5 Traits to Celebrate and Emulate for YOUR Career Development
I don’t care if you like Quincy Jones (Q) or not. I don’t care if you like his lifestyle, music, religious beliefs, or politics. Hell … I don’t even know or care what they are, but I do know this: Quincy Jones has been prolific and is still having a significant positive impact on the world at 87 years old. We should all be so lucky to live such a robust and productive life during our short time on this rock called Earth.
I’m worn out with main street news talking about what we can’t agree on. I am exhausted by folks expecting “on size fits all” ideas/solutions to be the quick fix to very complicated ideas. It just never happens that simple truths work out … even if it feels good to say “wear a mask” or “ok … everybody back to school.” At best, we are being lazy … more often just plain stupid.
Surely we can all agree Q's 28 Grammy's is impressive as all get out!
If you are still with me, let’s go to work.
Here's where this is going: Jones' musical contributions spans all types of music, multiple instruments, most roles/responsibilities in the entertainment industry. He is NOT a one hit wonder. He was creative in all directions of music, film, business, and philanthropy. He evolved and continues to evolve.
"Life ... Mother Nature ... demands creativity from all humans (including you) to survive and THRIVE."
- Tony McLean Brown
That’s why I believe we should take a serious look at the traits of one of the most creative and productive humans of my lifetime: Quincy Jones. His career is all about working hard, taking risks, learning, and being the first one through the door. Everyone else followed his footsteps. He was always asking the question “why not?” because the “why?” was so damned obvious to him.
TOP 5 "Q" TRAITS TO BE CREATIVE
Not sure why it gets done this way, but let's start with the obvious and move down to the more subtle characteristics that might have contributed to Mr. Jones "best in class" achievements.
#5 – Work Hard: Commitment, Drive, Focus – I’ve written and talked about C/D/F since I was 23 years old. I was given the advice by great researcher and data modeler, Gerry Laniak at NOAA/EPA. What’s under having the commitment, drive, and focus is BURNING DESIRE. Possibly, Q’s "burning desire" was a by product of a tough childhood with a very ill mother and always-working father. We all have to know/understand/fuel our burning desire … sometimes it’s tragic ... sometimes it's love ... but regardless we must passionately commit, earnestly drive towards, and relentlessly focus on achieving our goals.
#4 – Practice Perfectly to Play Perfectly – The impact of perfect practice has been researched and documented in the book entitled “The Talent Code: Greatness Isn’t Born, It’s Grown.” Quincy lives it. He might not have known the science behind his approach, but he worked it until he got it perfect. Buzz Aldrin did the same thing … practice it perfectly so when it comes time to perform it goes perfectly. I'm pretty sure when they were landing on the moon, nobody in that spacecraft thought, "man I wish we hadn't practiced this so many times." Music, sports, consulting ... all the same.
#3 – Find Great Mentors, Teachers, Competitors – As a teenager, Q was playing in jazz clubs every chance he got. He met Ray Charles when he was 14 years old. He went to study in Paris with Nadia Boulanger and Olivier Messiaen. Throughout his life, especially early on, he found seasoned professionals to guide, support, encourage, and form his personal development. They invested in him because he contributed to THEIR efforts and energy. It was a good deal for BOTH parties.
#2 – Leverage the “Niagara Falls” Effect – Here’s the one the younger folks have trouble with … you gotta produce a TON of results. Just like the Niagara Falls flow and volume, you gotta get in there and solve a ton of problems with a endless number of creative solutions. Q wrote thousands and thousands of arrangements and played in thousands of performances. His creativity flowed like the water over the Niagara Falls … and one day at some very special time … some family took a vacation photo and their lives changed forever. That’s how Mr. Jones’ did it. A TON of creative volume and force sets the stage … it’s magical when perfect timing and perfect execution collide. Rainbow moments. People’s lives are changed … forever.
#1 – Love the Game, Love the Players, Love the Fans – Here’s the one the older folks know is fact. You can NOT set out with just “winning” being the end goal. You must embrace the growth mindset/process knowing full well that the “results” are in the “how” and “why” you took on the challenge. I promise you … if Quincey Jones set out to win 28 Grammy awards, then he would have probably not come close. He did his craft with exceptional passion … and all the awards/accolades were just pleasant short moments during his long Happy Life.
Finally, I think Quincy Jones’ best gift to us was not his music and investment in great talent around the globe. I think his greatest gift was showing us … maybe through the shadows of the music industry … how to optimize ones’ time on earth and live life abundantly. Think Happy Guide Venn Diagram.
Here’s today’s vid clip:
Tony McLean Brown
A Western NC hillbilly through and through, Tony McLean Brown was born in the small town of Enka-Candler outside of Asheville. His parents re-named him when he was 3 years old to Tony (a nickname provided by his grandfather) McLean (middle name of his Uncle Michael) while retaining his legal surname Brown.
Throughout his career, Tony McLean Brown worked as a farmer, computer programmer, and management consultant – in his adventurous years – author, song-writer, bass player, poet, pilot, mountaineer, certified scuba diver, and competitor in professional bull riding, NASCAR late model racing, Toughman boxing, Crossfit Open, Ironman, pole vaulting, marathon and ultra-marathon running, as well as parenting.
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