Monday, December 21, 2009

RockStarLeader Guest Post #4: String Cheese, Dave Grohl, and Rock Star Leadership

The fourth guest post I've done for the RockStarLeader blog starts with an interview Foo Fighter front-man, Dave Grohl, did for the 12/14/2009 issue of Time magazine, passes through the category of “You Don’t Know What You Know until You Know What You Know,” and ends with looking at what Rock Star Leaders know about leadership that most “lousy” leaders do not:
  1. A Rock Star Leader knows the importance of GETTING “IN FRONT OF” MEETINGS – It’s no surprise that meetings are some of the absolute worst places to get things done! That’s why RSLs (Rock Star Leaders) work to have key conversations, with key players, in advance of ‘formal’ meetings on the topic. Doing so dramatically improves their views being properly heard, understood, and incorporated into the decision-making process. That’s how “influence” happens.
  2. A Rock Star Leader knows the importance of KNOWING HOW TO MOP-UP QUICKLY – Obviously, delegation is an essential leadership skill. But even more important is knowing how to clean-up quickly, efficiently, and satisfactorily, should something you delegate go wrong. So whenever RSLs delegate, you can be sure that they spend at least a few moments considering ...
(...continued at http://rockstarleader.wordpress.com/2009/12/19/string-cheese-leadership/.)

Want to know more about how leaders excel at leadership? Visit http://www.leadershipmoves.com/.
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Image Source: buzzworthy.mtv.com,

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

RockStarLeader Guest Post #3: Rock Music Rocks Stocks - and Rock Star Leaders

My newest guest post at the Rock Star Leader blog was published today.

Titled, "Rock Music Rocks Stocks," it's a riff on a USATODAY article about how America’s “mood swings” might not just determine music popularity at any particular point in time, but might also determine if the stock market is likely to be on the up- or down-swing!
“When people are in a collective good mood, for instance, they tend to listen to bubble-gum-pop music with a steady happy beat.” Think back to January 2000, when the market was waaaay up, boy bands, Ricky Martin, Christina Aguilera, and the Carlos Santana/Rob Thomas smash hit, Smooth, were tops.

“Conversely, when they’re in a funk, people gravitate to music with dark, complex tones and themes.” No wonder that Linkin Park’s Minutes to Midnight peaked as stocks began to tumble in 2007, AC/DC hit #1 on the Billboards charts in 2008 — even the Sex Pistols got back together during the 2007 Dow slide!

"So what’s the message, here, for Rock Star Leaders?" ...
(...continued at http://rockstarleader.wordpress.com/2009/11/17/rock-music-rocks-stocks/.)

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By the way, do YOU see a connection between music and leadership and are thinking that YOU'D like to blog about it?! If so, just send me an email and maybe you can be a guest-blogger for the Rock Star Leader blog, too.
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Image Source: hipsotry.com

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Friday, November 13, 2009

RockStarLeader Guest Post #2: Rock Star Leadership in the Key of … “See”


My newest guest post at the Rock Star Leader blog was published today. Titled, Rock Star Leadership In the Key of … “See”, it looks at what music can really teach a leader about how to be a Rock Star Leader:
"So can music really teach a leader how to be a Rock Star Leader?!
"Well, let’s see what M-U-S-I-C has to offer:
  • "M reminds us to always strive to Motivate Others. As a Rock Star Leader, it’s not just about helping others to raise their game when it’s convenient, or when you feel like it. It’s about ever-being the role model, the one others look up to, and the one who doesn’t just play the (Leadership) music, but someone who understands the (Leadership) music – and can explain it to others in increasingly powerfully engaging and relevant ways.

  • “U” suggests we always Utilize our Resources. A Rock Star Leader knows who’s good at what, who likes doing what, and how to those very skillful (and willful) people to stop what they’re working on, and willingly do what the Rock Star Leader needs done.
(...continued at http://rockstarleader.wordpress.com/2009/11/13/key-of-see/.)

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Image Source: gcc.asu.edu

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

RockStarLeader Guest Post #1: Why Dogs Don't Enjoy Music


Creative marketeer, Tom Schulte, recently started http://rockstarleader.wordpress.com/ - "the intersection of music and influence" - and asked if I'd do some guest blogging for the site.

My first post was published today. It's called, Why Dogs Don't Enjoy Music. Bascially, it's a riff on how leaders might not be as strong at communicating with their staff as they may think ... and what can be done about it.
"Subtlety is often considered a more “refined” form of communication. The problem with subtle communications, though, is that they ask the listener — they require the listener — to be much more discerning when listening. And depending on circumstances, that could be asking a LOT from someone.

"Too much, perhaps.

"Indeed, expecting someone to give you their full and Undivided Attention could be far more than they’re ready for — or capable of — in this busy, distracted, juggling priorities, go-go, world of ours."
To read the entire piece, link on over to Why Dogs Don't Enjoy Music.

And while there, see what else is going on at http://rockstarleader.wordpress.com/.

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Stress and Performance

You've seen the classic Human Performance Curve before, right?

Where would you say that you are on the curve right now?

As noted in an article titled, Anxiety for Fun and Profit, "anxiety, for all its negatives, is not the problem; the problem is how we often choose to deal with it."

Indeed. Robert Rosen, author of Just Enough Anxiety: The Hidden Driver of Business Success, said it best:
"We're all like strings of a guitar: We need the right amount of tension to function properly."
Too much tension, and we easily become too wired, or sharp, to continue the musical analogy. Not enough tension, and we go flat.

Hmmm. Finding what's "just right" reminds me of Goldilocks and the Three Bears!

Maybe we should sit down, have a bowl of porridge, and figure out where YOU need to be on the Human Performance Curve, huh?!

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Chart: http://www.blissdivineyoga.co.uk/images/humanperformancecurve.jpg
Thanks, Art.

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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Playing for Change: Stand by Me

Got five minutes and twenty-seven seconds? Enjoy these musicians from across the globe doing their collective thing, virtually!


Playing For Change Song Around The World "Stand By Me"
from Concord Music Group on Vimeo.


Thanks, Andy!

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

"Expert In" AND a "Student Of"

Just read a very interesting post by Andrew Bryant in which he talks about the importance of Intentional Practice:

"Intentional Practice is perfect practice and perfect practice makes perfect. Intentional practice requires knowing “Why” you are doing what you are doing and complete “Attention” to the task."
It reminded me of the value of striving to be BOTH, "expert in" and a "student of".

Perhaps some examples would help:
  • An Attorney can be both expert in intellectual property law and a student of litigation.
  • An Architect can be both expert in residential housing and a student of eco-responsible design.
  • A Musician can be both expert in music theory and a student of creative expressionism.
  • An Executive can be both expert in getting things done and a student of leadership.
  • A Life Coach can be both expert in asking the right questions and a student of the human condition.

Indeed, embracing the "mind of a student" often helps the Expert get past the ego-imposed limitations of not wanting to look foolish from, or be embarrassed by, not already know everything there is to know about their particular area of expertise.

Students continue to learn and grow as a matter of course. Experts, similarly, continue know and do with incredible skill.

Striving to be BOTH "expert in" AND a "student of" may take a fair amount of Intentional Practice, but it's most definitely a worthy goal.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Petition for Equal Access to Music Education

My son, Andy, a University of Miami music education student, recently blogged about something that MENC*: The National Association for Music Education is working on:

"MENC has recently begun an initiative to petition the U.S. Department of Education to require the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (now known as No Child Left Behind) to include music education as a required component of each public education curriculum in the United States.

"What does all that mean? In short, they are petitioning the government to require music education be a requirement for all public school students. MENC aims to have at least 1 million signatures on their petition by the time they come before the legislators on June 18.

"This petition is just getting started, but I would urge each and every one of you who has been touched by music in any way to sign this petition, and help MENC make a statement in Washington."

Thanks for the heads-up, Sonny-Boy!

I signed it -- #773. (Andy, too. He's #756.) If music has touched your life somehow, or the life of someone you know, please consider signing the "Petition for Equal Access to Music Education", as well, yes?

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*MENC originally stood for "Music Educators National Conference". In 1998, their National Executive Board voted to change their name to "MENC: The National Association for Music Education" to better reflect their mission.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dogs, Music, and Improving Communications

singing dog "Anyone with normal hearing can distinguish between the musical tones of a scale: do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do. We take this ability for granted, but among most mammals the feat is unparallelled."

So reports Sandy Fritz in the October 2008 issue of Scientific American Mind, to the dismay of barking Labradors, woofing bassets, and yelping Yorkies, everywhere.

Yet a recently-concluded study by researchers at UCLA, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the Weizmann Institute of Science, concluded that "humans can easily detect frequencies as fine as one twelfth of an octave -- a half step in musical terminology. Dogs can only discriminate resolutions of one third of an octave."

What's the inference from a leadership development standpoint? Well, the flippant answer might be that the people who say they don't understand you ... are dogs! But a more respectful analysis might conclude that your message is, at times, a bit too subtle (or convoluted?) for them to make sense of.

Granted, this conclusion has less to do with hearing than understanding, but if you stay with me a longer, I think it will be worth your while.

Subtlety is often considered a more "refined" form of communication. The problem with subtle communications, though, is that they ask the listener -- they require the listener -- to be much more discerning when listening. And depending on circumstances, that could be asking a LOT from someone. Too much, perhaps.

Indeed, expecting someone to give you their full and Undivided Attention could be far more than they're ready for, or capable of, in this busy, distracted, juggling priorities, go-go, world of ours.

So what if we purposefully avoided such splitting of dog hairs when we're sharing our content with others? What if we focused, instead, on talking more clearly and crisply (and in larger octave steps, perhaps?) so that everyone -- even those with lesser abilities to listen so carefully -- could completely understand what we're talking about anyway?

What would that sound like, I wonder?

Hopefully, this isn't too subtle a point to be making. Hopefully, it will encourage (and help) you to communicate more effectively than you might otherwise.

And, hopefully, that will be music to your listeners' ears.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Some People Like To Make Life, Tougher Than It Is

The band: CAKE
The Album: Pressure Chief
The song: Tougher Than It Is



Well there is no such thing as you
It doesn't matter what you do
The more you try to qualify
The more it all will pass you by

Some people like to make life
a little tougher than it is
Some people like to make life
a little tougher than it is

Well the more you try to shake the cat
The more the thing will bite and scratch
It's best I think to leave its fur
and to listen to its silky purr

Some people like to make life
a little tougher than it is
Some people like to make life
a little tougher than it is

Well there is no such thing as you
It doesn't matter what you do
The more you try to qualify
The more it all will pass you by

Some people like to make life
a little tougher than it is
Some people like to make life
a little tougher than it is
Some people like to make life
a little tougher than it is

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Slacker Radio Rocks, or Chills, or Any Other Style of Music

Slacker Radio PC Magazine calls it, "The most exciting thing in digital music to happen in a long time."

Forbes says, "Slacker's No Slouch."

CNET News.com calls it, "a distinctive new Web music service."

I just think it's a great on-line music companion that offers an incredibly wide array of music styles, and a surprisingly deep collection of artists and song titles for my listening pleasure - without commercial interruption ... especially if you enjoy "alternative" musicianship.

Try it yourself: Just head over to www.slacker.com, select the type of music you like, and click the 'play' button. (I'm listening to its Alternative Chill at the moment - and loving it.)

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

pzizz is it!

PzizzI use pzizz to help me fall asleep at night. I use pzizz when I need a pick-me-up. I like it so much that I'm now a pzizz affiliate. So what is pzizz?!

pzizz is a Mac and Windows software application, that you can listen to on your PC, or download to an iPod or MP3 player, that generates special soundtracks to help you take a quick nap or fall asleep for the night.

pzizz works in as little as 15-20 minutes to clear your brain, improve your focus, lower your stress, help you relax, and leave you feeling quite energized and refreshed, actually.
  • During the day, I create a 20-minute MP3 using the pzizz Energizer Module to take a quick speed-nap.
  • At night, I use the pzizz Sleep Module and in less than 15 minutes I'm out like a light! (It works so well that I fall into a deep, relaxing, sleep even when I try to stay awake!)

pzizz does what it does in the way it mixes words, music, and sound effects into novel, but recognizable, soundtracks that engage me to nod off. Yeah, it does seem counter-intuitive to say that it engages me to fall asleep, but it really does!

I think it has something to do with the fact that each new nap that the system generates is slightly different than the one before so there's always a bit of the familiar, and a bit of the new, in every recording.

So if you're having trouble falling asleep at night, or feel like a quick power nap would really help, give pzizz a try.

Thanks.

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Monday, January 14, 2008

I'm Trying to Evolve

(excerpts from Evolve, by Ani Difranco)

"I walk in stride with people
..... taller than me
..... and partly it's the boots but
..... mostly it's my chi

"And I'm becoming transfixed
..... with nature and my part in it
..... which I believe just signifies
..... I'm finally waking up

"I am trying to evolve
..... I'm just trying to evolve

"I am trying to evolve
..... I'm just trying to evolve

"So I walk like I'm on a mission
..... cuz that's the way I groove
..... I got more and more to do
..... I got less and less to prove

"It took me too long to realize
..... that I don't take good pictures
..... cuz I have the kind of beauty
..... that moves

"I am trying to evolve
..... I'm just trying to evolve

"I am trying to evolve
..... I'm just trying to evolve"

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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Music and Music Related - category archives

Follow this link to the GottaGettaBlog! archives for more postings from Barry Zweibel on the topic of: Music and Music Related.

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