Originally posted 6/8/2019.
During a recent conversation about personal and business superpowers, I recalled something I read many years ago about one of the twentieth centuries greatest classical pianists, Arthur Rubinstein (1887 – 1982). Although I am almost certain I read about the one of his many superpowers that is the basis of this blog in his 1980 autobiography “My Many Years”, (Last night, I found my copy of the book, it is 626 pages) I was not able to find the exact reference I was looking for.
One of Arthur Rubinstein’s amazing superpowers was the ability to play 100 distinct volumes, from pianississimo (very very soft, a whisper) to fortississimo (very very loud, yelling), certainly a necessary superpower for a world class pianist. Add to that other essential superpowers such as perfect pitch, a photographic memory that enabled him to rapidly memorize musical scores, and a great passion for the music of multiple composers, and you have a pianist who was recognized as one of the greatest, if not the greatest of the twentieth century.
Given all that natural talent, Rubinstein was a tremendous success from his early performances in 1904 through the 1920’s. However, in 1934 he withdrew from concert life for several months to begin a period of intensive study and practice. He stated that he had neglected his technique in his early years, relying instead on his natural talents.
There are two very important business lessons here:
- What Are Your Superpowers? – As a business owner or executive, identify your natural talents, abilities and developed skills that distinguish and elevate you from others in your industry. Dig deep and periodically repeat the identification process. Many of us have both business relevant and irrelevant superpowers, so make sure you identify those talents that give you your competitive advantage. Identify the talents that enhance your ability to excel in your current and future roles, and talents that enable you to bring superior value to your business, community and the world.
- Continually Enhance Your Natural Superpowers – Just like Arthur Rubinstein, your natural talent can get you far, but not as far as possible. As is often stated by my colleagues at ActionCOACH and many other mentors and speakers, you’ve got to “Learn More to Earn More”. Don’t rest on your laurels. Continually learn, improve and practice, some of your competitors are doing exactly that.
My colleagues and I are uniquely positioned to assist you in identifying and enhancing your business superpowers. Give us a call.