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Change execution…

by | Nov 21, 2020 | Change, execute, Santana

The whole concept of LeadingWithMusic is to talk about using the power of Music to Change the way we think and act as Leaders and people, taking you on a journey linking the 2 together with examples from both. Lately, I have been receiving a lot of feedback that my posts are “interesting” but “need a lot of editing” for typos, word choices, etc.  Frankly, I do pay attention to that stuff – using multiple spell checkers, grammar tools, and even trying to make myself read through and “edit” after writing.  Over the last week, six different readers, after praising the ideas, offered to “edit” the stories to make them smoother. I was sharing this with my wife, one of the 6, and after a few minutes, said something that I often use with leaders:  “You’re not open for input” 😉  Better said, I am not open to Change… that is something that OTHERS should do.  You should just KNOW what I am talking about.  Really, it is YOUR fault that you can’t read this… it is on YOU to make the Change to understand my words, so you can receive the message I want to send…. 

… and I cannot tell you how many Leaders embody that crazy stance, actively.  Their ego and pride keep them from creating what they really need… because they don’t think they need any help. Rather than being open to the possibility that they may be wrong and need to Change, they would rather execute the classic blame game. Change is hard, and that is why most leaders won’t try it. It starts from failing – something you can’t get, something you really want: a promotion, a new product, a relationship that is strained.  And the way you are executing is failing:  you have to capitulate, declare a breakdown…the way you are going is NOT working… and that is the energy turns things in a new direction. It takes a strong direct or peer, or even boss to break through that … and today’s musical offering makes that round trip. If you remember, Clive Davis warned Santana not to go so overtly into smooth jazz and spirituality. Now nearly 20 years later, Santana was trying to claw his audience back but had failed, fired by his label. His wife encouraged him to reach back to Clive, and after swallowing his pride, Carlos convinced him that he could Change and adapt, and even cited John Coltrane and Miles as artists that had done that… 

My own breakdown became apparent in New York City late one Sunday night.  I had come into town to demonstrate the Wizard Card to some senior management of IBM at the 590 Madison building downtown, an even MORE powerful place than Headquarters in Armonk (which I wrote about last week). We had a chance to go into the CEO’s private office, even see the private shower/bathroom, sit at his desk…. because it was 2 am and NO one was around. I had spent 12 hours trying to get our system up, only to realize it was dead…. and our only hope we getting a new part in.  So while we waited for the Delta DASH flight (pre-FedEx) to land at Newark Airport at 4 am Monday, it started sinking in that our small team of 5 was ultimately not going to be able to get the Elephant to dance. I was going to be presenting in the Board room, after being up for 36 hours, stressed, and assuming it worked. I needed to execute a Change… 

..ironically NYC was the same place that Davis had his own “late-night breakdown”.  At a similar hour in 1973, movers swept into his office, gathered all of his things, and moved them out:  he was fired as the President of CBS Records.  He didn’t have to choose the Change – it was thrust on him, as with some leaders I work with. He understood viscerally what “comeback” meant, and now back on top at his OWN label Arista, he heard Carlos’ cry for Change. They set out to “top” the sales of Abraxas of 4 Million in 1970… at CBS 😉 Clive’s partnership crafted exactly the right mix of pop, soul, jazz – particularly mixing in artists who wanted to record with Carlos and Clive. Not only did it exceed Abraxas, Supernatural sold 30 million records worldwide, was Album of the year, won a boatload of Grammys, and brought him to even higher standing than the early ’70s.  Again – watch the video for some great shots of the amazing curves and beauty … and the girls too 😉  The close-ups of his PRS let you see how beautiful those guitars are and how integral they are to his whole persona now.  You can tell a “real” PRS because of the “birds” – his trademark symbol…

… the first time I heard today’s song, I said “Wow – Santana has a new song out!”.  My son Kyle said “No, Dad (“you idiot” tonally), THAT is Rob Thomas from Matchbox 20″… and we executed the classic blame game: I am right and you are wrong… until we realized we were BOTH right, and Changed to literally “hear” what the other heard.  The beauty of Supernatural was it was heard differently depending on your age: Lauren Hill/Cee-Lo, Eagle-Eye Cherry … or Santana 😉 Change is something that happens every day… and we fight it or embrace it, but the truth I have learned is you have to be “open for input”.  If you don’t think this world is different, and you don’t need to Change, I would like some of what you are drinking 😉  What do you need to watch for in your own execution?  Are you holding on too tightly and not letting others help you move things forward – their way?  Are you grasping the status quo, because you want to “right”, and don’t want to see the Change that will make things better for everyone?  For me, this posting will have at least one less person who has offered to help that I didn’t ask, and an improved workflow.  It still may not be perfect but it and the remainder will be better… and hopefully, your reading will be more… Smooth. 

 

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