In my former life as a musician, I started my career out very insecure in my skills. Sure, I could sling my guitar pretty well, but I didn’t really feel like I was a professional. To be honest, I really felt like I was an impostor.
Insecure in my own skill set, I was regularly humbled and petrified when put into playing situations with truly talented musicians. (You know; the kids who, at age 2, were able to sit down at the piano and perform the Mozart their parents played for them in the womb.)
Afraid of being revealed as the blithering amateur I perceived myself to be, I hid from these situations. Instead, I purposely sought out “amateur” playing situations. They were safer. When I felt like my playing wasn’t quite up to snuff, I could turn around and look at the shabby bass player and find some comfort. At least I wasn’t as bad as that guy.
(Side-note: Insecurity is toxic. It will lead you to destroy the people around you just so you can feel a little bit better about your situation. That’s beside today’s point, however.)
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
And then a friend flipped my thinking upside down. He showed me that I was going about things all wrong. By avoiding those higher level playing environments, I wasn’t protecting my talent. I was killing it. By purposefully taking myself out of opportunities for growth, I was ensuring that I would always stay an “amateur.”
As I broke out of my previous foolishness and began to surround myself with much more talented players than myself, I learned something invaluable. In spending time with these true professionals, I started to think, behave, and play more like them. My practice habits changed. My repertoire grew. My musicianship flourished.
Shed Your Fears and Dive In
As I continued to grow into the player that I never thought I could be, I learned a lesson that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. It was a lesson in immersion. By immersing myself in a “culture” of musicians whom I respected, I picked up on the things, both tangible and intangible, that made them successful. Sure it was uncomfortable, but it was worth it.
Real Estate pioneer Gary Keller says it like this, “Success leaves clues.” In my own paraphrase, financial guru Dave Ramsey sums it up quite nicely, “If you want to win, find people who are winning. Figure out what they’re doing and then go do it yourself.” Immersion is an incredible way to pick up these clues and figure out how to win.
For me, this lesson has played out invaluably:
- When starting my real estate business, I sought out and spent time with successful agents, investors, brokers, coaches, and so on. They taught me how to be a successful real estate agent.
- In my speaking writing career, I’ve built relationships with other writers, authors, and speakers. They’ve helped me to learn what it looks like to be an effective communicator.
- In my studies and training as an aspiring Bible teacher and minister, I’ve intentionally sought out pastors and mentors to guide me along the long, difficult road and to show me the tricks of their trade.
An Opportunity to Immerse
Odds are that you’re here because you’re interested in leadership and want to grow yourself as a leader. Perhaps you could say you want to “win” as a leader. Well, what better way to do so than by immersing yourself in a culture of great leaders and learning from their success?
If you’ve been with this blog for a while, then I’m sure you’ve seen my previous posts on the Chick fil A Leadercast. Since we’re talking about immersing yourself in an environment of incredibly talented leaders, you should know that this is the place to do it.
I’ve attended the last two events and have been immensely stretched in my own capacity as a leader. I won’t sell you here, but I strongly suggest you check it out.
If you live in Nashville, this year’s Leadercast will be at Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena on May 4,2012. If you’re not in Nashville, you can use this site to find a location near you. Some friends at my favorite Christian radio station were even so generous as to offer everyone who reads this post an amazing discount on ticket prices.
For more about that, check out this link (use the promo “silvagroup”).
Who Wants a Free Kindle?
Leaders are readers and readers are leaders. That said, you should read books… Lots of books. But who wants to carry around those clunky old stacks of paper? What is this? High School… Hmm…
Solution! Thanks again to the wonderful folks at WAY-FM, you’ve got the chance to win a free Amazon Kindle! If you’d like your shot at the free Kindle, follow these 3 steps. (If you want to win, you’ve got to do all 3.)
- Share this article. Click one of the links on the sidebar and share this post with your networks.
- Leave a comment. Answer the question below and include a working email address in your reply. I’ll be notifying the winner via email, so make sure its an account you actually check!
- Relax. I’ll connect with the winner in 7 days. If you don’t hear from me, then no Kindle for you. Better luck next time!
Remember: If you live in Nashville, make sure you check out the Chick-fil-a Leadercast. If you use the “silvagroup” promo code, you’ll save $20 a ticket! Click here for the details. I’ll see you on May 4th!
Question: What will you do to immerse yourself in an environment that can stimulate growth in your own life?
Psst… If you want more than one chance to win the Kindle, check out this similar post on leadership by Jeff Goins.