Something to learn from Madonna and Adele

Take Adele and Madonna as examples. Both of them are female singers, both successful artists, both have sold millions of records, both are internationally known and appraised. But this is how far the similarities go.

I have recently seen concerts of both of them. On the one side, Adele accompanied by her backing vocals and an orchestra, and on the other, Madonna with backing vocals, instrumentalists, dancers, show light, smoke, special effects.

Adele focuses on the singing. That’s what she does, that what’s she’s best at. A great voice, a perfect interpretation, at a level that most people can only dream of. Madonna, on the other hand, focuses on the show. Her singing is not even by far comparable to Adele’s but she has something extra. People don’t come to her concerts to hear her sing, they go there for the show.

Thus, both of them in the same industry, both highly successful, but at the same time both totally different. Adele focuses on the music and her performance is for people who are there for the music, while Madonna puts everything into a show for people who are there just for the entertainment.

Value created from the same idea but in totally different ways for totally different types of audience. Each of them has her specific point of value. What’s yours?

Point of view

Everything in this world is related to your point of view. There is no good or bad, rich or poor, big or small, important or neglectable. Things are how you choose to see them, how you interpret and filter them. It’s all in the eyes of the beholder.

Western people consider themselves poor if they don’t have a house, a car, and can’t spend their vacations in some nice comfortable place. At the same time someone from sub Saharan Africa will consider themselves rich if they have food and water to last them for the month.

The same goes for everything else. I might find important and big to be able to teach someone something new while for someone else this is just something that has no value. How we relate to different things, events, people is what offers them value.

Everything is just as it is, what changes is your point of view. True value is the one we put in it.

Choices

Everyone has to make choices. It might be that it’s to get out of bed in the morning, to hire someone, to extend to a new business, to buy something, to start a war. No matter how small or big they are we need to make a choice. Even not making a choice and waiting is still a decision.

Some people rush into making a decision, act impulsively, while others like to take their time and think about the best course of action.

In most cases making the decision fast may be a good idea, since there are some moments when you just need to be the first to make the decision, the first to launch a product, the first to call it off, the first to take that person and hire them.

On the other hand there are moments when if you just wait for a bit more you have that extra information that will make the difference when deciding. It might be a change in the market, some tip you receive, a new technology that comes out, a new idea. That extra something that will make your waiting worth.

There is no perfect time for a decision, just make a choice and go with it to the end. Changing in the middle is where most people go wrong.

Being jobless

The current economical situation, the changes in companies and the financial situation have left a lot of people jobless. More and more people are struggling to find a job. The  social group that was hit the hardest by the current recession is teenagers and young people. Most times it’s people who are trying to find their first job but no one will hire them.

The only – and if not the only, the biggest – downside of being jobless is that you don’t have a constant, continuous, certain source of income. This is why most people search for a job and also the reason why most companies won’t hire; they don’t want another person on their payroll without being sure that they will need that person.

On the other hand, being jobless comes with a lot of other advantages that free time offers; the availability to work on anything you like, the ability to focus your learning and developing new skills in any domain, sufficient time to go to all kinds of events, to network and meet people, and most of all, time to experiment.

In a changing environment this might just be the perfect opportunity to succeed. While most people are busy working in the same broken system that has brought the actual crisis, the jobless have all the necessary time to go around and build something new, something better, the chance to make a difference, to drive change and improve.

Thinking that after the economical crisis things will go back the way they where is just a foolish dream.

Trust

Most people base all their decisions on trust. It’s simple and comfortable. People work for companies they trust, buy and use products they trust, go to eat in places they trust, want to be surrounded only by people they trust.

Trust is just another way to say that people love routine and the absence of change. That is what trust really is; knowing exactly what to expect from something or someone. This is how trust is built. Repeated actions and results until familiarity overcomes fear and insecurity.

People become loyal costumers when they know that the product they buy will be the same every time. They have a need and choose the best known solution. Usually when something fits a need people stop searching. This is why only a few persons experiment new products without any insight. Most people will do so only at a recommendation from someone else or when they have enough information about the product to know that it might fit their needs.

The same principle applies to friends. People win trust by having the same type of response to similar situations. People love people that have patterns and habits. Once you get to understand how the other people will act, then the element of surprise is gone and trust is gained.

But change is inevitable. Sooner or later the company is going to change, the product will be changed, even the people around you will change. This is the moment when people get disappointed because they feel their trust has been broken. The truth is that it’s just a change in routine and has nothing to do with trust.

The only way around this is trust based on principles and not on repeated actions. You can trust a company to always try to come up with the most innovative product, the place you go to eat at to do their best to prepare something you like, the persons next to you to think of doing what’s best for them but for you as well.

Thus, even if it’s not what you had expected, you will know that it’s the best option they could offered.