I’ve played the drums since a teenager. It was a saviour for me and opened my mind to so many great aspects of creativity, collaboration and people passion. I still play today as part of my overall physical and mental health routine. Nothing quite like making a noise and holding a beat to a sweat!
I stumbled across this article and read it with great enthusiasm as you’d imagine.
It got me thinking about how I have used my experiences in drumming, patterns, structures and creativity to overcome challenges personally and professionally. How I go about organising competing tasks or managing tight deadlines. A solid backbeat and ability to recall structures and patterns managing the interruptions and distraction of obstacles, but always back to the beat.
I love the challenge of making things better for all. Sometimes competing and conflicting but that is what makes life interesting at the best and worst of times. It can be a scary place but exhilarating. Like an intricate beat with a dynamic drum fill at the apex of the song with a complex arrangement, and getting the pace and timing just right feels so rewarding. Reading the article enlighten me to this.
Now the devil is the detail – tackle that full on and get organised – get intimate knowledge of it – as that is where we find clarity and the pace of the beat. Drumming and my passion for precision, to hear something in different ways and work the pattern (beat) differently but with an interesting rhythm has always been where I push myself.
Unbeknown to me I have been applying my drummers perspective to so many challenges in my business career without understanding why I take the approach I do. Keep an open mind, study the detail, find the beat, play the song, not the drums.
Where do you draw your skills to fight the devil that is the detail? What other aspects of your life has subconsciously crept into your professional habits?
We all strive to do the very best we can to develop deep capability in our chosen professions. We also sometimes have to dig deep to keep the motivation and belief that our contribution is valued and our legacy provides long term sustainable contribution to our chosen discipline.
We are also told to tell stories as part of any engagement; selling, describing, explaining . . . .. consulting!
I recently had the good fortune to work with someone who in spite of his age and in spite of circumstance (business model) still shows real joy and fun in what he does. He was able to deliver wisdom, advice and stories of sheer joy of his work and accomplishments.
A confession. I was so chuffed to be asked to do this and “we” had absolutely no rehearsal prior and never played together. It was the first time I used that kit in about 5 years! But it was music to my ears.
Listen to him tell stories. Song starts about 5.50 in. Enjoy my walk on the wild side!
But what did this teach me? A team of professionals (in this instance semi-pro in my case) that all understood the part they played in the execution; their role, their responsibility, their contribution and collaboration and support all danced (played) to the same tune and pulled off an immediate and fun accomplishment. At no point did any of us doubt that the other wouldn’t do their job, deliver their part to time and beat and be there for the other.
Why isn’t work more like this more of the time? Why is it that we develop skills that are then compromised by “process” or “policies” or worse – politics and power play! Turning out a horrible tune!
If you don’t know who Herbie Flowers is check out this link http://www.herbieflowers.com/ and just think of Lou Reed Walk on the Wild Side and David Bowie Space Oddity, to name a few . . .
Herbie’s stories made me reflect on how I view my career. My contribution, my legacy and what it is that keeps me motivated irrespective of the challenges and demands that our modern work cadence places upon us. Is it creating beautiful music or wonderful stories!
So I hope you enjoy this and many thanks to Nik for providing me the opportunity to listen, learn and revisit my drumming skills for such an iconic and wonderful piece of music under the instruction of a one of the world’s greatest bass player ever. Thanks Herbie.