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renewing Courage

by | Dec 12, 2021 | Courage, Journey, renew

A well-orchestrated job search, as 100’s of leaders I have worked with over many years say, ends with 2 outside offers, and one inside offer. It then takes Courage to choose between them, and also a lot of faith that you have done the best you can, and look forward with that same Courage. It all sounds very clean and tidy, which might lead you to wonder why I was in the building on a Saturday morning early, loading up most of my “stuff” with my wife … and slinking out of the garage…

Journey was on hiatus for nearly 10 years, and the members, like at the end of Santana, would all go their separate ways with side projects and bands that were interesting, but nothing as rewarding and lucrative. They came back together with mostly the same personnel except for Perry who famously pulled a “Howard Hughes” and was completely off the grid. Attempting to find someone who could do the songs justice created a rotating lead singer, including some that were close but found their voices gave out after only a few months of touring. With money shifting to mostly coming from touring vs album sales, that was a problem.

Arnel Pineda was born in 1967 in Manila and became homeless at 13 when his mother died of heart disease. Working odd jobs and living on the street, he eventually started singing at a Shakey’s Pizza and slowly found his voice and started to work in bands around the city. In an odd parallel to both Steve and Jonathan’s story, he moved back home after moderate success in Hong Kong. He recovered his voice and returned to work in novelty acts through most of the ’90s and 2000s with an astounding work ethic that kept him performing mostly non-stop.

Neil Schon was searching YouTube one evening and came across a Karaoke singer in the Philippines whose power, range and tone was amazingly close to Steve’s voice, and brought the video to the rest of the band. Could he actually do it? Would he even be able to fit into the culture of not just the band, but even the US where they were based? He didn’t speak much English, and even arrived with his belongings in a box. Later Jonathan would offer to buy him a suitcase… he was that different… and yet, when he started singing and stuck with it rehearsal after rehearsal, they knew they had something. His Courage to step in, renew the band’s energy has them back touring again, and with a new album coming out soon.

… getting those offers letters to all align is more art than science, and those notes often require a little renewal of your faith that this will work out. By this point I had conducted a job search every year, so had lots of practice, and yet, there is always a unique wrinkle. In this case, I had negotiated a great new opportunity that was waiting for me… and the package was not “quite” here. That meant I had to sort out a way to keep a foot in both camps for what I hoped would be a short period. Was it Courage, faith, or just being a gambler – whatever –

What is clear is that without renewal, you won’t have the bandwidth to orchestrate the notes into a tune that will sound sweet to you and others. I had started pulling back from a lot of commitments, knowing I was not going to be around, and actively working on what I eventually found to be helpful for many – the Last 90 Days. Thinking about how you want to leave things such that it will continue well – not just ok – but really ensuring that you are renewing and empowering leaders and others to continue without you at the center of the circle. As with Arnel stepping into Journey, he had a great foundation to stand on, and was also able to bring his own unique talent to the band. It requires your own Courage, and in my case, an active belief in the renewal of a higher power that guides these steps. It is hard to explain often, but particularly in my new career, I have a lot more Courage to state that it is central to my life. Faithfully.

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