The attitude of the wolf can be summed up simply: it is a constant visualization of success. The collective wisdom of wolves has been progressively programmed into their genetic makeup throughout the centuries. Wolves have mastered the technique of focusing their energies toward the activities that will lead to the accomplishment of their goals.
Wolves do not aimlessly run around their intended victims, yipping and yapping. They have a strategic plan and execute it through constant communication. When the moment of truth arrives, each understands his role and understands exactly what the pack expects of him.
The wolf does not depend on luck. The cohesion, teamwork and training of the pack determines whether the pack lives or dies.
There is a silly maxim in some organizations that everyone, to be a valuable member, must aspire to be the leader. This is personified by the misguided CEO who says he only hires people who say they want to take his job. Evidently, this is supposed to ensure that the person has ambition, courage, spunk, honesty, drive – whatever. In reality, it is simply a contrived situation, with the interviewee jumping through the boss’s hoops. It sends warnings of competition and one-upmanship throughout the organization rather than signals of cooperation, teamwork and loyalty.
Everyone does not strive to be the leader in the wolf pack. Some are consummate hunters or caregivers or jokesters, but each seems to gravitate to the role he does best. This is not to say there are not challenges to authority, position and status – there are. But each wolf’s role begins emerging from playtime as a pup and refines itself through the rest of its years. The wolf’s attitude is always based upon the question, “What is best for the pack?” This is in marked contrast to us humans, who will often sabotage our organizations, families or businesses, if we do not get what we want.
Wolves are seldom truly threatened by other animals. By constantly engaging their senses and skills, they are practically unassailable. They are masters of planning for the moment of opportunity to present itself, and when it does, they are ready to act.
Because of training, preparation, planning, communication and a preference for action, the wolf’s expectation is always to be victorious. While in actuality this is true only 10 percent of the time or less, the wolf’s attitude is always that success will come-and it does.
As I read this article, which I received from “Motivation in a Minute – a daily resource from the internet”, I was struck in particular by the phrase “What is best for the pack.” Look at the sentence again!
The wolf’s attitude is always based upon the question, “What is best for the pack?”
So I began to ponder what implications there may be in this “Wolf Pack” image for the guys who sing in Niagara Gateway Harmony … or indeed any barbershop chorus.
So … I pose to you this concept. Take a few minutes and write down three (one is a good starter, three is enough) ways in which you may live out the quality that whatever you do (as a member of NGH) is best for the pack (NGH).
I can’t answer for anyone but for me. May I offer this observation. In my years as a CDWI trainer for BHS, I often ask this question to chorus directors. “Take out your magic wand. Wave it over the head of the chorus. If you could instantly change, with this one action, one pattern your chorus members display, what would that be?” The most often offered answer is some variation of this theme: “To have the men more prepared for the next rehearsal”
That got me to thinking. How can I, as a chorus director, make the learning process the most fulfilling for the members of the chorus?
I offer this tool as one of many that we as singers can use in our preparation at home for the following rehearsal.
Play, Pause, Rewind: a simple yet effective tool. We all experience the awareness that there is a section of the song that we are just not getting. Get out the learning track for the song you are learning.
- PLAY: play that section (perhaps four bars of music, perhaps less than one bar) of music. Listen to the section carefully while following along on the music chart … you will be amazed at how much music reading skill you can absorb doing this.
- Then PAUSE: this is important in that we do not move past the particular section.
- Then REWIND: go back to the beginning of the section you are working on.
- REPEAT the above four times.
- Repeat the above process another four times:
- this time softly speaking the words so you can determine if you have the correct words and rhythms as are on the learning track.
- this time softly humming your voice part, so you can determine if you are singing the notes and rhythms as on the learning track.
- this time softly singing the passage, so you can determine if you are singing the words, notes and rhythms as on the learning track.
- Flushed with the confidence of these repetitions, sing a larger section of the song that contains the passage you are working on.
- Repeat the entire process until you and the learning track are in synch. I find that after doing all this I have made significant progress, and may yet have to do it all again, to get it even better.
How inspiring it would be for the chorus if we were all able to arrive at the next rehearsal with a significantly better understanding of our music than we had in the previous week. How uplifting to feel and hear the music soaring around us with new vitality.
I listen to the FAN 590 a lot. One day Bob McCown was interviewing Hubie Brown, a prominent American College Basketball Coach. Hubie was asked what advice he would give to the members of the Toronto Raptors (15 wins 41 losses at the All Star Break) as to how they can meaningfully continue to develop throughout the rest of this season … i.e. to make this season more rewarding and successful.
Brown’s answer in one word: ACCOUNTABILITY … Each man on the team must be accountable to the other team members to develop his own personal performance within his role on the team.
That sounds like a Wolf Pack Mentality to me. Give it a try … Imagine what it would sound like if we could truly make our music howl.
Yours in song … Bob Pyper