Metaphors are a great way to simplify ideas without losing any of the complexity. Gabe Anderson has a daily dose of them that I’ve been enjoying for a while. Even more so as they open a window into a world, I hardly know anything about, the one of music and performing bands.
It adds to making metaphors useful. Not knowing a lot invites my ability to connect the image with teams, groups, and coaching for example in the IT or financial sectors. Knowing less about another field means that I’m not distracted by my knowledge.
And some things are universal endeavors. “Getting Everyone On Board” is needed when a band wants to put up a great show just as much as when a team seeks to outperform itself in serving a client.
As Gabe describes it, it starts with “Show them the vision. Paint them a picture. Use words and emotion and connection and excitement to tell them how their life will be better if they put in the work.”
However, it’s dearly needed to know the team and to know what they look for otherwise it is not possible to “Talk about how amazing it feels to walk on stage already knowing you have a great show in your pocket. The feeling of walking off stage knowing that you delivered at an elite level…even on the nights when the crowd doesn’t cheer as loud.”
Because they all will associate a different feeling with “walking on stage” or “a great show” that connects with their idea of what a better life looks like. If you tell them how you see a better life, how it is for you to walk on stage, and what the great show looks like for you, they will only know what it is about for you. They will still need to get a sense of how they belong to that great show you want to put up. And there is no one-off answer to this. The answer is only available within the context in which you share that vision.
And yet, it is much less about getting it right from the start, than continuously sharing what is being created and what it is for. It creates dialogue. It opens opportunities and helps the team develop their sense of belonging to the project.
As Gabe describes it, the risk is “what usually happens when some people want to build a great show and some people don’t.” What is happening there, is that people settle in discomfort, or as he describes it: “that nothing gets said and everyone simply lives with a quiet constant tension and resentment.”