Last week I wrote on the need to ‘Plant Your Own Mango Tree’. Today, I’m going to emphasize something we all know already; that people are not ‘just people’ and so we ought to value them.
Why am I writing this?
Two days ago, I was talking with a very good friend of mine and it was that discussion that inspired me to write this. He talked about his former place of work, the experience he gained, the exposure he got and the lessons he learnt, but he lamented about his former boss’ attitude towards his creative ideas. Well, he left there and established his own company. Today, his former place of work seeks and pays for professional services from him. Towards the end of our discussion, he said to me, “Spirit, treat others nicely. If my former boss had treated me well, I would most likely still be working there, today.”
Case study of Hans Zimmer
Now, I know this is not the first time you have heard that statement or something similar, but I would like you to know that it is true. To succeed in your career (and I dare to say in life generally), you need others. The most successful musicians have always been the most collaborative ones. Recently, I watched a documentary on the great film composer, Hans Zimmer. Hans Zimmer has composed music for over 150 films, including ‘The Lion King’, ‘The Pirates Of The Caribbean series’, The Dark Knight Trilogy, ‘Mission Impossible 2’, ‘Sherlock Holmes’ and many more. The Daily Telegraph ranks him in the list of Top 100 living Genuises. I could go on about his accomplishments, but that’s not what this article is about (you can google his name to find out more about him). I learnt from the documentary that Hans Zimmer has collaborated with a whole lot of other musicians and composers in his musical compositions, some of them he met during the early years of his career and had maintained relationships with them for over 40 years.
You can’t do everything yourself
Sometimes, we tend to only treat people nicely when we are currently benefitting from them, and we tend to forget people who we think we don’t need anymore. As musicians, especially, upcoming musicians, we are tempted to see other musicians as competition and then try to do everything ourselves rather than collaborate. But this kind of thinking/ attitude would not do anyone good in their career and certainly not in life. We all need other people to succeed in our careers and to work with people for a long time, we need to learn to value them more.
Learn from Hans Zimmer
Hans Zimmer’s relationship with his music buddies for over four decades is a popular and contemporary example of the importance of valuing relationships with people around. Working with a variety of musicians (with different skills) over a long period of time and maintaining such relationships is one of his secrets of great success. He knew he could not do everything, so he collaborated with people who could do what he couldn’t in order to get things done. This is exactly what you should be doing as an upcoming musician. Find people who can do what you can’t and work with them. Collaboration is the key to moving forward as a musician in this competitive industry. If you rap, for example, and can’t sing, don’t try to sing the choruses in your songs by yourself, collaborate with a singer.
And while you collaborate with other people, treat them well. Don’t treat people as if they are tools to achieve your goals. They are not ‘just people’, you need them as much as they need you, so value them. Treat them with respect and as much as possible, maintain good relationship with them. You might need their help again in the future, so don’t just cut relationships for no reason. Remember, people are not ‘just people’; value them.