A few opening remarks...

Welcome to Business Lessons From Rock, designed to connect the dots between business and rock & roll.

Background: I cut short a promising academic career in the later 1960s to jump into the world of pop music. Rather than hang with slackers on campus whom I knew wouldn’t amount to anything (ne’er-do-wells like John Kerry, George Bush, and Howard Dean) I left New Haven with my folk-rock band, the Morning, and in the Summer of Love headed to New York where my band got to play with Frank Zappa, Al Kooper, the Grateful Dead, and Sly and the Family Stone—all great Americans—before moving onto LA and even wilder times.

In the early 80s (oh, did I skip a few years?) I moved onto the next obvious career, business consulting. (There was a sequential logic to that—I just can’t remember it.) After studying at the feet of the Masters—including Peter Senge, Fernando Flores, Werner Erhard, and most recently Tom Peters—and working with over a thousand organizational leaders and hundreds of business teams, I’m now bringing together my two careers in my book-in-the-making, Business Lessons From Rock. My simple thesis: business teams have much to learn about innovation, passion, collaboration, brand, ambition, and independent thinking from the great rock bands. If there's a better source of information on team lessons that apply to business I haven't found it. (More about that in future posts.)

My consulting work has been described by one client as “helping leaders and teams operate from higher standards, transcendent principles, and eternal values, so we can pummel our competitors into cosmic ash.” Well, that’s a little harsh.

Anyway, in upcoming posts I promise to conduct an enervating, rambling, self-indulgent conversation full of warm air on a variety of subjects of little interest to anyone who has an actual life but would appreciate a painless transition into deeper levels of REM sleep at the end of a long day. (I know that’s not very rock & roll-like, but Tom Peters always told me to under-promise.) Hell, if you can’t wander aimlessly and self-indulgently on your own blog, where can you? (I tried wandering aimlessly and self-indulgently through my neighborhood once but the neighbors called the cops.)

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  1. Do I detect a common denominator with your "great American" role models -- Zappa, the Grateful Dead, Sly Stone?
    I'm sure that they, unlike Bill Clinton (who was probably on campus when you were there?), inhaled. But I'm anxious to hear the "business lessons" you gleaned from these luminaries. The Dead and Sly, at least, made a ton of cash.

  2. Thanks so much for the comments on my blog - I'm glad to hear my little contributions to the Global Warming discussion resonated with ya.

    Love your rock 'n roll to business consulting backstory. Good luck with your book writing!

  3. I love the concept... philosophy, psychology, politics and psychedilia? A Yalie myself much on the same beat, except didn't have the pleasure of knowing these greats up close. Finding ways to connect pleasure with business is what it's all about in the career mode. Looking forward to the quality when it comes!

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