Wisdom of Robert Ritchie

Editor’s note: Following first appeared as a client e-letter on July 31, 2013.

Dear Clients and Colleagues:

Every now and then something will fall out of the sky and strike yours truly in the head. Some might call similar experiences A-Ha moments. What you’re about to read is one of those moments.

For the esteemed business leadership lot, Robert Ritchie is an unknown name. He toils away in a different universe playing to crowds that maybe someone you know down the street or your children might recognize (hold that thought.) Ritchie’s musical stage name is Kid Rock. 42 years old, he’s a native of Detroit, Mich., home of Motown, Eminem and Bob Seegar whose song, “Like a Rock” remains the longest running corporate tome of all time. To say Kid Rock plays to the hard rocking party crowd might be an understatement. He’s a well paid performer and accomplished artist much like a professional athlete or even that rare breed of over-performing CEO who deserves every penny of total compensation he or she receives.

Ritchie also is a shrewd businessman as evidenced by a recent deal signed with concert organizer and promoter, Live Nation. One of the more unique of its kind, the deal actually caps ticket prices in some venues at $20, which is literally free for a concert of any kind. In exchange for the cap, Ritchie receives a portion of the gate and concession receipts vs. the standard industry fee. Here’s more from the original source:

Why is this relevant to you as a business leader? The themes of change and transformation fill the lexicon every day yet few if any are willing to embrace creativity and risk taking required to make change. Conventional wisdom says there are too many threats to business right now to do anything differently or too far “outside the box.” Phooey. Leadership’s primary role is to help remove threats or obstacles to doing business. Kid Rock presents one of the the most compelling, and literally profane, examples of being willing to take risk to impact change. You might be hard pressed to name another when asked.

As for whether Kid Rock and his music are suitable for teenage children, I hear you, my friend. You don’t have to approve the product. But don’t miss the point out of your own prejudices. Sometimes performance art is simply that, art. It doesn’t have to be widely accepted or processed through your own prism. Nor should it be judged for the sake of judgement. What it does have to do, however, is go farther so others can go far enough. This is one of those times, which is why the example has been chosen and now shared with a wider audience.

Good day,

Jeremy C. Garlington
Point of View LLC
Five Concourse Pkwy./Suite 2850
Atlanta, GA, 30328
Phone: 404-606-0637
Email: jeremy.garlington@hotmail.com
Web log: “The Garlington Report (TGR)” www.povblogger.blogspot.com