Iowa Specialty Hospital

Notes from Steve

April 25, 2022

I’ve been listening to jazz lately.  I’m not a huge fan of unstructured* jazz, but right now it’s meeting my needs.  I played guitar in the high school jazz band, and we used to go to contest at Eppley Auditorium on the campus of Morningside College.  It was a very cool auditorium.  I remember the vibe and the feeling of “I’m not worthy of hanging with these cool cats” … I was so in awe of the knowledge of jazz by some of the high school musicians and thought “I’ll never be in that league”.  

I’ve had a lot of “I’ll never be in that league” times in my life.  Running, biking, jazz, business … and I’m not sure, but I think that once I stopped worrying about whether or not I’d be successful in my endeavors - music, exercise, business - and just did it, it was fine.  I’m not the “best” personally at anything I do, but at this point in my life, I really don’t care.  I’ll dance regardless of whether anyone is watching, and it’ll be great (in my own mind).   

I’ve often thought that confidence has more to do with success than great skill.  Take for example the wonky solos of unstructured jazz.  The weirder the better -- people think “… genius! …”. If the artist appears to know what they are doing then the people “who know jazz” will love it.**

There is a famous Peter Drucker quote that says that "culture eats strategy for breakfast".  If your culture is based in confidence and you dance to your own tune, chances are you’ll be successful (at least in your own mind).   

*”wild, all over the board, wonky solo’s” jazz.  Not danceable by most folks standards.
**like tasting wine.  Someone could hand me a really cheap glass of wine and talk about how great it is and explain the “notes of wild berry and hints of leather and tobacco” and I’ll agree and think it’s the best ever.  I really have no idea.***
***in the early 2000’s I got a call from Lindsey.  “Hey Steve, this is Lindsey!!” (I thought her voice sounded raspy and sexy.  I wondered how she knew me - I thought “maybe she was in a sorority in college that hung out with my frat.  ???”) Anyway, she didn’t know me and she was a wine salesperson, and I ended up buying thousands of dollars of wine.  A couple of things - 1. The wine was swill and cheap but she talked about it like it was God’s spit and 2. A friend of mine who was also a client said she was really old, somewhat bald, smoking and drank cheap beer.  BUT she was confident, and confidence made her successful.  

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