Thursday, January 26, 2012

Does Your Association Move Like Jagger?

It has become apparent to certain persons who did not previously recognize it - critics and the like - that Mick Jagger has perhaps the single greatest talent for putting a song across of anyone in the history of the performing arts. In his movements he has somehow combined the most dramatic qualities of James Brown, Rudolf Nureyev, and Marcel Marceau. He makes all previous movers - Elvis, Sammy Davis, Janis Joplin, and even (saints protect me from sacrilege) the great James B. himself - appear to be waist deep in the grimpenmire. This tradition (of movin' and groovin') had its most modest beginning with Cab Calloway at the Cotton Club in Harlem where he would occasionally strut or slink about in front of the bandstand by way of "illustrating" a number. After each, he would take his bow, mopping his forehead, beaming up his gratitude for the applause as he reverted to his "normal" self for the next downbeat (and invariably a change of pace). The phenomenal thing Jagger has accomplished is to have projected an image so overwhelmingly intense and so incredibly comprehensive that it embraces the totality of his work - so that there is virtually no distinction between the person and the song. This is all the more remarkable when it is realized that there is also virtually no connection between the public, midnight rambler image of Jagger and the man himself...

  - Terry Southerner, writer, 1972
What can association executives take away from this?
  • Mick's job was to put a song across to people and he achieved it remarkably well in unconventional ways. Know the mission - yours and your association's mission - and do the best you can to achieve it looking to whatever innovative, improvisational, unique ways you can to own it. 
  • Jagger the performer and Jagger the man were different. Be able to take time away from your job to "fill the well" and find inspiration to make your life fuller. Doing that will fuel you so you can bring more to your work and not burn out.
  • Jagger brought tight pants, big lips, and conviction to his performances with the Rolling Stones. Take a look at that list and see which one your association needs more of when communicating to members (hint: it's not the tight pants or big lips). Know what your members need from your association and be it, know it, own it. Work with your colleagues and board members to be audacious enough to be what your members need you to be.
Then you might get some Satisfaction.

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