
  • aligned = puts personal positions aside by focusing on the ‘what are we here to do’, coming together around organizational priorities

How do you get one?

I have a wide range of frameworks for organizational, cultural and strategic problem solving. My toolbox contains Theory U and Organization and Relationship Systems Coaching tools, as well as serious games so I can help you co-create a high-performing team. Just drop me an e-mail.

Try it.

I mean, do it! 😀

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Sonsoles Alonso 

Designing Productive Teams and Powerful Relationships
OD Consulting, Team & Executive Training and Coaching, Speaking.
sonsoles.alonso@outlook.com
www.sonsolesalonso.com