If you have noticed these postings being more coherent, better written, and easier to understand, it is due to my new partner/editor/producer. He has engaed each evening to sort out what I am trying to say, and providing insights that I think have improved my clarity. It is helpful that he is also a tech-guy so we can Efficiently share documents through Google Drive and have gotten into a great rhythm. He needed to be in Las Vegas, and with travel like it is, he decided to drive out … from Pennsylvania… which provided me with the topic and the perfect chance to write about one of my favorite groups…
It is very hard to explain to people who have not driven across the country just HOW big it is. I was fortunate enough to drive from DC to San Francisco with my son Ben about 10 years ago, and we engaged in 5 days of hard driving to make it out there. What is also more amazing is just how big Texas alone is. Growing up there, you don’t think anything about driving 2 hours one way for dinner with friends. And, driving west, when you enter the state at Texarkana, it will be 12 hours and nearly 1000 miles before you reach the next state 😉
Brian updated me as he was getting closer to Texas along his route, and today’s song came immediately to mind. There is another great song from Waylon Jennings that is literally true – when you are in the Lone Star State, Bob Wills is still the King. I had landed back in Tylerafter our Florida tour, and there were 2 choices of radio – Country, and… Country 😉 Yes there was one pop station, but it was not nearly as popular, and this was when the music was mostly Tammy Wynette, Porter Wagoner, and Dolly Parton – long on twang and steel guitars, and short on lyrics.
Part of my love of classic rock, particularly progressive rock, came as a reaction to the “stupidly simple” country music that I was now marinating in. Layers of vocals, synthesizers, multiple drummers built up into music that had so much going on, it completely engaged me. My soundtrack was way more Elton John than Ernest Tubb, and it really only got more that way the more I started to look around. Straight leg Wranglers were the uniform of half of the kids, while the others were still in the bell-bottoms that were starting to fade… in many different ways…
You’re reading this because of Efficiency… actually exactly the opposite. In a post to my coaching listserv in 2014, the question was posed on how to get closer to “perfection”. With my natural bent towards skepticism and irony, I ripped off 10 “mistakes” in music that changed it forever. The guitar riff in Shaft or Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir, Louis inventing skat music – when he drops the lyrics in the sound booth… and before I knew it, I had found something I wanted to write about. As much as my engineering training is about Efficiency, the real breakthroughs, even in science, were mostly creative accidents.
After writing just straight emails, I thought I should figure out how to share this on other platforms, and after I noticed that it was an awful lot of work to do that, I engaged with some other friends to build a platform to make the process more Efficient. And I know better than to think any approach will last too long before it will need to be reassessed, torn apart and rebuilt better. And that includes me – the actual person behind the keys – I am rethinking what I want from my work, life, and everything. Your comments and inputs/suggestions have been, and will be very helpful, but look for some changes coming through the 1st Quarter… and lots of mistakes 😉
The soundtrack will be a group that was forming ironically in West Virginia just about the time I was looking for alternative music in Texas. They would bounce across the country as we will see through the week, including moving all the way to Oakland. And their name is something I see many leaders being about their paths – professionally, personally, and with their teams. How about you? Do you have a plan to engage, Efficient or not, for where you want to be by the end of 2021, 2025, 2030 even? As we ride together this week, imagine you are driving that road west – with hours and hours to think about it. You don’t want to be … Asleep at the Wheel – for Miles and Miles of Texas.