Three Traits On The Path To Success


(By Buzz Knight) As I have wonderful opportunities talking to so many talented people for my Takin A Walk podcast, I often think about and discuss with them the traits that allow them to find the path to success.

These traits are consistent across disciplines, from the musicians, producers, label executives, and authors I talk to, to the programmers, market managers, and company executives reading this right now.

Passion for Your Craft

Whether it was Brent Smith from the band Shinedown or whether it’s the great drummer Kenny Aronoff, these individuals have a burning passion for their craft. It’s not a job it is a mission. Brent said, “I knew from birth that my career would be in music.”

As you lead your brand to ratings and revenue success is your passion driving you to greater heights or are you just showing up? If it’s the former, find a new profession.


The greats know how to get more out of everyone around them because they possess the ability to lead by example. Think about how Duke Fakir, the last surviving member of The Four Tops developed business leadership skills to guide the band to building greater audience. Duke knew he could help and he didn’t wait to be asked to take that role, he just did it.

According to Duke, “My job was to take care of the guys and business.” He is not only one of the greatest talents in Motown history but he’s also a great leader. As you lead your team to battle, are you conscious of the importance of your leadership skills? As a manager of talent are you locked into the strategic vision of your leadership?

Without the calmness necessary to thrive under pressure as you lead, you’re not operating at maximum effectiveness.

Leaders understand how to build consensus to increase the level of collaboration in the organization. Collaborating drives all departments to success.


An artist focuses on their craft and knows how to spend the time on what is most important to yield creativity. In asking musicians to describe their writing process they all have a very focused playbook to help them. The great songwriter Jimmy Webb, just like the other great songwriter Desmond Child, are champions of creative focus.

According to Desmond, “I wouldn’t touch the piano unless we had a solid title and concept.”

Focus for radio programmers, is more critical than ever as their mental bandwidth is clearly on overload. Hard work, focus, and common sense are the hallmarks of great programmers.

Buzz Knight can be reached by e-mail at [email protected]. Read Buzz’ Radio Ink archives here.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here