Years ago, I had the pleasure of going to see the legendary Miles Davis, during his electro-funk period. The interplay between himself and his rhythm section (drummer, bass player) was little short of remarkable. Even though the music itself was improvisational and relatively unstructured, they were always doing EXACTLY what he needed them to be doing every single moment. Miles would play a little riff, and the drummer would hit the snare “BAP!”, as if it was simply a continuation of MIles’ riff.
Whether it is a surgical team, a jazz quintet, or a work-unit, there are few things as sweet as a well-oiled team where each member can anticipate what the other members need before they even request it. Learning to think like your manager can often be one of the best strategies for making your workday productive and enjoyable.