Tag Archives: John Lennon

The Dichotomy of Lennon

You have to be a bastard to make it, and that’s a fact. And the Beatles are the biggest bastards on earth.
John Lennon

Interesting – we all think of Oprah, The Beatles, and all the other wildly successful entertainers, musicians and artist in the way that they wish to be thought of – benevolent and kind, caring and giving.  However, what we often overlook is that they all posses an unbridled passion to succeed.  To “make it” as John Lennon would say.  And what they ask us to forget is the bastard part.  In doing so a valuable lesson is lost.  Success requires relentless work, focus and drive, as well as a healthy dose of reality – the reality that to a degree you “have to be a bastard to make it”.  Remember – this is John “Give Peace a Chance” Lennon talking.

It is not a contradiction.  In athletes the “killer instinct” is praised.  Michael Jordan was known as the ultimate closer; Kobi Bryant “the assassin”; Lance Armstrong the perfectionist.  We demand it of our athletic champions, yet we do not want to see it or even acknowledge that it just might exist in our entertainers, business leaders and even political leaders.  Dare I say Bill Gates and Warren Buffett for all their public posturing about donating their estates have and had massive reserves of drive and a fair degree of “bastard” in them when it came to their business dealings.

It is not a bad thing having the drive and focus to succeed coupled with the ability to sacrifice and to make the tough, unpopular decisions.  That is the “bastard” trait John Lennon was speaking of from his days with The Beatles.  They had to make tough, cutting, real world business decisions – they had to sacrifice, to work literally thousands of hours, to pour in all they had to become what they became.  It did not make them bad people.  It was business.  Sometimes business and leadership, entertainment and sports, success and achievement requires a bit of the bastard in all of us.  It is not a bad thing.  It is reality.  It is sort of hard to believe – that “bastard” would have been 70 tomorrow.

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New Jobs – You Are Starting Over

As only John Lennon could put it so clearly, “it will be just like starting over…”

The sense of relief of having landed the new job is palpable.  Candidate’s are relieved to have weathered the interview and selection process, and are at times relieved to have landed on their feet professionally and financially.  Transitions, either seemless and of your choosing, or dynamic and forced upon you, are stressful evolutions.  However, that sense of relief must evaporate before the first day on the new job.  Much as graduation ceremonies are referred to as commencement, acceptance of an offer is not the end, but rather the beginning of a journey.

Realization that the hard work is ahead, not behind, is a tough pill to swallow for many.  What you did is in the past. It might have been a key component in getting you the new job, but rest assured, it is now squarely all about what you will do going forward. You were hired to perform, not to rest on your laurels.

Starting over is never fun, and it is never easy.  There is always uncertainty, possibly some bruising of the ego, and maybe a little crisis of confidence.  It will take time to hit your stride, to come up to speed.  It will also take work, effort, commitment, and good old fashioned sweat equity.  Knowing and accepting that you are starting over is half the battle.  Having the energy and will to fight the battle that is starting over is what ensures victory.

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