Francis Scott Key must be turning violently in his grave.

The Star Spangled Banner which Mr. Key wrote more than a century and a half ago is a tough song to sing, with the variances in keys and melody. The lyrics are, well, the lyrics. They are what they are. On Super Bowl Sunday, Christina Aguilera forgot what they were. In front of about a gazillion people, she flubbed the words to our anthem…at least twice. Take away that she’s probably heard and sung this song countless times in her life, in one of the biggest stages she wasn’t prepared and it showed in front of everyone. If you take on the gig to sing in the Super Bowl, you’d think you would at least prepare.

How do we fare when performing in our own little worlds?

If you’re in sales, you’d better be prepared to respond to any objection. If you’re in retail, you’d better be prepared to be warm and friendly every time. If you’re an executive, you’d better be prepared to deal with conflict and drama in the workplace. If you’re a speaker, you’d better be prepared to know your audience. If you aren’t in any of these, you come across as unprofessional as Ms. Aguilera. Find the simple “blocking and tackling” that comes with your industry and field and make sure that you’re prepared to hit every note and lyric.

This week’s quote –“If I do not practice one day, I know it. If I do not practice the next day, the orchestra knows it. If I do not practice the third day, the whole world knows it.”
– Ignace Paderewski – Polish Pianist

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