Three seemingly disparate things converged earlier this week. (1) I bought a new MacBook Pro computer, (2) I installed a “word of the day” program that launches when I boot it, (3) The word on Tuesday was Sprezzatura (an archaic Italian word for being able to conduct your craft without a lot of visible effort…more on that later), and (4) Seth Godin’s blog that day was on Sprezzatura.
I don’t think it’s any coincidence that Seth’s blog was on this word. He very possibly is a Mac guy, and the word resonated with him (as it did with me). However, I don’t think it would have resonated so loudly had I not seen it earlier on my WOTD and had a chance to reflect on it before seeing his blog. And I certainly would not have seen the word had it not been for the WOTD program resident on my new Mac. Coincidence? You be the judge…
Sprezzatura. What an interesting concept. We all strive to demonstrate expertise in our work by accomplishing tasks without a lot of visible effort. Smoothly. Seemingly effortlessly. But at the same time, we cannot appear to cruising through our jobs unconsciously or else our supervisors and clients may not value our work. A fine line. Godin describes it as a combination of elan, grace, and class…sort of the opposite of the loud grunts you hear on the tennis court, or the visible flurry of activity and stress sometimes evidenced when you help out a customer.
Do you have sprezzatura? Do you know people who do? Would you prefer to have an attorney or a CPA with sprezzatura; or one without? I know I would.
So focus on those areas where you can show off your sprezzatura. Reach inside and uncover those skills you have where you can effortlessly pull it off. Bring it to the surface. Your customers will value it. Your peers will envy it. And your confidence will build on it.
Sprezzatura. Don’t leave home without it.
“Be hungrier than anyone else, but never LOOK hungry. That’s the trick.”
— Chris Brogan, blogger extraordinaire
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