Lesson from the Voice – How to Make a Chair Turn

Have you ever wondered what makes TV shows like ‘The Voice’  and similar programs like ‘American Idol’ be so successful in having talented people line up for hours or even days for their 15 minutes of fame? The goal of the initial ‘blind audition’ in ‘The Voice’ is to have one or more of the coaches turn their chair around and publicly offer to coach the competitor to a higher level of success.

The story of many of the competitors is the same, their life desire and passion in life is to stand on a stage using their voice to sing to millions of people as a career. When the competitor finally gets a chance to do the ‘blind audition’ on ‘The Voice’ in front of the judges one of the comments almost always made is that the opportunity to audition “is a dream come true,” and many will say they have watched the show for years listening to the coaching given to competitors who preceded them. So here is my question, if there is so many contestants who have followed the show for years who have the opportunity to do the live audition in front of mentors why do so many fail to make it to the next step by making a chair turn?

The answer is a simple and maybe painful one. In all the episodes over all the years that a competitor has followed a program like ‘The Voice’ they have heard the very talented mentors say things like Kelly Clarkson said in a recent episode where the competitor did not have enough range in the song selection, or; there is a need to find what your style, or; well the list goes on. Now, if the mentors said comments about pitch, style, range, only once in a season it would be one thing but in my limited time watching the program I have found the mentors have said the same thing over and over again. The question that nags me continually is that if a comment is made over and over again to contestants who are not successful why are the want-to-be contestants not hearing what is being said? I am quite sure they listen to the comments about other contestants (sometimes over years) but why are they not hearing what is being said? Why are they taking their opportunity to show the world their talent and yet not show they have listened and taken to heart what they have seen over the years of watching other competitors not turn chairs?  

I am not a singer (except maybe in the shower) but when I watch ‘The Voice’ and hear the comments made by the mentors I ask myself, “if I was give the opportunity to be on stage in front of a talented team who can help me go places I never dreamed possible would I take the lessons they have given others, learn showing that I have listened and heard the great coaching taking it to heart to be the best I could be showing them a teachable person or am I showing that my opportunity for greatness ends without a chair being turned?”

In today’s world there are people who, like the mentors on ‘The Voice’ who give valuable advice and I am quite sure that when many hear the advice they have a wow moment….but where does it go from there?

Success comes from not only listening to the words and hearing the message; success comes from where you take the message…do you continue to be curious and grow or do you file it away never to be accessed when it is your time to make the chair turn?    

Success in the workplace, community and family comes from he chairs you turn as each chair is an opportunity to a greater success.   

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