ROCKING Your Goals like Tom Petty

Into the great wide open Under the skies of blue Out in the great wide open A rebel without a clue ~ Tom Petty, “Into the Great Wide Open”

In Tom Petty’s song “Into the Great Wide Open,” a young rock ‘n’ roller named Eddie gets a chance at stardom. He has some talent, a bit of luck, and releases a hit record. But Tom reminds us throughout the song that Eddie is ultimately “a rebel without a clue,” and at the end of the song, his future is uncertain.

If you watch the video, the end is even sadder as you watch his life implode. Eddie doesn’t seem to have much control over his own life; he just drifts along, and the end result is that he wastes his talent and opportunities. Know anybody who has done that? We all do; that’s why the song speaks to us.

You and your band want to avoid that path. You need to have a vision that guides you, or else you will all end up “rebels without a clue.” If you’re playing your B chord well, you have already got that part locked down. You have a clearly articulated dream and everyone is on board with pursuing it. That means it’s time to start practicing your G chord, and setting yourselves some GOALS.

Goals enable you to put your vision into action. They take a big idea and transform it into a series of practical steps. Make and keep specific goals, and you will be well on your way to achieving and keeping rock star status. Fumble your goals, or forget them, and you may not even get the chance to be a One Hit Wonder. That’s not what you want; what you want is a wall full of gold records that you can admire every day.

With the help of some of rock ’n’ roll’s most successful stars, we can determine a strategy for creating objectives that you can reach, executing steps as a team, responding to obstacles, and encouraging adaptability.

Learn more about how to ROCK your goals in my book Opportunity RocksDon’t forget to connect with me on Facebook and TwitterRock on!

TED Talks: Music And Emotion

If you’ve never watched a TED Talks before you’re in for a treat. What is TED?

TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader.

This talk in particular takes a fascinating approach to both music and emotion. Many things change through time but some very basics elements stay the same. Both music and emotions remain powerful forces in society today. Tuning in to both of these elements can give you an edge in communicating in work and life.

“Michael Tilson Thomas traces the development of classical music through the development of written notation, the record, and the re-mix.”





Three Ways To Keep Your Fans Rocking

If all it took to be a rock star was getting someone to love you for a week, then there would be no One Hit Wonders. But if you and your band are going to commit to a long-term strategy, then you need to prepare for a relationship that lasts.

If you want to keep your fans, you need to cultivate your fans. So first, you need to view your connection to fans as a relationship. Does this mean that you let them crash on your couch for weeks on end, or borrow your car? No, that probably means that someone’s got some boundary issues. But you do need to embrace a certain social agreement between you and your fans:

First, there is give and take. They offer you their attention, their financial support, and their presence. You offer them a quality product or experience.

Second, there is sharing. You exchange information. You tell them when and where they can find you, what you are doing, and cool stuff they should know. They tell you how to contact them, what they want to know, and what they care about.

Third, there is mutual respect and affection. Fans already have an emotional connection to you. They admire your gifts and acknowledge the value you bring to their lives. In return, you should be warm and polite in your interactions. Listen to their ideas. Respond when they communicate. (If you ever feel uncomfortable because a fan is stepping over the line personally or professionally, address it directly but nicely. Respond in a firm, polite, and legally appropriate way.)

Like Johnny Depp, you need to keep in mind that you have a certain position because there are people who are invested in keeping you there. You depend on them for the realization of your vision, for your livelihood, and for your ongoing ability to create your work.

To learn more about how to keep your fans and your customers check out my book Opportunity RocksDon’t forget to connect with me on Facebook and Twitter! Rock on!

Leadership Lessons From Our Founding Fathers

This Independence Day we can take some advice from our founding fathers whom were the experts on leadership. When trying to create and defend a new country, they had to know a thing or two about leadership. Fast Company recently put out an article highlighting four leadership lessons we can learn from the likes of James Madison, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and the other brave men.

Here are the four leadership lessons we can take away:

1. Courage of Convictions With their main convictions centering around “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” these brave men fought and clung to these ideals. Leadership in a global economy requires steady conviction in the face of incredible challenges. To say that our Founding Fathers were men of conviction would be an understatement, but all great leaders are.

2. Sanctity of Sacrifice By signing that piece of paper (the Declaration of Independence) our founding fathers pledged to each other and the country “our lives, our fortunes, our sacred honor.” This leadership quality of sacrifice isn’t something new, but instead an old practice of not being selfish or self-serving, but selfless. The commitment made 236 years ago reminds us that no great accomplishment comes without sacrifice and that causes greater than self are the lasting ones.

3. Fulfillment of Faith Stepping outside of our circumstances and putting faith in our endeavors allows us to see the world around us, and the people entrusted to our leadership, in a more meaningful way. The executive model today is not so much an “independence from” mentality as it is a “responsibility toward” philosophy. Thoughtful leaders seek to be a blessing and to serve causes greater than self; wise ones remember the source.

4. Power of Purpose The men of the Declaration of Independence had a clear purpose and the drive to fulfill that purpose. The rally today is for leaders with purpose, backed by the power of their convictions, faith, and sacrifice, to make a difference in the world. Like the Founders, men of clear purpose and mission, successful management today charts a clear course with the right women and men with the necessary tools to achieve their goals.

Happy Independence Day!