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The Highest Good of All Concerned (HGAC)

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  • April 12, 2013
  • Mark Schulman

I have a viewpoint that I like to do things for the highest good of all concerned- as opposed to just ‘my’ concern.  This applies to performance as it relates to a team, band, company, family or any group beyond a solo performance.  It is our responsibility to have clarity not only for ourselves, but also for the others that are relying on us.  The clarity of the details, communication, specific job description, timing and appropriateness can make a difference between being world class or second class.

Of course your core competency (capability) is paramount to the effectiveness of your team’s performance.  Once you have clarity on your specific gig associated with your group and the action(s) for which you are responsible, then it is on you to show up and perform to your maximum capability.  The more capability you demonstrate, the more confidence others have in you and you are reducing their (potential) anxiety.  The idea of the Highest Good Of All Concerned is to do your part to derail that potential anxiety and the possible resulting fall out by taking full responsibility for creating your own confidence.

One of the great luxuries of life and learning is that the more we know, the more we can be responsible for.  Since you are reading these words and gaining actionable insights, you can take further responsibility for those around you by employing this information to help others.  Please remember that it starts with you and your personal clarity, capability and confidence.  From the inside out, you can be a formidable force in your group.  By exhibiting and communicating a calming and confident disposition, you are affecting the entire group with proactive energy, thought and intention especially when others may be infecting the group with reactive, nervous energy and dis-ease.  Realize that at every moment you are relating with a group you are imposing influence.  Your group needs you to be the stabilizing one, not only through demonstrating confidence because you’ve done the work, but also by teaching others what you know if they are open to the experience.  You can ‘pay it forward’ as they say.  Use it for the highest good of all concerned.

Sometimes we are in situations for which we are not prepared but our presence or teamwork is paramount to the success of the overall performance.  Clarifying your importance in a group is a personally fortifying thing to do.  If you really own that value it will make you feel more confident.  Wings drummer Denny Seiwell, told me a story about Linda McCartney. It was the early 1970s, and it was a really tough time for her. The press was unrelenting in its criticism of her, saying that she broke up the Beatles, pointing out every out-of-tune note. During the band’s first European tour, Denny remembers that Linda just wanted to be back on the farm with her kids and the animals, just being a mom. But she was her husband’s muse.

“Paul needed her there. If she wasn’t there, I don’t think we would have done Wings. I mean, she kicked him out of the house in Scotland and said, ‘Get off your ass. You’re a music maker, you’re a writer, you’re an artist. Let’s go make a record.’ He would have stayed up there and drank and just hung out because he was so tired of what he was going through, suing the other three Beatles and all.”

It was clear to Denny that Linda had such a strong purpose- just being present in this organization. The first night of the tour, backstage and afraid, she turned to Seiwell for advice. He reminded her that it simply wasn’t about her.

“I said, ‘It doesn’t matter what you did or what you do, we’re not here for you. You’re part of our band, and you’re part of your old man. He needs you here. So, go out there and do as good as you can and smile.”

“She couldn’t do it. She couldn’t smile. She thought she was really holding back her husband by being there. But she got it for that night. She hung in there as best she could  until she finally adjusted to being up there. And we’d be playing, and I’d shoot her a look—‘It’s OK. Go for it. Have some fun. The mic’s not even on.’”

Thank God for Linda’s courage, RIP!


Action Steps:  Questions about your position in a group
-Why am I here?
-What did I do to get to this point?
-What is my absolute value to this group?
-What else can I do to be of the greatest benefit to the group?
-What can I do to celebrate my position right now?

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