This morning, during k-dev leadership practice 40, we did what we always do when a team reaches practice 40 – we listen to 40.
We don’t listen for 40 minutes, we don’t speak for 4, we don’t hear from 40, we tune into four artists who’ve been loyal to the music, the musicians; not so much. The BTL tradition for team practice 40 is to take a long, live, listen to the song titled 40, written by Bono and performed by the band U2. The song is a tribute to the Psalmist who wrote, you guessed it, Psalm 40. Check it out, friend, you won’t be disappointed. So, today, we listened intently as U2 belted out 40.40.40. You see, U2 has been playing the song 40, based on the Psalm 40, as a band of brothers for 40 years. Lauren, I agree, it’s kinda freaky how all these 40’s lined up.
K-dev leadership practice 40 was focused on not answering the first question like normal bands/teams/leaders do. Practice 40 focused on answering the first question with a better question to help get to the root. Great leaders, we were reminded by Jeff, are both Curious George and My Way IS the highway. These transformational leaders know when to stay curious and when to share their highway. And, these kinda leaders don’t shut down their teammates when ideas don’t align. Instead, the BTL builder welcomes ideas from all kinda angles and figures out how best to re-align the band. U2 is still together at 40 because Bono’s idea of hell is a band where everybody agrees with him. He loves the idea that it’s all about the music; the musicians, not so much.
“I think it’s claustrophobic, but it’s never narrowing, because the friction of different points of view makes you better. And the thing that’ll make you less and less able to realize your potential is a room that’s empty of argument. And I would be terrified to be on my own as a solo singer, not to have a band to argue with, I mean, I surround myself with argument, and a band, a family of very spunky kids, and a wife who’s smarter than anyone. I like being challenged. You’re as good as the arguments you get.”
What can you learn, friend, from Psalm 40, the song 40, the band U2 turning 40, and k-dev leadership practice 40? Today, a young team of leaders learned a lot. I can hardly wait to hear what a few of ’em learn after Burning Man later this month. One thing is certain, more than a few krazies from k-dev are learning to sing their song. They’re becoming One, but not the same. Good…