What? Business advice from a musical? You bet – inspiration can strike from anywhere.
Let me start with the fact that I LOVE musicals. Although I haven’t actually seen Hamilton, I am totally obsessed with the music. Lin-Manuel Miranda and the cast and crew did a brilliant job. And I will see it, someday….
On to the lessons.
Lesson #1 – I Am the Only Thing in Life I Can Control
Yep, it’s true. No matter now much you want to control other people, you can’t. You can bully them, intimidate them, but the decision to allow the control is theirs. Same on your side. You can choose how to react to being bullied or intimidated.
But wait, we’re talking about business? Bullied? Intimidated? Sounds a bit like playground tactics. And yes, it can be.
Someone tries to push you into completing a project before it’s ready. You have to decide if it’s worth fighting for. Or if you agree, you decide what is included in the agreement and state the case. ‘Yes, I can have it done Friday, but X, Y and Z won’t be complete.’
Sometimes it doesn’t feel like a choice. As I was told in my MBA classes, doing nothing is a choice too.
Lesson #2 – I am Inimitable. I am an Original.
This kind of goes with lesson 1. You are unique, inimitable. You are an original. No one else is going to see things quite the way you do. No one is going to do things the same way you do.
That uniqueness is your contribution to the world. You provide things no one else will ever provide.
You have two choices. Embrace your uniqueness or hide it. Embracing it is the far healthier choice.
Lesson #3 – Keep Orderly Paperwork.
Alexander Hamilton got himself out of a tight spot (yea, he put himself in that spot) by being able to bring out corroborating paperwork – letters, check stubs, etc. Even though the incident had happened several years earlier, he was able to dig back for that paperwork.
So the lesson is not only to keep things, but keep them organized so you can FIND things when you need it.
Lesson #4 – It’s Much Harder When It’s All Your Call.
Boss bashing is a favorite pastime. It’s also a useless and, many times, unfair exercise.
Yea, not every decision made by your boss is the one you think you’d make. But do you have all the information they do?
Maybe they’ve been given a mandate from above that left that bad decision as the only one available. Maybe there is something coming down the pike that can’t be revealed yet, but it makes the current decision the right one as a set up for that future action or project.
You just don’t know. Remember that old saying ‘ Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes before judging them’ or something like that…try thinking that through for a few minutes before you start the next round of boss bashing.
This just proves you can learn things from nearly any situation if you keep your mind open for the opportunities.
So take that vacation; watch that movie; play that game. And learn something you can apply to your job, business or life.
Me? I’m going back to singing to Hamilton – ‘Ayo, I’m just like my country; I’m young, scrappy and hungry; I am not throwing away my shot!’