East Hartford, CT has become my de-facto home-away-from-home. I have several clients there, but my absolute favorite is the
one I do a three-day management skills program for. I won’t tell you who they are, except that they build “dependable engines.”
Now I’ve been delivering this program for over three years, sometimes several times a month. At the end of last week’s session, the program “owner” asked me how I stay motivated doing this same session so many times. It was a great question and while I told her that I simply loved the program, I knew there was something more. I just had to figure it out.
Friday, the answer came to me while I was cleaning house.
I absolutely HATE cleaning house so to motivate myself, I put my AC/DC Live at Donington DVD from 1991 on the TV and listen to the concert. Recently, I got AC/DC’s newest concert DVD Live at the River Plate and had that playing while I was cleaning the den. While listening to music, I couldn’t help but notice Angus Young, the now 57-year old guitarist playing such classics as Highway to Hell, and For Those About to Rock with energetic abandon. Interestingly enough, you can watch the same band in 1991 and even earlier and Young attacks the stage and guitar with the same energy. It’s almost as if he’s playing to people who have never seen AC/DC live and he wants to make the experience unforgettable, AND to those who’ve seen them many times before. In both cases, the concerts are outstanding. AC/DC and Young play like it’s the first time anyone has seen them.
It became very clear to me then. I’m enthusiastic about this three-day program because for a first-timer, it has to be unforgettable. Because I’ve been working with this company for so long, I’m also doing several half and one-day events too and often run into the same people. For those folks, every performance has to be even better than the first time. Subtly, I’ve been doing this I guess. Now I know why.
That’s my motivation. What’s yours? Is there something that you do routinely and are finding yourself getting bored with? If so, remember, the routine you do might be the first experience somebody has with you. For them, they would expect to see you performing with the enthusiasm of it being your first time “on stage.” If people have dealt with your or your company before, they expect you to top the last performance.
Jimmy Buffet must be absolutely SICK of singing Margaritaville, but it’s his signature song. He needs to perform it as if the audience has never heard it before. For them, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience to see him. If I ever get to see AC/DC in concert, I’ll expect to hear all the classics performed with the energy I see in my 2010 and 1991 concert DVDs. Anything less would be a letdown. I can’t afford any of my workshop audiences to have a letdown either. It’s my motivation.
This week, think about what you can do to treat your job, audience, task, or performance as if it’s the first in front of a new audience or in front of someone whose seen it numerous times. It will definitely cause you to ramp up your game. I’m up for it. Are you?
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