Play Your Part

Play Your Part

Are you giving it your best?

I was watching The Tonight Show recently – the opening monologues are often funny, and other parts of the show can be entertaining.  The musical guest that night seemed interesting, so I fast forwarded to watch their performance.

On stage were the two rappers, some percussionists, a 16-person gospel choir complete with director, and a pianist at a big beautiful grand piano.

After watching a while, it was the piano player who caught my attention.

His part consisted of four chords, and only four chords, played repeatedly and endlessly from the start to the end of the song.

There was no change in tempo, volume or ornamentation, except for a little flourish at the very end.  The effect was to produce a hypnotic rhythm which helped set the tone for the entire song.

The chords themselves were very simple.  You could have shown my eight-year-old neighbor, and he’d have mastered it in about five minutes.

As a professional musician, the pianist was certainly capable of playing something much more complex, interesting, and challenging that would better showcase his talents.

You might think he’d be bored playing something so simple.

But watching him, I did not get that impression.  His head bobbed, his body swayed, he seemed to be concentrating all his attention on making those four sounds come out just right with every touch of the keys.

Like the pianist, we don’t all have a starring role.  Everyone can’t be the lead singer.  Sometimes our job on the team is more of a supporting role.  That doesn’t mean what we do is not important.

Sometimes the job is to support; that doesn’t mean it’s not important. Click To Tweet

If today we are the star, we should be sure to thank the supporting players – they are the ones who help us shine.

If today we are a supporting player, we should do our best to make the team performance the best it can be.  Every single time.

And consider this:  If you were looking to hire a piano player, would you want one who was clearly bored with his part?  Or one who gave every note his full, passionate attention, and worked to make the music the best it could be?

Whatever our part, let’s make today’s performance count.

Lead On!

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About the Author: Ken Downer
Ken Downer - Founder RapidStart Leadership

Ken served for 26 years in the Infantry, retiring as a Colonel.  From leading patrols in the Korean DMZ, to parachuting into the jungles of Panama, to commanding a remote outpost on the Iran-Iraq border, he has learned a lot about leadership, and has a passion for sharing that knowledge with others.  Look for his weekly posts, check out his online courses, subscribe below, or simply connect, he loves to talk about this stuff.

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