Leaving It All On The Ice

Neil Peart drumming the Rush song Freewill

As regular readers will know, I’m a fan of Canadian rock legends, Rush. I love their music and their teamwork. I appreciate they are not everyone’s cup of tea, you have your own freewill – you choose.

I recently watched an interview where drummer Neil Peart was talking about how he feels at the end of a Rush concert performance. For those who don’t know, when Rush play live they are on stage for almost three hours, it’s one helluva performance. In the interview Peart told us that when he comes off stage, physically he hurts. ‘I like to leave it all on the ice’, he says. Neil Peart is 59 years old and in great shape, and you’ve gotta love his attitude to his work.

Although my daughter has a drumkit and occasionally lets me have a go, I’m no drummer, but like Peart I love my work. Tomorrow I’m off to Newcastle for a couple of days to help some people make work better. I’ve prepared and rehearsed because I love to give my best when I’m with other people. Of course I can’t be sure of a virtuoso performance but I can be sure I will give the best that I can. And from my experience, that in turn seems to help others give of their best too. And come Wednesday evening I am confident I will be exhausted, and that I will ache, and that I will have left it all on the ice. I’m grateful to my customers for motivating me this way.

When will you next have the chance to leave it all on the ice, and will you take that chance?



Closer to the Heart

And the men who hold high places
Must be the ones who start
To mould a new reality
Closer to the Heart

So sang Geddy Lee back in the days when flares were cool. Did I mention to you that I’m going to see Rush next week? Only about a thousand times…yeah Ok – well I make no apology for mentioning it again. Rush are an anomaly in my musical sphere of interest and I believe I’m all the better for experiencing the “biggest cult band in the world”. Anyway, what have my musical perversions got to do with the world of work?

Please allow me to commit Rush heresy. I disagree with the above words. *faint*. Have you recovered from that shock? Good, then I’ll carry on.

I believe that men and woman in all places must be the ones who start to mould a new reality, closer to the heart. I believe this because I know many people who hold all kinds of places – high has nothing to do with it. I get annoyed when people slavishly say – you’ve got to get the buy in from the top. Is that distributive leadership? No – it’s command and control. And as we know – control is an illusion.

It’s a privilege to know you folks, a wholesome, humbling privilege. Together we will mould a new reality – and bring work closer to the heart. It’s a collective responsibility.

Take it away boys, take it away…

Working Man

In a couple of weeks I’m off to see Rush perform on the Time Machine Tour. Excited? You bet! I’ve followed them and enjoyed them for a long time. They do what they do to an exceptionally high standard. You may think they are talented, I would agree. Why are they talented? Because they keep practicing.

I just watched an interview with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson and they’re chatting with a reporter from Rolling Stone. Geddy Lee is talking about playing their well known instrumental YYZ and for a couple of minutes he observes stuff like “playing YYZ is tough…we sometimes get asked to play with other bands and they wanna play YYZ, that’s a tough song”. They go on to talk about the nerves they experience before playing and how much rehearsing is needed to get ready to tour. This stuff doesn’t all come easy to these guys. I don’t know about you but I’m a little relieved to learn this – maybe there’s hope for all us amateur guitar pickers after all!

Even the most accomplished artists need to practice, else they cease to be the most accomplished artist. And the same goes for any career choice. Music, art, HR, shelf stacking. From the highest paid entertainer to the humblest working man. If you want to be the best – forget “talent”, get practicing and keep practicing, and talent will find you.