Magic

Top hat as an icon for magic

Is there anyone you know who isn’t fascinated by magic? Whether we go back to wizards in ancient courts or right to today with Penn and Teller, David Blaine, or Chriss Angel, I think most people enjoy a good magic trick. Inevitably, you find yourself uttering “how did he do that?” out loud. Well, it’s pretty easy to find out how they performed the trick. A quick search and we know it all. Or do we?

Have you ever seen the same show performed by different actors? When my daughters were in high school, they were often in shows where the roles were double cast.  We’d see one cast on Friday and the other one on Saturday.  While the music, lighting, and staging were identical, as was the script, obviously, the performances often varied a lot.  The overall quality was always excellent but the magic of a great performance wasn’t always there.  In a way, the kids all knew how to do the tricks but there’s a lot more to making magic than just learning  a few skills.

Let’s think about business in that context.  I’m never bashful about sharing what I know since the secret isn’t in the “trick”.  Helping someone to write a presentation, formulate a business plan, or break out analytics doesn’t mean their “tricks” will be the same as mine even if they’re superficially identical.

Magic is about engagement. Great magicians engage their audience and direct their attention to where they need it to be whilst they perform the trick.  That’s our jobs as business people too.  We need to engage our audiences and focus their attention on where we need it to be.  We need to draw them into the experience we are creating and have them want us to be a part of their experiences.  I think that’s true of employees, peers, and bosses as well – to achieve the desired outcome, to work our magic, we need engagement.

What tricks do you have up your sleeve and is anyone believing them?  Care to show us how it’s done?

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