The John Lennon vote

I know I’m not the only person who asks from time to time, “WWJD?” Now with a US presidential election less than a week away—and with so much at stake—I ask myself again, “What would John (Lennon) do?"

A political provocateur in his day, Lennon was finally granted US residency a few years before he died and could have achieved full citizenship—including the right to vote—had he lived. How he would have subsequently voted in the presidential elections is anyone’s opinion. But I gave mine four years, in a lengthy and controversial post.

THIS time around I’m not so sure. Here’s why…

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Who's the leader of the band?

At blfr we’re big on workforce autonomy, team independence, and front-line leadership—which rock & roll has much to teach us about.

Rock bands, after all, hire their business managers, not the other way around, so it’s never a question of who works for whom (as mentioned in a previous post). I WISH that were true in office land.

But some have argued that most rock bands have a strong internal leader—often the lead singer—who runs the show. True or false?

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A rock & roll bank

Ok, I admit it. I’m still mourning the loss of Commerce Bank (the one headquartered in New Jersey, that had branches up and down the eastern seaboard of the US). Commerce was famous for its wild and crazy workforce and its fanatic customer focus—until it was gobbled up by TD Bank in 2008.

Founded by its innovative chairman, Vernon Hill, and captained by its fun-loving president, Dennis Diflorio (a former rock & roll drummer from Philly!), Commerce LIVED its brand as the world’s most convenient (and innovative) bank.

For decades, most banks inside and outside the US kept, well, bankers’ hours. Most Commerce branches, on the other hand, were open seven days a week, 361 days a year, until 8 pm on weekdays. And if you wanted personal service by phone any time of day or night, a living, breathing carbon-based life form answered your call, usually on the first ring!

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Wait! A second opinion on The Beatles

[Ken Melville is an independent film maker and record producer—and boyhood buddy of mine from Arlington, Mass.—who's actually produced sessions at the hallowed Abbey Road Studios. After my last post, "Innovation or imitation," he emailed me a comment that I thought deserved its own post. Take it away, Ken.]

sombras

One of the biggest ironies or paradoxes of the Beatles was that they weren't TRYING to be innovative! They were just trying to be successful.

They were extremely conservative musically, just so good at it that they set trends and such. It wasn't until the press TOLD THEM that they were innovative that they strove to fulfill that non-intuitive direction and it became rather self-conscious after that.

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Innovation or imitation?

In rock & roll, and in commerce in general, we love to argue about who’s innovating and who’s imitating.

The Beatles vs. The Monkees (if you’re old enough to remember). The Grateful Dead vs. Phish. Apple vs. Samsung. Starbucks vs. Caribou (or Dunkin’ Donuts).

But what IS innovation?

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