This was posted on September 21, 2020… the Fall Equinox – the day that we move from summer to fall officially (at least in Astronomy). The sun will be right over the equator at 9:30 am Tuesday EDT, and thus within some tolerance, everyone on the planet has exactly the same amount of light and dark. So at least for one day, we all have about the same – The Middle – 12 hours of each….
Leadership topic - The Moody Blues
What music to use to support The Middle – what exactly would The Middle of music look like? (… you are now wondering about me I know – who thinks about stuff like that?). Bands with Jazz, Blues, Rock, and even Pop – those are straightforward… but throw in Classical — which honestly I don’t know a lot about but, I feel like should be on the graph somewhere — which artist’s work can claim to all of that? I would argue The Moody Blues… and you can argue the point, and I would love to hear your own interpretation, but there you have it. It doesn’t hurt that their albums are also amazingly full of great commentary about times that are a lot like what we are in.
The band started in a suburb of Birmingham, England with members coming from different bands that had broken up. Military service and college had pulled some out of town, and the remaining members came together and convinced the manager to become their drummer. Graeme Edge would hold down that slot for their entire history, and was the author of some of the more memorable songs, but is most well known as the poet of the many spoken word portions of their catalog. The band name started as an homage to a local Beer – Mitchells and Butler’s – and they called themselves “The M B’s” … but when that sponsorship fell through, they went to The Moody Blues – a reference to Mood Indigo by Duke Ellington.
Originally posted on The Equinox, this series will explore if, like that day, there is a place that is between the extremes – The Middle – with one of the richest and most diverse soundtracks still playing – The Moody Blues.
As I turned out of my subdivision this morning, I came face to face with a car that was coming down the hill right at me… and of course, that meant I was coming uphill right at him. Luckily we had a “centerline” and with the road curving, what appeared to be a problem was resolved as we both stayed “on our side”. It occurred to me how much implicit trust is involved in The Middle.
I became aware of The Middle as a management concept when I was in charge of Product Management — a critical job for any company, but particularly for a software company. The idea that you can build “anything” is mostly true — and only limited by resources — which are mostly time and people. As such, everyone thinks it is easy to do what their own area needs —
The clearest way to know you are in The Middle is you are taking fire from all “sides”. In politics, another native Texan, Jim Hightower, said it colorfully — “There’s nothing in The Middle of the Road other than Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos.”
The Moody Blues create music you cannot approach casually. Yes, they have amazing – well everything – but it forces me to really think — hard — wonder about things. Even the title of the albums put you in a different place – like today’s – To Our Children’s Children’s, Children. Those don’t exist for me – yet..
Many of you don’t believe all these things happened, and I don’t blame you. Unlike now, you didn’t have a camera in your pocket to record video – but boy if I did… IBM was the Apple of the 80’s – growing faster than the US economy, without rival in the computer business, literally called Goliath.
In the span of a little over 24 hours we were with friends who have celebrated over 50 years together, and then other friends that were celebrating the marriage of their daughter. The latter was filled with other young people who met at a Christian Camp set in the mountains of Virginia near Roanoke. The outdoor celebration was perfect for any occasion… but particularly perfect in this very strange year.