Today I am hosting one of the final workshops for a group of brave souls who are piloting the Designing Your Life material that I prototyped on myself for the last year. They have all discovered the magic needed to sustain Change, particularly Continuously: partners. I would love to claim it is the material, and even my excellent leadership – but you all know me 😉 There is something about realizing that you are not alone… that others are facing the same dilemmas you are that encourages Change. And we are all learning again that having that team of partners is not something that happens without some focus…
Neil Schon was born as an Air Force brat at Tinker Air Force base in Oklahoma to a German father who was a big band musician and taught every type of reed instrument, with a specialty on tenor saxophone. His Italian mother was a big band singer, and with their encouragement he started playing guitar at 10, eventually moving to San Mateo where he attended high school. But unlike other teens in garage bands, he was asked to join Eric Clapton’s group Derek and the Domino’s… and he eventually was picked up by Carlos Santana for his 3rd album – at 17. To say he was a prodigy and genius is an understatement, and in today’s video, he is only 19, his large ‘fro easy to spot 😉
… unlike Rolie, he stayed for Carlos’ move into jazz, but quickly fell away from that. He thought they would start a “backup” band called the Golden Gate Rhythm Section. After a quick tour to Hawaii, they realized that they had something better than a backup group, and ironically also started playing fusion-style jazz… like Santana. The name “Journey” was suggested by a roadie after they failed to get good suggestions from a radio contest. The video today shows you the group after they have developed a solid following and were signed to Columbia Records. Their first album was recorded by Roy Halee – yes – the same guy that recorded Simon and Garfunkel.
As you study bands, you see up close many of the issues that are more hidden in corporate and personal settings. There is chemistry between the players, or there isn’t, and often it is very hard to explain to those outside of the group. For example, Ringo is not as good a drummer as Pete Best… but if you have enjoyed the Get Back special on Disney+, you can clearly see why he was so important to the Beatles. I have written much about my own partners along my long journey, and I have been blessed with many, each different, and yet, all important to where I am now…
… and Continuous Change is extremely hard for those who also treasure partners as much as I do. Landing my first job when I was 17 like Neil, I quickly was in the “adult” world, and luckily had a partner to help show me a bit of the path forward. Even letting me live with him for a few weeks, although him getting me up already smoking a cigarette – naked – each morning at 6 was not something I will ever forget 😉 With so many people investing so much in me along the way, I have tried very hard to be a great partner to all those I have worked with. If you read only the stories about partners on this blog, you will see a couple of best practices that can be helpful to you also….
First, partners are different from you – stylistically, logistically, “backgroundly” 😉 We are all caught up in Diversity as a theme, and I would completely agree – and it is much, much, much more than simple skin color, gender, or whatever you see. Those differences cause communication to be complex, but worth it as it really hones your own ability to see things you wouldn’t normally see. Second, they need to be involved in your life regularly, or as I would say this week: Continuously. Really great partners have known you through many seasons, and can easily call BS on things that you know might be BS in your heart also. The great ones do it without words.
Do you have really good partners helping you – Continuously – even when you may not notice? Gentle (and sometimes not) guidance will point out areas of Change that you may want to ignore, but they can get your focus back on what is important – you. Not others, not situations, not things beyond your control – it all comes back to you. AND …with partners, together, the hardest part of any Change, continuous or not, gets easier. They pick up the phone and invite you back to your band. They see the real you that strangely enough, you really don’t see – to you it is “normal”. Their encouragement, support, and presence mean you can bring out what is extraordinary to the world… and are never left alone… In My Lonely Feelings/Conversations…
In my lonely feeling
From my darkest dreams,
I go on through days
as I wonder,
Am I the master of my soul?
Now my reason’s changing.
Fear has faded away.
No more days of my wonder,
Can’t stop feeling,
Yes, I’m the master of my soul.