What makes someone so special that they are elected to a Hall of Fame?
Is it talent? Or personality? Maybe just right place at the right time?
Bob Costas was inducted this week into the broadcasting wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame. When you hear people talk about Bob today they refer to his sense of craftsmanship. I knew Bob a few decades ago in St. Louis and people said the same about him then.
“I’ve always been someone who was serious about the craft, so I would review my tapes, and even if it was a good broadcast… I can always pick up something, if it was a matter of timing or selection of words, where if I had just done it slightly different it could have been done just a little bit better.”
There is no music format in need of a craftsmen’s work as the Christian music format. Why?
Because there is no format in which the “Why,” as Simon Sinek explains, is so crucial to its effectiveness. And the only place you can explain your “Why” is between the songs.
And that’s the craft.
“If I had to pick a word to describe that thing, it is ‘musical.’ Bob has a musician’s timing. He says the right words in the right voice right on the beat. Sure it helps that he’s freakishly dexterous with words. That’s his crazy gift. Once, long ago, I wrote down every word he said in a broadcast and then read it afterward as if it was a game story. It was remarkable. No word was out of place. Every sentence was complete and already edited.”
Are you looking for a New Year’s resolution?
Here’s a suggestion: devote yourself to developing your craft. Whether you’re an air talent, a program director, or a general manager that thinks you’re a program director, approach your work in the same way that Matthew West approaches a song, Andy Stanley approaches a weekend message, or Bob Costas approaches describing a game.
Here’s the bottom line: if your show isn’t even being listened to in the hallways by the people most connected to your station’s “Why,” you’re not going to be a Hall of Famer.
On next week’s show I’ll offer up a specific suggestion to help you develop your craft. But here is a warning; it will take work.