Weekender: Josh Groban on Persistently Perpetuating Your Preparatory Processes


Welcome to another edition of leadersayswhat’s the Weekender, a chord of thought to start your weekend on the right track. Why just a chord (versus the melody)? Because it’s the weekend!

I’m always fascinated by leaders who achieve “legend status.” This feat takes more than sheer skills and aptitude; garnering an iconic reputation involves a disciplined approach that many seem to abandon once they’re overinflated ego begins whispering, “You’re too good to need practice.” One person who has taken this lesson to heart is Josh Groban.

In a recent interview, award-winning singer Josh Groban discussed his experiences working with Barbara Streisand (Yes, THE Barbara Streisand). When Josh was starting his career, she asked him to sing on a duet album. And thirteen years later, they did it again. Having such intimate encounters showed Josh what it took to maintain a successful career spanning six decades.

Any time you sing with her, you are well aware that you’re in the same room as a legend and [with] someone you can really learn from no matter how experienced you are. It’s always a master class. She’s great. Her interpretation, her process is the most fascinating part about her, because her voice in obviously incredible, but it’s the way when you get to watch her in an actual session, crafting a song, that’s when you see how the mythology and the legend has developed. She comes from that school where if you put the energy into the process, into the work, then the response from people will be there. And the minute you start to slack on those things, its no coincidence that the goosebumps aren’t quite there.

Talent alone will only get you so far. If that’s all you rely upon, at some point another talented person is going to pass you by. And they’ll do it because they continue to put in the time, exert the effort, and maintain the discipline beyond simply showing up for work.

If you aspire to one day be a legend, figure out the processes that most effectively help you prepare for a goal and make a concerted decision to maintain these standards. Bad days don’t matter; you need to utilize these processes through every task, in every situation, and with every person you encounter. This may never result in you being known as the Barbra Streisand of your workplace, but come on, there’s only one Barbara.

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