For me, the biggest Heartbreaker was when Tom Petty passed. A living legend for more than 40 years gracing us with his talent for songwriting, his grit, his love for his fans, and for his legendary stage performances.
Petty’s 40th Anniversary Tour was led by this man who had broken his hip, and yet continued to perform until the end. Literally. He had a fractured hip for the 53-date tour. Tom loved his job and he was remarkably dedicated to his band and his fans, of which, 600,000 of them were lucky enough to see him live on his last tour.
Imagine, loving our job and being so dedicated to performing well, that we’d continue to work through this type of adversity for our team and for our cause. It is possible, if we want it.
Tom Petty’s servant leadership can be an example for us. It’s inspiring in so many ways. His reflective storytelling pours out within his tunes. During his live concerts, he most often complimented other artists by playing their songs. He was genuine, humble and giving. Did I know the man personally, no. To understand what type of character he was, I didn’t have to.
It’s the same for us. People know our character – our reputation – whether they meet us or not. Especially in these prolific days of data capture, social media, and the town gossip. Somewhere out there on the nearly 5 billion pages within the internet, our character floats around and is accessible. And as we float around speaking to folks, expressing our opinion, sharing our stories, producing work product, and posting photos, our character continues to expound. Word gets around.
Petty released thirteen studio albums as the lead singer of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, in addition to three solo albums. He was the lead of the band Mudcrutch and one of the five musical all-stars on the albums produced by the Traveling Wilburys. In total, he wrote 200 songs, give or take. And they were good. Word got around.
Tom Petty didn’t compare himself to others. He did his own thing. He was original. And we are too. Each one of us is a unique brand with talents to share, if we so choose to share them. Since Tom did such a good job sharing his talent, I’m listening. Pun intended. Here are a few tunes that will help us handle what life tosses at us, compliments of Mr. Petty:
Listen To Her Heart
Here Comes My Girl
Dogs On The Run
I Won’t Back Down
Thank you, Tom. Rest in Peace.
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"freedom at work"