By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy
Here’s an idea to help you tune up your on-the-job performance. Reading time: 2:48.
Scrreeeech! The motorist hit his brakes. Another traffic jam erupts out of nowhere. Frustrated, the motorist squeezes his fist around the steering wheel waiting for the congestion to clear up ahead. Waiting and waiting and….
Suddenly, he finds himself singing to the radio and beating on the steering wheel as if it were a drum. And when the traffic jam cleared, the lone driver kept singing to himself. He didn’t care that other motorists were giving him weird looks for singing to himself. After all, while that music played, his mind had left that traffic jam far behind.
Now he was figuratively dancing to his own music. Now his mind was reliving a memorable personal experience that music conjured up, music that even made him see in his mind’s eye friends from yesteryear as if they were sitting in the car beside him in that traffic jam.
Indeed, music has that kind of galvanizing hold on what makes us humans: our feelings, our thoughts, and our dreams.
No wonder United States Army General Norman Schwarzkopf used music to spur the can-do, will-do energy in his War Room 10 minutes before the start of The Persian Gulf War on Wednesday January 16, 1991. He called his staff together and they listened to Lee Greenwood’s God Bless the USA.
No wonder the most effective leaders I’ve known embrace the power of music to galvanize the soul and focus our performance. They consider the tone in their voice in delivering a key message. Leaders whistle while they work. With a rhythm and a momentum that seemingly makes work fun –or at least less dreary. Think of the chants of troops on a run at boot camp. Or a chain gang at a prison.
Giving a Note-Worthy Performance
Leaders, whistling while they work, acknowledge the mythological power Amphion’s music –so MOVING –that his music could MOVE rocks BIG enough to form a wall. Huge rocks that helped to fortify the city of Thebes.
Myth or not, that first version of “rock n’ roll” set the stage for the power of music to turn the traffic jams in our lives into jam sessions for our lives. So go ahead. Crank up the music. Give a “note”-worthy performance. And whistle while you work.
Sing a song at least in your heart to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.
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