My Aunt Nancy was my first piano teacher. When she married and moved to another city, I continued my studies with Milchrist Stanworth, the kind but stern Englishwoman married to the minister of our church. But whenever I visited my aunt, she would ask me to play some pieces for her. That first time, I played a piece I had memorized for my recital. When she asked me to play another, I had to confess I didn’t have anything else memorized.
Elizabeth, she said, You should develop a repertoire.
Yes. You never know what sort of piece will be good to play in different situations, so you want to have a repertoire to choose from.
And this became a lifelong lesson. Later, when I began work as a consultant and strategist for CEO’s, I understood that having a repertoire was not only important for musicians (even at a tender age) or a theater company, it was essential for people who wanted to Live Large and be all they could be.
Most of us develop habits of how we respond to particular situations. When that way of responding leads to good results, we tend to keep using it. We use that response over and over and over, even when a different response might be more effective.
Are you always demanding or independent or focused on details? There may be times when being accepting, collaborative or focused on the big picture, may bring better results.
So if you are always one way, see what it’s like to try being a different way. Expand your repertoire of responses. It will make your life more interesting and make you more effective.
Give it a try and let me know how it goes.
Until next Tuesday.
In my new book, Live Large: The Achiever’s Guide to What’s Next (available for preorder March 2017), there are explorations that will help you expand that repertoire even more!