Airport Bars, Bookstores, and Celebrity Magazines

I travel a lot... And I mean A LOT. Just so we're clear, my travel life is more akin to Planes, Trains, and Automobiles than it is to Up in the Air. There is virtually no major airport in America that I have not frequented over the past decade. Honestly, some are more of a second home to me than an aeronautical pass through.

Want to know where the working power outlets are? I'm your guy. Want to know where to get the best eats or seats? Shoot me a text! Interested in ways to make your unexpected and unwanted overnight stay in Concourse A more bearable? Give me a call.

Regardless of where you travel, every airport in America has two things in common: bars and bookstores. I suspect that they both exist for the same reason, boredom. But for the sake of professionalism, we will only chat about bookstores.

Airport bookstores typically contain only three types of products: celebrity gossip mags, leadership books, and gum. Lots and lots of gum. Despite my wonderment, these products wouldn't be on the shelf if people didn't buy them, but why? Why are people so obsessed with celebrities, gum, and leadership?

While I can't speak for the first two, our obsession with leadership is nothing new.
If you look back long enough, you will find that people have been looking to define and understand leadership for a VERY long time. The likes of Plato, Confucius, and Sun Tzu pondered the concept of leading long before indoor plumbing and the internet. Despite thousands of years of research and tens of thousands of books on the subject, do we have that many more leaders today than in times past? We know want better leaders, but how do we make them?

Schools teach that knowledge is power and that information is paramount in the decision making process. Seems obvious enough. But, is it true? Your students all know the importance of eating right and yet McDonald's still exists. They know the importance of getting enough sleep, but most of your students are powered by a dangerous concoction of caffeine and energy drinks. They know the importance of practicing, but...

So where is the power in knowledge alone?

Knowing is easy, doing is HARD. Yes, information and knowledge are important parts of being a leader. But leadership is not just information, its the willingness to act upon it. That is what makes music the perfect laboratory for creating and training student leaders.

  • Music measures not just what leaders know, but what they do.
  • Music provides opportunities to not just learn about leadership, but practice it.
  • Music challenges leaders on an intellectual, physical, and personal level.
  • Music provides leadership opportunities for every type of leader.
  • Music provides for real time feedback from peers and adults.
  • Music provides students a safe place to fail and try again.
  • Music provides a culture that embraces the concept of servant leadership.
  • Music teaches leaders when to lead and when to follow.

Unlike other curricula, in music students don't just study leadership, they practice it on an almost daily basis. They don't just learn about leadership, they actually do it.

Listen, information is important and knowledge can change a person. In the hopes of bettering myself and my looks, I just read an entire article about George Clooney. Next time you see me, you will have to let me know how well it worked.

Gotta go, my plane is boarding. Just wish I had bought some gum.