Country western music makes me cry – in part because it’s my daughter’s favorite genre (which is a mom-thing, stuff that reminds your mom of you makes her cry, too). I also cry because they tell such poignant stories about heartache, ambition and simple living.
What’s remarkable to me? Unlike any other genre, country western lyricists work Jesus into songs like he’s a neighbor. It’s not the same as Christian music where Jesus is central to the message. Country music sings about Jesus, in the same song where they sing about beer or driving really fast.
From Brooks and Dunn’s That Red Dirt Road:
“That’s where I drank my first beer. That’s where I found Jesus. That’s where I wrecked my first car, tore it all to pieces.”
It’s where I found Jesus
They sandwiched Jesus in between the real life of a young man’s drinking and driving. Hopefully they’re not insinuating doing both at the same time – although that might be when Jesus is much needed, under the circumstances.
Point is: without a doubt Jesus is a thought leader. He’s a famous person who appears really accessible and meaningful to many people.
Now who are you singing about?
Who are the thought leaders that should be on your lips? Who are the key opinion leaders with whom you need to have an intimate relationship? You may never meet them. You can access them by reading their books or blogs, applying their teachings or perspective to your work/life – and maybe attending a seminar they lead.
Point is: you need to access people with knowledge and perspective that is superior to yours, so you have a way to get more comfortable with the challenges you face – and have the courage to actively seek out greater objectives.
Make A List
I have a long list, some famous like Seth Godin and Guy Kawasaki, and some less so like Ichak Adizes and Rick Maurer. I enjoy a bit of an unfair advantage – I hosted International Business on public radio plus done lots of other media: so I’ve gotten to interview, and share a stage and editorial space with many thought leaders.
But, no one has an excuse to be under-informed. Now it doesn’t take a whole lot of effort to intimately know anyone: philosophers and kings, corporate titans and corporate critics. Go online, find, review, apply and repeat your new perspective.
Make a list of whom you should know or at least brush up against, by looking at their material. Let the best of them influence you. Interact with them on blogs or forums, and most importantly let great thinking (theirs, yours or an amalgam) be a natural way for you to produce great work.