Taking the stage

Two weeks ago I attended Kochava Summit, an online event for the AdTech industry.

The keynote speaker on the first day was Kai Kight. Kai is a violinist and keynote speaker “who uses music as a metaphor to inspire self-realization.”

His talk was about how companies can flourish today in our ever changing society. Kai distilled this back to a three step process:

  1. Looking inward, towards mastery.
  2. Collaboration with your ensemble.
  3. Taking the stage and making an impact with the audience.

There are a few things that really stuck with me.

First a “conductor cannot guide a performer who has not attempted to guide himself.” I think this is true in many aspects of lives, we can’t be helped unless we first try to help ourselves. Just the act of looking inward serves as a bridge between the first and second step.

Secondly, when Kai spoke about ‘taking the stage’ he mentioned that sometimes, despite all effort put forth by the performer and ensemble, something doesn’t click with the audience. The performance falls flat. This is of course true in other aspects of life. We follow the process and unable to achieve our desired outcome.

Recently, I’ve been struggling to detach outcomes from processes. I thought I was good at this, but as I moved into the world of ‘solopreneurship’ I am now challenging those assumptions.

During the Q/A period I asked Kai. ‘How do you detach the outcome of the audience reaction if your performance falls flat?’ I thought his answer was elegant so I’m sharing here.

There is no outcome. Only a chance to learn.

I like this mental model. Rather then teach yourself to ‘detach’ from the outcome. Convince yourself that there isn’t one. Outcomes are simply opportunities to learn and are part of the ever-flowing process.