As an accomplished motivational speaker, it would be pretty easy for classical violinist Kai Kight to stick with the same presentation over and over. However, that’s not how he rolls. “I’m nervous before every talk because I try new things all the time,” he says. Something’s obviously working: He was just named one of the 12 best speakers of 2015 by editors at MeetingsNet.
A product of Stanford University’s design and engineering program, known as the d.school, Kight, passionate about inspiring new ideas and new leaders, brings his unique insights to the ACRP 2016 Meeting & Expo in Atlanta, Ga., April 16–19. His perspective continues to be fueled by his own growth as an innovative classical music composer.
“Why wait for others” to define your life path? Kight challenges. Identify your own internal aspirations and desires. Consider new ideas. Take intelligent risks. It’s an approach he brings to every presentation.
“If I fail, it’s okay,” he says, in some ways distilling his own message down to five words. Fear is the enemy of innovation, Kight admonishes. “We all have a natural instinct to run away from discomfort,” he says. Don’t fall into that trap. “The best musicians don’t run away from that dissonance,” Kight notes. “Bach was one of the first classical musicians to use that tension” to make incredible music. Harmony is about bringing different sounds together to create a new, stronger sound. Harnessed properly, tension creates beauty.
“You might embarrass yourself trying something new,” he admits. However, it’s not a wasted effort if you learn from the experience. It’s not “pain for pain’s sake,” as much as it is a strategic use of personal energy to take chances and reach new heights. “When I try a piece of new music, I can tell from the applause whether it is working or not,” he says. “I learn from that. I keep improving.”
Click here to learn more about Kight and his ACRP 2016 Meeting & Expo keynote session.