By Karl Winkler • July 12, 2019 Magical People As with equipment, there are times when we’ve waited, wished for, and wanted the “new person” to somehow magically solve whatever difficult issues we’re facing: “When Susan comes on board, we’ll have a systems expert who can untangle, literally, all those cables and get the racks sorted.” Similarly if there’s a new boss being hired or a re-organization happening, it’s along the lines of, “I’m so tired of working for Jeff – things will be great once our department is under Sylvia.” But can’t we look back at our own careers and realize that this is rarely the case? New blood is often a good thing but there’s no magic in it. People are people: we all bring skills and talents – and baggage – to the table. Consider the new client as well. We find ourselves hoping that this is the one that will bring a better profit, for once, and be easier to deal with, unlike all our other clients. Maybe, but probably not, right? If we’re honest and realistic with ourselves, we’ll know deep down that the new client might be different but probably overall mostly similar to the ones we already have. Not that we shouldn’t strive for better clients, just as we strive for better equipment and employers and managers. If Not Now, When? An oft-quoted re-wording of Hillel the Elder’s famous maxim goes something like this: “If not me, who? If not this, what? And if not now, when?” In other words, rather than waiting for the talisman that never fully delivers and maybe never even shows up, there are likely things we can do to improve our situation right now, or at least in the near future. If the racks have aging, tangled cables, why not break up the workload amongst those who might have a little time to chip away at it during the slow season? If we’re hoping a new boss will solve all our problems, what about acting as we hope this magical new person will act by taking charge ourselves and asking colleagues to help in a collegial way? And when it comes to gear, are we certain we’re getting the most out of the gear already in the inventory? I’ve often found that there are functions and features that I didn’t even know existed until calling a manufacturer’s technical support department to ask why a piece of equipment doesn’t do something – “Oh, it already does that? I just need to access the correct screen and set it like this?” Oops. So there’s another thing we can do with idle time: dust off those manuals and/or go online to check out training videos. There are so many “tips and tricks” on YouTube these days that just watching them alone could be a full-time job. I think it’s safe to say with some confidence that there are few among us who are truly getting 100 percent of the capabilities out of any specific piece of equipment. Of course, all of this is easier said than done because we’re dealing with human nature. But rather than waiting around for the next “magical thing” to arrive, I suggest first asking ourselves, “What can I do now, with the gear and people I have, to improve things for the team, the clients, and the bottom line?” I have faith that answers will come. In the meantime, as always the next trade show is on the horizon – just think of all that new gear! Go here to read more articles by Karl Winkler on PSW. Read the rest of this post 1 2 About Karl Karl Winkler Vice President of Sales at Lectrosonics Karl serves as vice president of sales/service at Lectrosonics and has worked in professional audio for more than 25 years. Comments Have something to say about this PSW content? Leave a comment! Cancel reply Scroll past the ”Post Comment” button below to view any existing comments. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Tagged with: Audio Basics Best Practices engineers Karl Winkler Live Sound International technicians · all topics Subscribe to Live Sound International Subscribe to Live Sound International magazine. Stay up-to-date, get the latest pro audio news, products and resources each month with Live Sound.