The 3 Essential Ingredients Needed To Collaborate

How can you create something that is bigger than yourself? Let me share with you a quick story about how Smokey Robinson did exactly that. The way he tells it, Smokey had a melody swirling in his head, and the words, “I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day. When it’s cold outside, I’ve got the …

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How We Can View Transitions As Opportunities

I am very grateful to have been featured as a guest on HR Studio Podcast – focusing on how we can view transitions as opportunities to reinvent ourselves, seeing ourselves and the world in a new light. In the interview, we explore: How do optimists see the world differently than pessimists? What are the benefits …

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So, What Are You Practicing?

Musicians have a saying that if you don’t practice for one day, you’ll notice. If you don’t practice for a second day, other musicians will notice. And if you don’t practice for a week, the audience will notice. So, what are you practicing? My friend Russ Ferrara, who I met in college, and with whom …

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Are You Playing From The Neck Down?

Wynton Marsalis says that jazz teaches empathy. That it sharpens your hearing because “you are trying to hear the human depth of someone else’s sound.” Whew! That’s a big concept. Trying to hear the human depth of someone else’s sound. To get to that sound, I’ve heard musicians talk about playing from the neck down. …

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What Are You Breaking Away From?

You’ve got to break through. You’ve got to break with what was, To get to what is. To break out, You’ve got to break away from what you know. Break a leg, But don’t let your spirit get broken. I mean, give me a break, for crying out loud. Sure, you have to break a …

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Break Your Personal Sound Barrier

I’m taking you back to October, 14th, 1947. As Captain “Chuck” Yeager, an Air Force test pilot, is about to climb into the cockpit and take his shot at breaking the sound barrier. A number of pilots have already tried to fly faster than the speed of sound. Several didn’t make it back alive. Most …

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Listening to Our Fathers

What lessons do we learn from our fathers? What do we carry with us that they shared? Are they the things that they really wanted us to learn? I can remember when Colleen, one of our daughters, was in a very long line at the supermarket that had come to a grinding halt. Nobody was …

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Traveling Back to Where My Mother Was Born

Through one of life’s twists of fate, I found myself less than an hour away from the coal mining town in West Virginia where my mother was born. It wasn’t really her stomping grounds, since her family left before she learned how to walk. Still, the place drew me, like some crazy door that would …

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Two Lessons From The Train

I just made my train, and as I am sitting here waiting for it to pull out of the station, I glance out the window at the train next to me. Good, we are moving, I think to myself as the cars on the other train start to blur. Then I realize it is an …

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To Have a Passion, Lose It, And Regain It

“It was the only thing I could be.” That’s what my long-time friend and sometimes collaborator Russ Ferrara said, when I asked him, “How did you come to know you were a musician?” When we were students at college, Russ explained, “I could go for days without sleeping – just playing guitar. I never got …

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