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managing Goals

by | Jan 4, 2022 | Goals, KISS, manage

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🖋 You are seeing a lot written about “engagement” – A LOT with the ‘Great Resignation’. So I am honored that they have chosen a piece of empower for all these “new” articles 😉 – that now you need to understand what motivates people. Simply, I would add: saying it is one thing: the important thing is managing to do it. And it starts with youbefore you can start thinking “out there” in the cubes and offices. What is it that YOU Believe in, and manage towards?

Faced with countless teams over my 50 years of leadership experience since Junior High, I noticed it took about 6 months to get them to understand me. And… I am not that complicated 😉 If I want to accelerate performance, I need to understand first what I think good performance looks like, and then establish management practices that use it… relentlessly. The biggest violator of any process is – me – and those that know me always manage a chuckle when I come up with yet another one…

🎵 It is hard to imagine Kiss without Chaim Witz. Born to parents who, like Paul Stanley, survived the holocaust. Witz came into the world in the new state of Israel in 1949. Dirt poor, they got by on rationed bread and milk until Chaim started picking wild fruit and selling it on roadsides there. He came to the US at 8 with his mother, and took her maiden name along with a new first name, Gene Klein. Bouncing around New York he became an excellent typist… and was the assistant to the editor of Vogue. All of that fits where he manages to go next…

He played guitar like Paul from the age of 7, and decided to pursue music as a career in the early 70’s with the music scene blowing up in NYC. He, like so many, credits Ed Sullivan’s Beatles show as the spark (I should do a week on Ed). Picking a name was easy – he loved Rockabilly – particularly Jumping Gene Simmons. Having the first name nailed, he simply dropped (temporarily) the Jumping. He linked up with Paul, and actually got a record deal with Epic for a band called Wicked Lester. After not managing to fire the OTHER band members, they just quit…

… never bashful, he decided with Paul to answer the same recruiting ad mentioned yesterday … and take it to the next level, defining what success and performance would be – form “the ultimate rock band”. “At the same time, in New York, there was a very big glitter scene, where boys were basically acting like girls… all the skinny little guys, hairless boys. Well, we were more like football players; all of us were over 6 feet tall, and it just wasn’t convincing! The very first pictures we took when the band first got together, we looked like drag queens.”

So the members of KISS did what anyone does when they want to distance themselves from the drag scene: they put on a bunch of makeup and rhinestones 😉 Referring to how much easier it would have been for the group to go up in jeans and tee shirts, Simmons stated “…it just wasn’t us. Getting up on stage was almost a holy place for us, like church, so being on stage looking like a bum wasn’t my idea of respect. That’s where the makeup and dressing up came in.”

Taking to the stage was exactly what the band needed. The first 3 albums, including this track, failed and they were about to be dropped from their label, which was going bankrupt. As such, they recorded and released an album called Alive! in 1975… that completely changed their trajectory. Capturing the raw intensity of their stage personas and performance is what the world suddenly saw and heard, and their brand was established. You knew EXACTLY what a KISS show would be about, some of which I can talk about 😉

🖋 management Hygiene is a constant theme of mine, for good reason. All the talk about Values, Competencies, Beliefs vaporizes… unless people see it in Action – all of the time. For reviews, for promotions, for trips to conferences… if they don’t all point to the same type of Actions everyone can see, it devolves. When you looked at Kiss, there were no airs – they were all in your face, straight ahead. I am NOT saying that is what you need to be or look like ;-). But as you engage in the New Year and Goals – what are the clear things that you consistently think are “good” performance? And, then, how do you keep managing them, every day, or better said, Rock and Roll All Night Long.

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