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Leadership topic - Cat Stevens

Steven Georgiou was born in 1948 to a Greek father and Swedish mother in the music district of London.  They ran a restaurant together, with the family living above it, and all the kids were expected to help out, which he did begrudgingly.  His parents divorced when he was 8, and while his father was Greek Orthodox, he attended Catholic school as it was closer when he stayed with him.  Steven’s interest in music engaged first on the piano, and then he convinced his father to buy him a guitar for the equivalent of $300 when he was 15… when like everyone, he wanted to be a Beatle 😉

Like other kids of the era, he found his way into art school, actually considering a career as a cartoonist, and was constantly beat up… but, he added ‘I was noticed” 😉  He pivoted back into music, and engaged in playing coffee shops of the era under the name Steven Adams.  He was listening to Nina Simone, Lead Belly, but also Ira and George Gershwin, often hearing the musicals around the corner from the rooftop of his home.  He was signed to a publishing deal in 1965, including his first song, “The First Cut is the Deepest”.  It increased his bookings, and he realized he enjoyed being a solo artist, compared to other peers that were forming with bands.

He knew to make it big, he needed to have a more engaging name than Georgiou, and his girlfriend said he had eyes like a cat.  Connecting also that American’s love pets, he Decided Cat as his first name would be memorable.  He quickly was discovered by an agent who arranged studio time to record both his first composition and 2 other songs that immediately went straight up the charts.

The soundtrack for a discussion of Decisions and Outcomes, two elements of leadership that are vital