Shut up and sing: the Dixie Chicks.

I remember reading an article in Rolling Stone over ten years ago on the subject of "Spring Break"—a time when many North American college students like to blow off steam in Bacchanalian revelry on Florida beaches.

The author of the piece was amused at these expressions of rebellion by adolescents who would soon settle into a "lifetime of obedience." A cynical perspective perhaps, but one that had the ring of sober truth. Even in this era of "free agent nation" the vast majority of Americans work for somebody else—and, by most accounts, not happily.

Here at blfr we admire individuals—and teams of individuals—who refuse to be obedient and who demand freedom and autonomy in their work. (Many of the best companies encourage their teams to think for themselves—as will be discussed in future posts.) And of course we admire those unruly business teams who play music for a living—and push the creative envelope of what's possible in business at large.

One band that epitomizes the spirit of independence and defiance is the hyper-talented alt-country-rock group, the Dixie Chicks. Natalie Maines and sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Robison, who rocketed to fame thirteen years ago on the basis of their instrumental virtuosity and smart vocals, have made a practice of thumbing their noses at authority—in lyrics, lawsuits, and political statements.