The best always know what they are doing. And the most skilled at their craft understand that their work effects others. Please, do not be afraid to be the best at this, because it will bring a richness of experience to others.
One of the best conductors in the world is Gustavo Dudamel, a 33 year old Venezuelan orchestral conductor and violinist. He is dynamic, precise, passionate, excellent and a practitioner. He is the best as both a professional conductor and as a concert violinist – the best in theory, service and practice. Currently, he is the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s music conductor as well as a guest conductor for the best orchestras around the world. His passion and professional expertize reflect a characteristic of the best – he is all in.
Among these characteristics, and many others, there is something else about Gustavo Dudamel that I am and greatly drawn to: he invests back into the future of his profession and passion. He is a guest conductor of the Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra, a Venezuelan youth orchestra. This orchestra is the national youth orchestra comprised of the best young musicians throughout the country. Here, Gustavo Dudamel had his start. His investment in these youth is also a testament to the commitment of the best, they give back.
- The best sommelier’s can taste the greatest complexity of flavors in all types of wine. Their natural talents and abilities combined with specific disciplines and expertise position them to potentially be the best… but it takes something more.
- The best conductors can hear all the notes of the most complex musical compositions. Their natural talents and abilities combined with specific disciplines and expertise position them to potentially be the best… but it takes something more.
- The best counselors can identify the most complex emotional and interpersonal difficulties. Their natural talents and abilities combined with specific disciplines and expertise position them to potentially be the best… but it takes something more.
We Commit To Being The Best, For Others And Among Others
What does it take? It takes an all in commitment, being in the moment of engagement and application, being in the place of failure and success, being where you need to be to practice your best each day. Our willingness to be associated with the best requires of us to be in the places where we have an opportunity to practice and participate in the profession. To influence others, we need to be close to others… to be close to others, we need to be ready to receive others.
The best sommeliers taste wine, they practice the disciplines of their profession among other people. The best counselors listen to people counsel, they practice the disciplines of their profession among people. The best conductors create music and conduct, they practice the disciplines of their profession among other people.
We understand this right, right?
The best authors write, the best athletes train and play games, the best teachers teach, the best lawyers practice law – the best are actually in places and surrounded by people that will help them become even better.
At whatever they do, the best intellectually know, they deeply feel, they practically understand and they passionately pursue what they have committed their lives to.
Being the best at what we do is nothing to be ashamed of, and something not to be too proud of – but it is something to be cautious with. Because if we get it wrong, even by a fraction or if we are off by a few degrees, it can really go wrong. Identifying the wrong flavor, missing a note out of tune, overlooking a hint of emotional uncertainty… each has a consequence on others.
We Believe In What Is Right About People
As strengths professionals we believe in what is right about people. We have committed to be the best at what we do by focusing and leveraging what is right about ourselves first before asking others to do the same. We practitioner for ourselves what we invite others to practice. We lead by example and we lead by invitation.
We reflect something right within people, we reflect back a light within people, no matter how dim. We mirror back the life they are living. We lead the way to health and well being. We enlighten through education and guidance, guiding and protecting each next step. We honor and dignify the person that is there. Sometimes this is all that people really need to take steps themselves to becoming who they are meant to be: someone else to hear them, someone else to see them, someone else to value them.
Ending With An Invitation
As Strengths Professionals – I am encouraging each one of us to be the best at this. Actually, I am not just encouraging you to be the best, I am inviting you to be the best. I am not simply desiring you to feel good about this, I am asking you to take action to be the best. The best that we can be, no matter what that looks like, no matter who that impacts, no matter where that may lead us, no matter the notoriety or the obscurity.