I had intended to write on a totally different song (and topic) this morning but sometimes what you write finds you instead of the other way ’round, I guess.
My original thought – which might just show up in this space next TunesDay – had to do with hiring and the future. As I was searching for an appropriate song about the future with which to make my point, a number of choices filled my head. Joni Mitchell, David Bowie, Queen, and others have all written about the topic but I think The Talking Heads describe it – and make my point – the best of all:
I love that video! It also makes a couple of great business points which, of course, are our topic today. The song is about a post-apocalyptic world in which everything has fallen apart. No more malls, 7-11’s, or Pizza Huts. It’s a bright, upbeat, dance tune which is in direct contrast to the dark vision the lyrics paint and the singer’s statement that “if this is paradise/I wish I had a lawnmower.” That’s the first business point.
Too often we don’t listen to what people are saying and get way too focused on how they’re saying it. A simple example is the person in a negotiation who comes to you with an issue and expresses himself in an inappropriately angry manner. It could be the young person who weeps while talking about their salary. In any case, one needs to listen to the words and ignore their “music” lest we receive a different message.
The other point this song makes is the we need to be careful about the long-term implications for what we’re doing. “And as things fell apart/Nobody paid much attention”. Not only do we need to pay attention, we need to take action. In this case, the singer once wanted the world in which he find himself. Be careful what you wish for, and take the time to think about the longer term.
You got it, you got it!