Thursday, 7 August 2008

A Training Lesson from Bruce Springsteen

Tom Peters had an epiphany the other day: his first Bruce Springsteen concert.  Initially miffed by the pouring rain (and at being dragged there by his wife), he nevertheless described himself as "Earth's newest Bruce Groupie":

Well, the storm abated, The Boss showed up—and I, one of Earth's newest Bruce Groupies by midnight, was mesmerized by the most amazing piece of performance art of any sort I've ever seen (65.8 years) or ever expect to see. Three+ hours, non-flagging energy, no intermission at all—he ran to a little table and threw ice water on himself a couple of times without breaking stride. If ever there was a time when the word "excellence" was not hyperbole, this was it. The repertoire was great, but so what. The passion & energy & performance [P.E.P., "pep"—God help me] per se was the point, the whole point, and nothing but the point.

I'm inspired by energetic performance, because I see training as performance. The students expend a lot of energy, and they get empty. Where do they get more? By and large, from us, the trainers. By directing their attention and planning their energy output, we can help them budget it. And we can break up the material with energizers and other fun things that fill them up again.

I know it's been a good class when I feel just drained from all the energy I gave away, but happy that those I gave it to had a good experience. Makes me feel a little like a rock star.


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