I started out in Wisconsin wanting to be a Piano Man. Don’t Ask Me Why, but I just thought that it would be a pretty glamorous life. Before long I was Movin’ Out to Texas and those dreams faded in favor of being a Big Shot in the business world. I graduated from college with an accounting degree and a desire for a long-term window into the River of Dreams.
But for The Longest Time, I couldn’t figure it out. There was a girlfriend, an Uptown Girl of sorts. I tried to Tell Her About It. She’d say in reply, “You’re Only Human, you’ll just have to see what happens”. Eventually I moved to LA in hot pursuit of a big management opportunity, filled with much Pressure. I was a fish out of water, and I got some valuable experience, so a couple of years later it was time to Say Goodbye to Hollywood and move east.
I landed in DC, and lived a sporting life, and worked for Captain Jack – or should I say, King Jack. Unfortunately, things turned sour, and I felt like The Stranger in my own office. I needed to do something different – something more like me. I asked my friends for advice, and they’d say that new employers should “take you Just The Way You Are”.
King Jack eventually took the decision out of my hands – my release was surreal, like Scenes From An Italian Restaurant, with sotto voce voices over wine and white tablecloths. “Now This Is The Time I need to make the right change”, I thought.
Meantime I launched a singing career. I was The Entertainer, singing show tunes at coffeehouses while I tried to figure out what to do. I was 34, it was My Life, and I had to make the most of it. Soon I was in a New York State Of Mind and found a job there in the suburbs (I figured it was better than a steel mill in Allentown).
This job was much better – in fact, it was exactly what I wanted. I later spoke to that girlfriend from years back. “You May Be Right about that advice”, I said to her. “I did have to wait to see what happened” (Yes, She’s Always A Woman to me, even if it was a bad breakup).
And So It Goes……in that great job I cultivated all those qualities that make a good leader, like Honesty and integrity. After all, it’s A Matter of Trust. It’s all about Keeping the Faith. It’s All About Soul. While I know they say Only The Good Die Young – they’re wrong. Good hearted leaders can lead for a long, long time (as this man of 50 can attest).
Keep in mind that We Didn’t Start The Fire – other great leaders have paved the way before all of us, teaching us lessons that keep the flame of excellence burning bright.
I know, sometimes I Go To Extremes with all this, and yes, some of it is downright Shameless, but oh yes, through all this, the learning, the disappointments, the victories, the accomplishments– everything, there’s one thing that still holds true. Something more powerful than even a simple Lullabye.
It’s Still Rock and Roll To Me!
(with grateful thanks to Billy Joel for guiding me through the track list of life)