Who Is Going To Be In Charge This Summer?

“I am a leader. Leaders always get heat. They’re always going against the grain. Jimi Hendrix got heat; Bob Marley got heat; Miles Davis got heat. Every great artist got heat. Heat means you’re doing something right.” – Ziggy Marley


Whether you are participating in a Summer Program, have created your own or are just continuing to do your own thing this summer, it’s important to think about what you want to accomplish, your agenda for this time period so your precious resources of time, energy and money are not wasted.
Are you interested in being the one who leads, the one in charge of what transpires during this time period both in your business and personal life, or have you ever given thought to that concept? Are you of the mind to only deal with your “stuff” as it comes up or do you have a strategic plan of action in place, even if it is minimal at the moment? Or do you even know what I am talking about – period?
Guaranteed, dealing with what’s directly in front of you, always seems more urgent and concrete but doesn’t give you much room or opportunity to concentrate on noticing any potholes that may show up that you then fall in and find it hard to get out of, or allow you to recognize that the road you are on my be leading you off a cliff or perhaps you have simply given your own power away to someone or something and don’t know how to get it back.
So, let me share some thoughts that might open your mind to some ways to think about this.
First, there is a big difference between taking a risk and taking a chance. Taking a risk means doing the research, talking with your mentor or those whose opinion you respect and collecting any materials or background information necessary to help you make a solid choice about following through on taking this risk.
A chance, on the other hand, is simply finding out about an opportunity in some serendipitous way and saying to yourself, “Oh, that sounds good, I’ll do that” or “If I don’t take this opportunity even if I’m not really ready, I’ll never have it again”… and then jumping in without having any information or having done any research to know whether taking this chance is right for you right now or not. Working this way often means you will crash and burn which in turn gives your “Brat” permission to say yet once again, “See I told you so.” And you start another round of doubt and indecision. And it also tells others that you are not ready to be thought of as a young professional and given the opportunities that come with it.
No two people use the same combinations of inner systems, patterns or traits, so there is no ONE path that fits everyone. You need to always work from and focus on your unique strengths and stop trying to fix your weaknesses. Also, you need to be comfortable with the timetable you build to get things done. This is not a competition or a race to see who wins. It’s about getting to your realistic goals by doing the necessary work, step-by-step. This get’s you to YOUR individualized, practical finish line at your pace. Who cares if others are behind or ahead of you in what they are doing. You don’t want to get stuck in the minutia and burn out or waste your precious resources of time, energy and money by trying to live your life and work your business with someone else’s plan and time table, do you? If you have been trying this, how is it working for you? Stop, take a breath and really think about this.
On the other hand, know that “different” is not always better – so don’t throw out as they say, the baby with the bath water. Conventional wisdom can be great as long as you keep in mind its blind spots. And please, please, please, keep an open mind about new concepts and ideas you might come in contact with as you talk to and work with others. Heck, why not actively seek out those who truly see the world differently and try hard to understand why! Often you will still disagree, but at times they might actually reframe your own thinking for the better. In other words, don’t just continue to associate with those who already agree with you. Welcome healthy disagreement and discourse without getting all emotional.
And above all, don’t ever forget to listen to what others are saying. Don’t be trying to concoct some smart, witty repartee in your mind and stop listening to others conversation. Listening is “key” in actually hearing and understanding the interesting and new informational parts of any good conversation. And for some, “NEW” may feel scary because it might mean change. Simply keep an open mind, which science finally is saying, allows for real creativity. That is where you need to reside. There is no right or wrong. Failure and making mistakes are a given. It’s all about how you choose to deal with this feedback. When we as children got to the age of standing on two feet, and then fell and thought. “Well I failed at that, so I will never try that again!” we would all still be crawling through life.
What do you think? Let me hear from you. Avanti and ciao. Carol

Carol Kirkpatrick

For as long as she can remember, singing and performing have always been in Carol Kirkpatrick’s blood. From her beginnings in a small farming town in southeastern Arizona, through her early first-place triumph at the prestigious San Francisco Opera Auditions, and subsequent career on international stages, Ms. Kirkpatrick has thrilled audiences and critics alike. “A major voice, one worth the whole evening.” (The New York Times) Since retiring from the stage, she continues to be in demand as a voice teacher, clinician, and adjudicator of competitions including the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.  Combining her knowledge of performance, business, and interpersonal skills, she has written the second edition of her highly regarded book, Aria Ready: The Business of Singing, a step-by-step career guide for singers and teachers of singing.  Aria Ready has been used by universities, music conservatories and summer and apprentice programs throughout the world as a curriculum for teaching Ms. Kirkpatrick’s process of career development, making her “the” expert in this area.  She lives in Denver, Colorado.   YouTube.com/kirkpatrickariaready