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What I Learned at Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp 

They are grateful for what they have


No Entitlement You Must Earn It

I just finished 38 years in the corporate world with the last 25 leading 9 different meaningful pieces of work.  So I have a point of view what the corporate world is all about.

As I entered this thing called Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp I was intrigued how the incredibly creative culture of Rock and Roll would mesh with the structured, discipline and measured culture of the corporate world.  I was listening and watching for things I could learn and share with those of us from the corporate world.

This is the second of 7-10 articles I will write that highlights what I observed and some of the ideas I want to share with all of you in the corporate world.

At Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp you have an intensive 4 day immersion with some of the world’s best musicians and are expected to perform live with legendary people like, Nancy Wilson, Chris Layton and Buddy Guy with people you have never met before. And it will be recorded if front of a live audience in real venues. With Buddy Guy it was streamed live and my family in Kansas City and Melbourne Australia were able to watch it live. No pressure, right?

One of the biggest surprises was the level of talent of all the counselors.  These are the people who have the responsibility of getting their band together, picking the songs with the band, driving the rehearsals, (from early morning to late at night) and assigning all the band members their roles.  It was amazing to watch this happen across 12 different bands with a wide range of personalities.

 About the counselors.  These people have world class talent but are not the headliners. I will not list them all and I apologize for the ones I leave out but they include, Monte Pitman, lead guitar for Madonna (actually taught her to play), Tanya O’Callagan, described by many as the best female bass player in the world (not sure why they say female because I can’t see how anyone could match her total package), Gregg Potter, the drummer for the Buddy Rich Orchasteria, (find him on YouTube for a taste of his talents) Joe Vitale the drummer for Joe Walsh (A great guy) Michael Straertow, the lead guitarist for the Foreigner frontman, Lou Gramm, Vince Apice, drummer for Black Sabbath, Slim Jim Phantom, the drummer for Stray Cats.  Others include Ashely Reeves, Rob Mount, Rusty Wright (wow), Gary Hoey (great), and Chip Z’Nuff (my counselor)

The talents of these individuals are beyond explanation.  They could play with anyone in the world, today.

But they have to earn it, everyday.  

There are no guarantees.  There is no corporate HR function that has a pay scale and mid-point for each job.  There is not a deposit that drops into their checking account no matter if they have a good month or a bad month and still get paid.  There is no corporate I/T function to fix a computer, no travel service, no corporate cafeteria, no health benefits.  I think you get the picture.

They have to earn it, everyday.

Some of them give guitar lessons, they play in many bands, they travel to remote locations to get a gig, they work at Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp for the love of the music and the exposure, they release new music, sometimes a single at a time. Bottom line, they hustle and have to earn it.  If they don’t get a gig, they don’t get paid.  It’s one of the ultimate perform to get paid jobs.

Ok, back to the corporate world.  I think many people have gotten soft and feel entitled to benefits they might not have earned and don’t appreciate what they receive from their employer.

How many times as a leader have you listened to an employee tell you they have earned the right to a promotion or a salary increase because of how long they have been in a job? It’s like they have hit a fantasy number and expect that, boom, just like that they should get promoted. Or, they have a long list of activities and tasks they have accomplished on time and complete and for that, its time for a big promotion.  Or they see other people in other companies make more and now they are entitled to more, not understanding they are completely different jobs.

As employees, do you take an assessment of all the benefits you receive from your employer and start assigning a cost to them if you had to pay for them yourself?  Do you like knowing what your work is going to look like for the next 12 months or so?  Do you appreciate having a performance plan that tells you exactly what you need to do this year and how you will get compensated for it?

I think the many, certainly not all, people in the corporate world have gotten to soft, too entitled, are drinking their own Cool-Aide and need to stop, take a pause, and appreciate the benefits they have today.

For all the counselors, my hat off to you.  You are an amazing group of wildly talented individuals, that people like me don’t truly appreciate, until now.

Thank you.

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