Empower Leadership, Performance & Productivity Through the International Language of Music

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FR w:Jim Kwik:Nov 2011
Last week we lost the SUPER visionary who literally delivered us SUPER scOres of inspiration, wonderment and AWE, the great American Comic Book writer Stan Lee, who died at age 95. He gave his characters extraordinary powers and everyday headaches – a formula which transformed comics by dealing with subject matter that was at once both sublime and truly SUPER. His vivid, striking and compelling characters like the Hulk, Iron Man, the Avengers and the Fantastic Four all sprang from his fertile imagination and spilled onto the page.
Back in 2011, my good friend and colleague, the great Jim Kwik, invited me to speak at his “SuperHero You” event where we illuminated the “super” powers we as humans each possess in our own unique way. Jim’s vision was inspired by his direct friendship with the great Stan Lee and Jim, as a brilliant speaker, thought leader and master of sharpening the mind and memory was the perfect person to bring forth this concept.
With great parallels to a music composer scOring a dramatic composition,  Stan would begin with a Melody of inspiration, think  of the harmonic ways to compliment that Melody and then unleash the rhythm of his characters with super powers that could instantaneously transport them through portals to other worlds, burn through anything with a mere gaze or fly faster than the speed of light!
He also understood the space between the notes: those moments that invited us into the psyches of his characters’ personas and exposed that they too, like us, have their weaknesses and vulnerabilities – at least for a moment. But while his career may have started in pen and ink, it grew and evolved into much more than even he could imagine.
Got your super hero YOU? It’s inside of you, ready to scOre…exercise it regularly and you’ll find that your true powers will astound you. 
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When the Rhythm of music is feeling good, we commonly refer to it as the “groove”. It is that synergy inside the music where the pulse, tempo and syncopation it generates settles into your body, gets your toes tapping and puts a big smile on your face.
At midnight last night, our whole country reset the national clock and fell back an hour in the interest of having an “extra” hour of light in the mornings.  Of course, we pay the price at the end of the day with sunset arriving an “extra” hour earlier and making our days feel one hour shorter.  Personally I am not a fan – I would prefer that we, as human beings,  linked to the rhythms of the earth, would simply allow our body clock to adapt  to the natural timing and sunlight of the fall season.
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There are many techniques to deal with lesser and lesser daylight as winter approaches; but for the sake of this article, let’s focus on one item that creates GIANT disruptions of your body’s RHYTHM. In fact, it does this  regularly and you may be surprised that this one item, something we cling to as an extension of our own body, is the “smart” phone and can disrupt your sleep patterns far more than you might imagine.
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Studies of smartphone usage show that 68% of it occurs at home and that a vast amount of owners sleep either holding their smartphone, having it in bed with them, or on their nightstand… sound familiar? Many even use smartphones as their alarm clocks.  While this makes sense if you want your phone within arm’s reach you expose your body’s rhythm to a potential hijack! Not only can an unimportant late night call or notification chime in, but the temptation to check social media, email or catch the latest news is often too strong to resist. As a result, you might feel energized from interacting with others or totally stressed by reading something that is downright upsetting when you should actually be resting, relaxing and slowing down your RHYTHM to the gentleness of musical ballad.  This partly explains why people who consume electronic media in bed are at a higher risk for insomnia. To quell the culprit, simply keep your phone in another room and set an old school alarm to wake up instead. You’ll sleep better, navigate the rhythmic twist of daylight “savings” and start your days with a newfound energy to scOre higher and set your own RHTYHM on your terms.
Clocks
Thriller-Jackson-monsters

When Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” came out in Nov 1982, there had never been a Halloween song like it. The catalog of creepy party songs up to that point consisted of much lighter tunes like “Monster Mash” , “The Addams Family” and “Ghostbusters”. These are all fun to be sure but let’s face it, no spooky songs released prior to 1982 ever possessed the funky, kinetic and relentless sparse bass and drum tracks that drive the epic groove of “THRILLER”! With the Melody being delivered by the King of Pop, haunting harmonies laid down by my friend and keyboard colleague, Greg Phillinganes and a crew of LA’s top studio players, “THRILLER’ emerged as the title track of the second-best-selling album in the USA exceeding an astounding 33 million in sales!

If you are a reader of my blogs, I’m always talking about Melody, Harmony and Rhythm as the essential elements to get to your “scOre” – your desired outcome…however, in this particular instance, especially as I am writing these very words on the eve of Halloween, DISSONANCE, along with Dastardly DISRUPTION, have to take front and center and needed to find it’s KING. The call went out and with thanks to Peggy Lipton – Quincy Jones’ wife at the time – who knew the great “master of horror”, Vincent Price – he answered the call with a haunting YES.

He didn’t just narrate it he wrote the lyrics:

“Darkness falls across the land, The midnite hour is close at hand

Creatures crawl in search of blood, To terrorize yawls neighbourhood

And whosoever shall be found, Without the soul for getting down

Must stand and face the hounds of hell, And rot inside a corpses shell

The demons squeal in sheer delight, It’s you they spy, so plump, so right

For although the groove is hard to beat, It’s still you stand with frozen feet

You try to run, you try to scream, But no more sun you’ll ever see

For evil reached from the crypt, To crush you in it’s icy grip

The foulest stench is in the air, The funk of forty thousand years

And grizzy ghouls from every tomb, Are closing in to seal your doom

And though you fight to stay alive, Your body starts to shiver

For no mere mortal can resist, The evil of the thriller…… Can you dig it?”

To this day, a fresh listen of this incredible track will make you jump out of your seat – cause you’re either creeped out or simply because you gotta dance….Fun Fact: “Sol to Soul” – my 2nd solo release, was also recorded at the same studio as “Thriller” – Westlake Studios in LA.

WBENC Ladies

As we leap into Fall at a time when the scOre of our nation’s women are uniting in voice, spirit and purpose, I am reminded of the joy and inspiration I was so privileged to deliver and receive from our nation’s largest certifier of women-owned businesses, the “Women’s Business Enterprise National Council” also known as “WBENC”. In presenting the Keynote Speech and Concert to WBENC’s annual convention in Orlando, FL, I had the honor to get to know a few of those 4,000 remarkable ladies who came from all parts of our great nation. We clapped, we listened, we learned and worked together to further drive the innovation, determination and creativity that women-owned businesses continually bring to America’s economic growth. WBENC – one of our nation’s great treasures.

#WBENC, #Diversity, #Inclusion #StrongWoman #Strength #Beauty

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Aretha

Back in 1967, when terms like #MeToo and #DiversityandInclusion were virtually non-existent, Aretha Franklin released this Otis Redding classic that focused on a brilliantly simple request and concept: “RESPECT”. An utterly groundbreaking musical anthem on female freedom and empowerment, it’s the ultimate example of a leader singing her very own “Melody” to a culture that rarely ever heeded respect to minority women. After all, respect is at the root of all success and is central to making society, commerce and prosperity work together. If Aretha were singing this Melody in a business setting, she’d be the CEO expressing WHO she is and WHAT she stands for! Before you read the following, please take a few seconds to Continue reading

Dr Michio Kaku

In addition to Music’s benefits to education, organizational dynamics, health and our day-to-day interactions, Music can now be viewed as the application of leading edge Theoretical Physics.

The great Astronomer Johannes Kepler, who discovered the Laws of Planetary Motion just over 400 years ago, thought that there was something very musical about planetary orbits. He called this “The Music of the Spheres”. A half century ago, his notion was thought to be a quaint, leftover aspect of medieval thinking. We now learn that he was just ahead of his time. Continue reading