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A bit o’ blarney can come in handy

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in Leaders & Managers,Workplace Communication

Ronan Tynan, the Irish tenor who has sung everywhere from Yankee Stadium to Ronald Reagan’s funeral, is a fighter. When his legs were amputated below the knees after a motorcycle accident, Tynan trained hard enough to win Paralympics gold medals. Then, he earned a medical degree. At age 33, he decided to start a singing career.

Tynan admits that his ability to pitch a bit of blarney has contributed to his success, as the following stories show:

1. Tynan walked to a music conservatory to ask how to apply. There, he heard a woman singing in another room, so he knocked on her door.When the woman said “Are you here to audition?” Tynan said “Yes.” He did, and won admission to the school... even without knowing it was holding auditions that day.

2. In 1999, Tynan met a partner in the Yankees organization. In a move that surprised even himself, Tynan fibbed, saying he’d been invited to sing at a Yankees game. The next day, Tynan received an e-mail that said, “Pick your date.”

Adapted from “A Tenor as Irish as Baseball or Maybe ‘God Bless America,’” Charles McGrath, The New York Times.

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