Now that’s a new label for yourself! When someone asks you “what do you do?” how do you answer? Do you offer your job title, or perhaps a description of your job?
How about answering: “I’m an artist.”
Hmmm. That answer seems to create some high expectations about your deliverables, doesn’t it?
When you think about “what you do” with everyone’s input and throughput during the course of the work day, your output becomes artistry for what has preceded it. You blend it and transform it. You put your own particular “spin” on it.
You introduce your output into the world. For their perception, reception, and judgment.
No, you don’t “see” yourself as an artist, do you? You simply see yourself as someone else’s employee.
I don’t know why.
Each of us is the CEO of our own job functionality, our delivery on that functionality, and our career. After all, no one else can perform your job quite the way you do.
Let’s think about artistry another way. When was the last time you attended a concert? You were in the audience anticipating the Performer’s entrance onto the stage. Everyone around you was buzzing with excitement.
The lights dimmed. The musicians took their places on stage. The Performer walked across the stage and was greeted with wild applause. The band started to play the opening chords on their instruments, still mere Performers at that point.
Everyone recognized the melody and anticipated what was to follow: the Performer’s output. You leapt to your feet along with everyone else, applauding and shouting.
The performance art began.
At the interface where the audience receives and blends with the Performer’s output is where Artistry is created. That’s what Art is all about. Perception and the perceived, and the interchange of energy between both.
You bring nothing less to the workplace each day, no matter if you make pizzas, sort mail, sell someone else’s stuff to a potential customer, consult, study for your engineering degree, pitch your start-up to a venture capital investor.
We all have the option to bring artistry to our professional output, our performance.
Some of us embrace it. Others of us reject it: “My job is basic. I’m a nobody. I’m just part of the big picture. Nobody’s paying attention to me.”
Some of the best artists I know include one particular hot dog vendor at Wrigley Field when I was growing up: “Get your hot dog here. Tastes just like chicken!” Then there are the folks at my local UPS who, no matter how flummoxed I am when I enter, deal with my “whatever” in a calm and efficient manner, get things done efficiently and even make me laugh along the way. How about my colleagues, whose conversations make me completely relax and dream about the possible? The clients who place their trust and confidence in me to lead them through some murky waters into clarity? The students who realize stuff about themselves they never had tapped into before?
Artistry catalyzes a reaction with others. No matter how menial you feel your job may be. No matter how low on the totem pole you currently are.
You are part of a bigger picture. No one else can “do” your job quite the way that you can.
Understand the potential artistry that you can bring to your customers’ tables. It makes a difference to them. And differentiates you.
Babette Ten Haken provides technical people and other sellers a solid strategy for how to explain a product, its benefits, and its value in ways that buyers can easily understand and sellers can comfortably present. She gets people together who are often on opposite sides of the table, like engineers and sales people or entrepreneurs and investors. Her company, Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, works with entrepreneurs, start-ups & investors, as well as small businesses and manufacturers, focusing on revenue-generating and portfolio-building business development strategies. Her book, Do YOU Mean Business? was named 2012 Finalist, Top Sales & Marketing Awards.