On Saturday I got to hear something beautiful from one of the best saxophone players in the game. Jaleel Shaw, a 2000 Berklee College of Music grad, came back to speak to accepted students for the fall semester but didn’t play a single note. He didn’t even bring his saxophone.
Yet his contribution was as moving and inspirational to the hundreds of students and parents listening in Saturday as surely his music is when played.
Thoughtful, so very humble and endearing – he kept genuinely and transparently falling back on the value and need to “practice”. He must have mentioned the word more than 20 times eventually having said it so often he had the crowd laughing (and for sure learning).
He told of his days at Berklee being long and grueling yet each semester he would map out where and exactly when he would fit in at least 8 hours of practice each day between and around his full class load.
Surely his renowned teachers, the Berklee connections, the theory courses, the performances and the education degree he acquired were essential to his success today but practice, practice and more practice was his sincere message.
And the message is a great one far beyond the study of music. In fact practice should play a much bigger role for us in our business lives. But what do we really do about it in our jobs today? Do we really practice unless we are forced to?
- How often in the cubicle aisle does a salesperson grab a colleague out of the blue and practice dealing with difficult objections or articulating better what problem the product really solves?
- How often as trainers, do we really stand up in front of that mirror or virtually with a colleague, practice our messaging and presentation before delivering our training?
- How often as managers and supervisors and coaches do we prepare and practice a difficult conversation with an employee or for that matter, practice a nurturing conversation to maximize the conversation’s potential?
It’s obvious that a college like Berklee should be a culture of ardent practice and it makes sense. I’d contend that Practice Culture has a value far wider than just at a Music school and would do quite well where you work.
Till Next Time,
Grow The Business.