The renewal that most people need, and find hard to create is Time. The trick is another word that also starts with the last letter of perfect – T – Team. Who can help you focus on what you are doing well?
Renewal starts with finding the Team to help you find Time…
Screaming from the back of our Team was the most passionate member of the team. The bad news is that he was from Peru, spoke very little English, so we rarely understood what he was saying. HOW he was saying it was CRYSTAL clear. His energy was contagious as he lectured us on the sideline at halftime, which I delegated that Time to him, and simply observed how he renewed the Team, words not really being needed…
… on that Team was another player who had a shirt that said “What you do when the Coach isn’t watching matters most”. A simple question I ask leaders early is “Does your staff meet without you?” The puzzled looks normally confirms that a “hub and spoke” model of leadership is in place. Relationships point to the center (the leader) and revolve around that axis. While strong for wheels, it doesn’t breed the teamwork that most leaders need in order to accomplish the critical work that transcends any one player.
The Blues are renewed over Time to be perfecT
By the late ’60s, Son was finally getting the recognition he had missed for most of his life. He played at festivals across the States including the Newport Folk Festival. Imagine the stoic faces there responding to the raw energy of Son live – way more disturbing than hearing Dylan play electric 😉 He continued to record some albums, but the interest in the Blues as a musical style was declining again, replaced by the British Invasion that was mostly the SAME songs done slightly differently and “rediscovered” by the middle and upper class that never really had experienced anything like the Blues, in all uses of that word.
I always implore you to click on the video, but particularly today. You see Son performing in 1968 with Buddy Guy accompanying him on guitar. It is spectacular to see two totally different generations united for one prodigious song. Guy is playing here and there… but he is more interested in seeing how the master brings out those incredible sounds on his resonator with the slide, learning and renewing first hand from the same source as Buddy’s godfather – Muddy Waters. House went on to record it on Liberty’s John The Revelator LP in 1970, but the most exciting version is the one that reunites House and Guy, even though it is sadly brief and doesn’t have the best sound quality. It is literally the closing credits of a great program you can see here.
“Around the Wheel” is where Time and renewal are perfecT
There are so many uses of sports metaphors in leadership, as a self-proclaimed “mind-jock, it becomes somewhat “one-note”. And – I now understand why. Anything that takes more than one person has the human melody imprinted on it. Elements like trust, confidence, skills, grace, encouragement – critical to all teams – show up there for all to see. This blog is an attempt to also “see” that in the music “teams” that have created rich visual and audio tracks to help us think about what is needed for us and our work together.
The critical element for Teams of all types is another word from the final letter for perfectT – Time. Like musical and sports teams, your work Teams would benefit most from Time to practice… another T word – Together. And whether you are on the circle or in the middle, it is up to you to get that version of perfectT into play. Remember on this Sabbath day that Jesus didn’t change the world alone. He intentionally built 6 pairs of opposites to go into the world Together. And he invested Time with them. Knowing that they would never be PERFECT, he established that the circle would be… well this is obvious for a music blog… unbroken 😉
Pause, Examine, Reframe, Focus, Easy, Count, and Time – PERFECT?
Son would retire again in 1974, and pass on in 1988, but not before another new voice would pick up the mantle and renew the blues. But, that’s for a future set of posts, my favorite guitarist/blues hero – who like Son used mostly his hands and simply plugged in and played – PERFECT. As we renew after the first few weeks of the year, and particularly on this long weekend, what do you need to do to Design The Life you want for this coming year? Think about it, and remember Son’s energy coming through to you. I Wish I Had my Whole Heart in My Hand.