Lehigh Valley Martial Arts

Proof Perseverance Works!

Posted on LVMA Blog
Jan 30, 2014

Every now and then we come across something that we can't keep to ourselves. Just as the instructors expect their students to keep growing and learning, they seek out information in order to keep their teaching fresh and exciting and to keep growing and learning too. Hope you enjoy this as much as we did.


And it would have never happened if the studio wouldn't have kept telling me, 'No, it's not good enough. No, it's not good enough.' Pharrell Williams (1973 - ) American music artist & producer

Williams has won 7 Grammy Awards

(Two for producer of the year, 4 of them in 2014)

The statement above was from an interview he did in December with NPR. He was talking about his now Academy Award-nominated song, Happy (from the animated film Despicable Me 2 ... video below). I love his whole story of exhaustion, resilience, and pushing it that extra degree (of being 212 and Crossing The Line)...

"With 'Happy' I went through everything that I thought was possible in my mind based off of what I understood about Gru and what I thought the people needed in terms of what the studio was looking for, and none of it was working. It was only until I was tapped out that I had to ask myself the fundamental question: they're asking for a song that's happy. They're asking for something where Gru is in a good mood, and that's when I realized that everything I needed was right there. I began to ask myself, "What does feeling like a good mood feel like?" That's where 'Happy' came from and that's how that happened. And it would have never happened if the studio wouldn't have kept telling me, "No, it's not good enough. No, it's not good enough."
Something similar happened with Bruce Springsteen back in the 80's. Apparently, toward the end of putting together the best-selling album of his career (Born in the U.S.A.), his producer Jon Landau felt they still needed the hit song (there ended up being 7 from the album). According to The New Yorker, Springsteen was annoyed and said, "Look, I've written seventy songs. You want another one, you write it!" But being the 212er that he is, he dumped the ego and went off and wrote Dancing in the Dark. It became the best-selling single of his career. (What's a 212er?)

So I wonder...

How many times have I allowed someone to push me for something even better? How many times have I discouraged someone from coaching me to something better because of my ego? How many times have I wimped out in my leadership by not pushing or coaching someone to something better because of my avoidance of the difficult conversation (for not Loving My People)? How much have I (we) lost as a result?

A few more notes below and a little fun from the Happy song mentioned above.

Be 212...

Sam (the guy behind this stuff)

Sparker@GiveMore.com   |   804-762-4500 ext. 303

A few more things...

Regarding Williams ... While I'm not a fan of everything he's done (he's got some work I'd prefer my teenagers don't see or hear), I'm still inspired. If you're not familiar with his song Happy, you can enjoy the video by using this link. I don't know how anyone couldn't be moved to a better mood after watching and hearing this song. He's also made a 24-hour video version of it that's really out-of-the-cage (don't miss it either). Links to a few of my favorite points in the 24-hour version are above the video here. The NPR story is here.

On Springsteen ... He'd probably be the first to tell you that best-selling isn't what he's after when he's writing songs. In fact, when writing about Dancing in the Dark, he said, "It went as far in the direction of pop music as I wanted to go – and probably a little farther. My heroes, from Hank Williams to Frank Sinatra to Bob Dylan, were popular musicians. They had hits. There was value in trying to connect with a large audience." (♫ I get up in the evening, And I ain't got nothing to say, I come home in the morning, I go to bed feeling the same way ... I ain't nothing but tired, Man I'm just tired and bored with myself, Hey there baby, I could use just a little help ♫ ... A little frustration turns into something big.)

Finally ... A few years ago, I was going to do an online talk and one of my fellow Smovers (What's a Smover?) suggested I do something a little different. Initially, I was annoyed. It meant added work I didn't feel was necessary (one of my poor lead-by-example moments). After a little childish huffing and puffing, I went after something different. It ultimately became the framework of my book Lead Simply which is now helping tens of thousands of leaders and organizations create better teams and cultures (and what I think is the most important thing I've written so far). I'm glad that Smover gave me a push ... and I'm glad I listened.

This article was written By Sam Parker and was posted on his website 



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