Friday, October 19th, 2012

Join In The Band

I was in a really good band once. Playing rock music to people who get an emotional charge from what you do is one of the greatest gifts in the world. You are immersed in team chemistry, the creative process, praise and adrenaline all at once. You never forget the feeling. And it didn’t really matter if I played for 200 people or 2,000 people. The feeling was always the same: I am me. I am playing killer music, and, hey, these people actually like it.

Some years ago, I experienced that same feeling again. It was when my colleagues and I delivered a big idea for a chemical company. We delivered a killer idea and the audience really liked it. I felt like I was in a band again. Sean played the role of the quiet bass player, not comfortable being out in front but holding down the project. (He’s a project manager.) Carolyn was in the wings, adding the sparkle of strategically placed keyboards and the one who colors all the work with the proper personality. (She’s the planner.) Our drummer was also the lead singer, controlling the pace of the presentation and jumping out front to sing the chorus of our idea. (That was me.) The drummer who always wanted to be out in front, but never had been.

Our “show” was amazing. We received a standing ovation. We made a chemical company humanly relevant. We felt like rock stars. And we got into the van to drive home. We recounted the gig, our fans’ reactions and we high-fived, talking about each other’s performances. The band delivered.

Recognizing that special chemistry that occurs between people who have varied talents and work together to create something bigger than them is something I will always treasure.

I recommend joining a band. Use a guitar, a pencil or a camera, but just create something with the special people around you. Make something that matters and enjoy every performance you get.

Mike Tittel is the executive creative director of gyro Cincinnati.

Follow Mike on Twitter @Tittel

Originally published at Ignite Something on the Forbes CMO Network


  1. Mike, I think you are spot-on with this analogy. Working as part of a great creative team can be very rewarding, even if it is just related to work. Every once in a while I get the exact feeling that you describe when (out-of-the-blue) a good idea hits a creative group and this idea is then developed and finally executed (and well!). It happens less often these days though, and I wonder why? Is it because I am getting older and less open to unusual ideas? I hope not. Is it because I have seen too many good ideas stalling and being debated to death in endless meetings (instead of just doing it)? That’s probably it. In any event, I absolutely second your recommendation of grouping as a creative team to work together in harmony. That’s good fun. Have a nice week, Mark

  2. Hey Mike, good stuff here. I know what you mean. When you reach a point with a band or a team and you realize that there is absolutely no way to could replicate the moment or feeling without the contributors involved. Like a chemistry experiment, or Hurricane Sandy. The perfect storm. Its almost as if you’re outside yourself, looking in, on the edge of your seat. And whats so beautiful about it is how the experience breaks down barriers, egos and all the other BS that gets in the way of the ride. It’s magic and I’d wish it upon any one person at least once, because that’s all you’ll need to keep trying to replicate the feeling.

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