How to Get Ahead with Preparation and Professionalism

Please understand. I am not recounting this incident as a way to brag. I learned a lesson from it, and I want to share that lesson with you.

Our son, Ben, was “managing” a girl who was auditioning for a showcase at Belmont University. Showcases are a big deal at Belmont. Only four acts make a Showcase. They are presented in the Curb Event center, which is the basketball arena at Belmont. Industry professionals are judges and Music Row professionals attend.

The girl that Ben managed happened to win the Showcase. The first thing the judges spoke about when they awarded the win was the winner’s “manager.” They said that of all the acts, this was the one manager who came in prepared. At the initial audition he carried a notebook and took notes. He politely introduced himself and then introduced his “client” to the judges. He carried himself professionally and took it seriously.

The industry judges were wondering if he was available to intern at their companies. The industry professional from Word Records made it clear that Ben was already interning there, and none of them could have him.

In the end, it was the talent and presentation of the act that won the showcase. But it obviously helped her to have better management than anyone else.

Think about your daily life, your work, or your organization:

  • Are you, and everyone else, paying attention? Ben demonstrated that he was paying attention when he carried his notebook and actually used it.
  • Are you prepared? When he walked into the room, Ben knew ahead of time what he was going to do. He was going to make sure everyone knew who he was, and who his client was.
  • Are you acting in a professional manner? Do your dress and your posture exude confidence? Do your manners and mannerism show respect?
  • Are you putting the needs of others before your own? For the good of his “client,” everything Ben did in front of the judges, and behind the scenes at the show, was not for himself but for the good of the team.

Ben’s experience taught me that preparation and professionalism create opportunities for individuals and for teams. People notice those who distinguish themselves. They recognize excellence. They want to associate themselves with people who stand out.

What suggestions do you have for making a mark and distinguishing yourself or your organization?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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One thought on “How to Get Ahead with Preparation and Professionalism

  1. This is a really good point.

    Unfortunately, the mindset has developed in our culture that raw talent is enough for success — as long as you're "good," you don't need to work at it (and, in fact, working at it shows you're not very good). Your son knew better.