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managing Celebrating

by | Mar 2, 2021 | Celebrate, J Geils Band, manage

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Realizing that no one was actually listening made me question why I was giving my nights and weekends to being a college radio DJ.  So after a few weeks, I stepped down, but what to do with my time?  A few guys on the floor were starting to play guitar in the evenings, and I managed to bring mine back after a weekend at home.  Politely, one of them that I was tutoring through Physics pulled me aside and suggested that I might want to switch over to Bass …. as I was actually never going to be good on guitar… honest feedback that many years later I still Celebrate… 

… it was the model of perfect Feedback that I try to teach to managers.  Clear, direct, personal, and actionable.  I didn’t like it, but interestingly the same guy that got me into the DJ business had a friend that had a red Fender Bass she wasn’t using, so I was set to start on my way.  But even with that, I still had a lot of time on my hands… until I found a job at Texas Instruments that I also Celebrate almost daily.  The chance encounters that went into that are still something that I marvel about, particularly my first experience with a manager

Danny Klein was a bright kid from the Bronx that moved to New Jersey, but in both places he listened to New York AM radio which played “…  a whole lot of R&B, Otis and the Supremes, the Motown thing, the Memphis thing, and the New York thing, and all that, a lot of R&B in those days, a lot of black stuff.”  Unlike Geils, his family was not musical so his entire education came over the radio waves.  He also headed to Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)…. “anywhere out of Jersey”…

He continued, “I took Chemical Engineering…J was a mechanical engineering major and Magic Dick was an electrical engineering major… I went to see Muddy Waters in N.Y…. actually, we went on a field trip from school to Jersey and I went to a munitions factory and a fertilizer plant, and then we saw Muddy Waters in New York…and then I went home and quit school, and went back to Worcester.”  Danny became a Bass player because… they needed one, and Geils had guitar covered, and they found a drummer, finally… so… Danny was there for 17 albums in 17 years… and innumerable live performances. 

There is, in fact, a tight correlation between science/math and music, and it is borne out in the J Geils band’s story and mine.  Most of the technical people I interact with now have an underlying love of and/or talent for music, and it is one of my new passions – how to manage to awaken that in those I meet.  We need to Celebrate that connection and realize that not only is it missing from our workplace, it makes what we are all missing now so much – connecting with each other – deeper, faster, and more long-lasting.  I can remember like yesterday all of the musical interactions I had at SMU, and the introduction of the Bass – while backhanded – changed my life. 

For now, the early days of college were managing to awaken new interests, new approaches to life that I hadn’t seen before.  And many of the things, whether I now find them interesting or not, I can trace back to those early Celebrations of coming of age.  How about you?  What do you need to reconnect with what has been gone for too long?  Many of us had such dreams in those days, some pursued … and others fell into the predicted paths that were ahead of us.  And without judgment, let’s Celebrate that we always have time to reconnect with where we are now heading before some part of us… Must of Got Lost…. 

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