"I see a musician in you, but not a singer."
Manuel Provençal, who helps leaders in one of my leadership programmes to free their voices, was told this when he was a student at the Conservatoire de musique et d'art dramatique du Québec.
The teacher wasn't questioning Manuel's voice, she was referring to the fact that Manuel didn't show his emotions. To touch the hearts of an audience, you need to show a little of your own. Manuel didn't do that. He kept his emotions in check, not feeling them, not showing them.
When he understood that this behaviour was no longer protecting, but limiting him, he decided to overcome his fears. It was time to grow as a person.
When he began to feel and show his emotions, he could be both a musician and a singer. Manuel has since sung in operas such as Mozart's Don Giovanni and Verdi's La Bohème.
This video (created for my latest book release) is a perfect illustration of Manuel as a focused but seemingly "cold" musician vs Manuel as a singer - showing his heart so much that he touches ours.
There may be times when it is a good idea to be the focused musician.
Other times it might be great to be the singer, to show your heart.
I hope you dare to do and be both.