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  • James Lord

Are we even listening to those who we care about most?

We’ve all experienced unexpected loss.  My blog posts are typically optimistic about positive leadership qualities and techniques.  But even the best leaders fail sometimes.  We don’t always get it right.  We fail.  People get hurt.  It’s not intentional, but it happens.  Life (and death) happens. 

 

One of my all-time favorite bands (Linkin Park) wrote many songs about pain, suffering, and death – but many of us were not actually listening.  If we were truly connected to his message, we would have known that lead singer Chester Bennington was crying for help.  Instead, we enjoyed the melodies and pretended like we understood the lyrics. 

 

Chester committed suicide in 2017 at age 41.  If we step back and consider the lyrics of just one of his many hits (because there were many signs), are we ready to admit the signs were there?  As leaders, should we have read the tea leaves and taken action?

 



 

Here are the lyrics to ONE MORE LIGHT – music/video found here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVDzli9OjV0

 

 

Should've stayed, were there signs, I ignored?

Can I help you, not to hurt, anymore?

We saw brilliance, when the world, was asleep

There are things that we can have, but can't keep

If they say

Who cares if one more light goes out?

In the sky of a million stars

It flickers, flickers

Who cares when someone's time runs out?

If a moment is all we are

We're quicker, quicker

Who cares if one more light goes out?

Well I do

The reminders pull the floor from your feet

In the kitchen, one more chair than you need oh

And you're angry, and you should be, it's not fair

Just 'cause you can't see it, doesn't mean it, isn't there

If they say

Who cares if one more light goes out?

In the sky of a million stars

It flickers, flickers

Who cares when someone's time runs out?

If a moment is all we are

We're quicker, quicker

Who cares if one more light goes out?

Well I do

Who cares if one more light goes out?

In the sky of a million stars

It flickers, flickers

Who cares when someone's time runs out?

If a moment is all we are

We're quicker, quicker

Who cares if one more light goes out?

Well I do

 

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If you need more evidence, let’s consider the lyrics to another colossal hit, BATTLE SYMPHONY

 

 

I got a long way to go

And a long memory

I've been searching for an answer

Always just out of reach

Blood on the floor

Sirens repeat

I've been searching for the courage

To face my enemies

When they turn down the lights

I hear my battle symphony

All the world in front of me

If my armor breaks

I'll fuse it back together

Battle symphony

Please just don't give up on me

And my eyes are wide awake

For my battle symphony

For my battle symphony

They say that I don't belong

Say that I should retreat

That I'm marching to the rhythm

Of a lonesome defeat

But the sound of your voice

Puts the pain in reverse

No surrender, no illusions

And for better or worse

When they turn down the lights

I hear my battle symphony

All the world in front of me

If my armor breaks

I'll fuse it back together

Battle symphony

Please just don't give up on me

And my eyes are wide awake

If I fall, get knocked down

Pick myself up off the ground

If I fall, get knocked down

Pick myself up off the ground

When they turn down the lights

 ----------------

I’m not pretending like I saw this coming.  I was devastated when I learned that Chester Bennington had committed suicide.  As leaders, we failed.  We appreciated the music and the melodies, but we missed the message and the signs.  We failed as fans (and leaders).  We should have been there.  I truly believe we (his fans, his band, his managers, his family, his friends) missed an opportunity. We failed him. We should have sensed that Chester needed “more” than we were giving him.

 

This same sequence of events happens daily to families, coworkers, and others.  Let’s strive to be more:

·      Aware

·      Present

·      Caring

·      Grateful

·      Appreciative

·      Thankful

·      Hopeful

·      Sensitive

·      Connected

·      Kind

·      Human

 

It’s not rocket science.  Let’s be more kind.  Let’s be more #Human. Let's bet #Better

 

 

…and my posts are my own

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