Don’t Stop Believin’

I remember when I was in high school I would mount my bicycle and ride for hours with my walkman (I know, I know…I am dating myself) strapped on and Journey’s greatest hits blaring into my ears through my headphones.  When the song Don’t Stop Believin’ would come on I almost always, inevitably, stopped my ride and sang the lyrics as loud as I could (isn’t it funny how you sound just like the chosen singer when the music is so loud you can’t hear your own voice?)  Anyway, there was something about that song that just touched my inner core.  Inspired me to tears sometimes.  It was just those eight words …”don’t stop believin’ hold on to that feelin’…”

Journey’s keyboard player, Jonathan Cain, recalls his father bucking him up when he was a young struggling musician in his pre-Journey 1970s band, the Babys. “I was always starving, and I’d call him up and he’d say, ‘Don’t stop believing or you’re done, dude.’ “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” has become the top-selling digital download of a track not originally released in this century, selling 2,803,000 units since online single sales began to be tracked in 2003, according to Nielsen SoundScan.  And apparently there’s room in people’s hearts to hear a full chorale bust out that chorus too. The “Glee” cast’s version debuted at No. 2 on the iTunes chart, with 302,000 downloads of its own.

So what’s my point?   In Chris Willman’s June 29, 2009 LA Times article, he writes:  There’s an old pop aphorism that goes: “Don’t bore us — get to the chorus.” By that yardstick, Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” should be one of the most boring and unsuccessful rock recordings of all time.  Structurally, it’s a mess: Surely one would get tossed out of songwriting school for a tune that follows its opening piano riff with a verse, a guitar arpeggio, a second verse, a bridge, a guitar solo, a third verse, a repeat of the bridge, another guitar solo . . . and then, 3 minutes, 20 seconds in, when the song is ready to fade out, one of the most unforgettable choruses in rock.

As leaders, we aren’t always put together right.  There a days, sometimes weeks, when we are just a structural mess. But that doesn’t negate that some will still be positively affected by us.  We don’t always have to have it together.  It’s ok, to not be ok.   What’s not acceptable is to stay unstructured.  Or to announce that we are coming apart.  Just stay the course, find your inspiration, and things will get back to normal.  And if you’re having a hard time finding that inspriation, well, go ahead and use my song. Insert the CD or  fire up the iPod, crank up the music real loud, and sing at the top of your lungs,  “Don’t Stop Believin’…”  And I bet at the end of it, you’ll be ready to create one of your most unforgettable choruses of your life.

About amidean

An entrepreneur with 20 years experience, Ami most recently started the newest addition to her business family, The Rally Point. As the CEO & Mailroom Clerk at The Rally Point, Ami oversees Operations, Sales, Marketing and well, um, the mailroom. After starting WithIn, Inc. (an employee training and development firm) in 2005, she found herself repeatedly asked by her clients to find them a venue with a more inspiring and creativity provoking environment than the saltine cracker hotel room or in-house training room. Frustrated that she couldn't fill her clients requests (simply because it didn't exist in the market) she, being the customer service fanatic she is, created it for them. Ami holds her MBA but she truly feels her greatest accomplishment is being a living example of work/life harmony and to make that work - "You've gotta get creative!' she says. Ami has always felt that if fun couldn't be part of her job responsibilities, she just wouldn't fit the culture. "Now, I laugh, play and am truly able to create the perfect environment for those teams, businesses and organizations that need to incorporate fun into their meetings to boost creativity, production, morale and inspiration. My job rocks and so does The Rally Point, I mean, have you seen this place?" Fiercely passionate about her faith, her three daughters, and the MiAMI Dolphins, Ami still finds time to enjoy sitting on the Boards of Easter Seals of LaSalle and Bureau Counties and Women in Leadership of Central Illinois, shopping, interior design and traveling.
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