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What Being in a Band Has Taught Me About Business

Rock,stock & barrel #28 small

I’ve been involved in music since about the 4th grade. Over the years I’ve played instruments, and in the past 15 years or so I’ve been a singer. I was in a women’s chorus, an a capella quartet, did the odd solo thing, and now, I’m a singer in a rock and roll band.

It’s been a really amazing experience so far. I am by far the newbie in the group. My five band mates have all been playing for decades. But they are super supportive and helpful and have been extremely patient while I’ve learned the ropes. Being part of this group has taught me a couple of important lessons that I think can apply to many things in business.

Playing Music With Others is All About Trust

There are six of us in the band – Lee Ann on lead vocals and guitar, Chris, vocals and guitar, Jamie on keyboards, Dave on bass, Chris on drums and me, vocals and percussion. Each of us brings our own talents and personality to the band. When one of us can’t make it to rehearsal, we are missed. But the biggest thing is, if you’re going to be a successful band, you have to trust each other immensely. We need to completely trust that we’re each going to show up knowing our parts, practiced, and ready to rock (literally). Bringing all of the pieces together well demands that each person be both trusting and trustworthy, or it all falls apart.

This level of trust and trustworthiness serves one well in business too. If one person on a team proves themselves not to be trustworthy, shows up unprepared, or doesn’t get things done, then it all falls apart. Being trustworthy and reliable is one of the most important aspects of being successful in one’s career. And being able to trust others is also critical. You need to be able to rely on your colleagues to pull their end of the bargain. Just like a band falls apart without trust, many an organization has fallen apart for the same reason.

Real Connection

Our band got a new guitarist earlier this year. Before we found Chris, tried out a number of different guitarists that were not a fit. Maybe it was that their style of playing was not quite right for our music. Maybe they didn’t have the availability to make a solid commitment to the project. Maybe their personality just didn’t jive with ours. Whatever the reasons, we knew there just wasn’t a connection. But when we found Chris, it just gelled. We knew right off the bat that he was the right fit for us.

When you work on a creative project, it gets very personal very fast. Once the band starts to gel, you develop a real connection with the other people in the group. You become quite close to each other. If there isn’t that connection with all members of the group, it won’t work. So when you find that connection, you hang onto it, tightly.

In business, connection is vitally important. I’ve recently connected to a new person in my professional circle. We met for a coffee a few weeks ago and immediately hit it off on a personal level – there was that instant connection. We are now finding ways to work together on some things, and it’s very exciting.

Finding people you really connect with on a business level is critical to success. If you’re going to work that closely together, there had better be some sort of connection, some sort of gelling that takes place, just like with the members of a band. Those bonds are powerful, and they enable amazing things to happen.

Trust and connection. It’s the backbone of any musical project, and as it turns out it’s the backbone of business, too. What do you think? Have you learned things from your creative ventures that you can apply to the business world?

Rock Stock and Barrel Original Song – Emotions

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