Turning Commitment into Confidence

From something we do to somwthig we love doing

“If you're going to make a mistake, make it loud so everyone else sounds wrong.”

[Giuseppe Venuti]

    He was a pioneer, considered the father of violin jazz. He played with guitarist Eddie Lang in the 1920s and 1930s. Venuti worked with some of the most known musicians and jazz figures of that period including, Benny Goodman, the Dorsey Brothers, Bing Crosby, Bix Beiderbecke, Jack Teagarden, the Boswell Sisters, Adrian Rollini, and Frank Signorelli.

    When Lang dies in 1933, Venuti's career seemed to wane. The musician was relatively unknown through the 1950s. Then after playing in the 1960s in Desert Inn Hotel in Las Vegas he was rediscovered and he started doing a series of recordings with other musicians in the 1970s.

    Innovation that helped redefine a style with some success early on, a lot of work and dedication in the middle, and a new wind in his sails on his third age. Commitment creates confidence. Venuti was defined a virtuoso artist with an impressive playing style, and he was interesting in more than one way, including a wicked sense of humor.

    A very private person, Venuti's life story was punctuated by an interesting note when he died in 1978 nobody was sure of his age. Son of immigrants from Italy he was either born on a ship from Lecco or in Philadelphia, where he began studying the violin.

    The point of this story, of Venuti's quote up top, is that commitment comes first. There's tremendous power in making commitments during negotiations, because we do what we say, take care to draw a line, so we have clarity, and open the door for win/win by asking the other party to do their part.

Two applications of this idea

    If we look for fair, our word begins to appreciate in value, which is one way to build a good reputation. Many of us would rather do business with people we can trust. It's another way of saying that when we commit to making promises we intend to keep, we grow our confidence that we'll be able to make better promises in the future.

    One application of this principle is when we're building a new brand. To go from unknown to respected, we want to pick a niche or problem we solve, commit to it, and then create value. Innovation may get us noticed, but it's consistency over the long haul that delivers. Think compound effects of building competence and coming through.

    Another way of talking about commitment is saying we have a growth mindset. A concept popularized by psychologist Carol Dweck, the growth mindset is not just about effort, it's about learning to learn, being a lifelong learner who seeks to improve how we solve problems. The second application is about motivation.

    Businesses and people who are motivated by challenges, finding opportunity, building a team, mentoring others or being player-coaches, who seek improvement over genius, are highly determined to succeed over being spot on all the time end up attracting from a more diverse pool of candidates.

    According to Paradigm and Textio#, jobs with a high density of fixed mindset language fill 11 times more slowly. Another way of saying that is that companies can find suitable candidates 1.5 times faster. If we go with the time is money metaphor, well then. Love learning quintuples the impact.

    Language does matter musically, in written form, verbally, and even non verbally. Another way of looking at motivation with language is by observing the terms people use when they talk about work. The tells are based on the words and syntax they use in specific contexts and body language.

    Proactive people tend to talk about getting the job done, they start things… early in their career they may act too quickly, or jump in head first. Direct language, short,active sentences that convey confidence are some indications we're dealing with a go-getter. Physically, we observe electric presence. An extremely proactive person is impatient and forceful.

    Reactive people tend to analyze and wait until conditions are right. Use of passive verb construction, verbs made into nouns, or terms like thinking about, analyzing, waiting, speaking about things being out of their control, and overuse of conditionals like could, might are tells. Willingness to sit for long periods of time is also an indication.

    But as there is no average person (really), people who are mostly proactive and mostly reactive are outliers the majority are a bit of both, with experience they can balance each based on context. There's a lot more to language applied to marketing. One application might look at criteria important to customers and what kind of questions we should ask to elicit that information or observe it in language patterns.

    Commitment creates confidence or builds it. We start on the path by being curious. Innovators like Venuti (which is like saying the Latin veni in plural, those who came) pick up something out of curiosity, then develop a skill through commitment and deliberate practice as their build their confidence.

    Organizations that hire people with a growth mindset have established a culture that focuses on improving and learning new things rather than being fixed onto “this is the way we do things here.” Stories are more powerful than data alone, they attract and keep people accordingly.


, ,