What Do You Do When You’ve “Peaked”
by Glenn Shepard
July 5, 2016
Don Felder and Tommy Shaw
I own a lawn care company with
18 employees and 9 trucks. I’m beginning to hear my
employees chatting about having too much work, their
customers are complaining about weeds and they don't
like having to go back and retreat the lawns. Even a new
hire employee (less than 60 days) has started to
complain because everyone else does. I have come to
realize one of my techs is the instigator. What can I do
to get the morale back?
- Concerned in
As they say in Kansas City, “Ride him like a Missouri
Mule”. As you’ve witnessed, one bad apple really can
spoil the whole bunch because others will follow their
lead. The good news is that once you get the bad apple
to either shape up or ship out, morale will bounce back.
A doctor in Minnesota told me
that things were so much better after she eradicated the
poisonous employee in her business that the other
employees threw a pizza party and sang ‘Ding dong. The
wicked witch is gone”.
Thanks for your
- Glenn in Nashville, TN
the red Ask Glenn button to submit a question. You may
remain anonymous if your prefer.
In the movie City Slickers, Billy Crystal’s character was
depressed about turning 40 and uttered this infamous line:
“Have you ever had that feeling that this is the best I'm
ever gonna do, this is the best I'm ever gonna feel... and it
ain't that great?”
on a cattle drive, he finally found his purpose and a new zeal
But even when people are at their best and it
REALLY is great, they still face a dilemma. Watch Super Bowl
MVPs being interviewed after winning the biggest game of their
lives and notice how they struggle to answer one question –
“What are you going to do now?”
It’s hard to imagine what
comes next when you’ve reached the pinnacle of your career –
especially when you consider that when you’re on the top of the
world, the only place to go is down.
estimates that 80% of professional football players go broke
within 3 years of leaving the NFL, even though the average
salary is $1,900,000 a year.
While you’ll probably never
be showered with confetti and adored by throngs of cheering
fans, you will reach an apex in your career at some point. And
no matter how much you make or accomplish, no one is ever happy
resting on their laurels.
So what do you do when you’ve
accomplished everything that can be accomplished in your career?
The best answer I’ve ever seen was demonstrated by my
favorite singer of all time, John Fogerty. He was the lead
singer, lead guitar player, and main songwriter of the legendary
rock group CCR (Creedence Clearwater Revival).
was 14, he heard Chet Atkins and wanted to be a good guitar
player like him.
He was only in his early twenties when
CCR had their first hit (“Suzie Q”), followed by one hit after
another, and played at Woodstock.
That was a nearly a
half century ago, but you can’t listen to a classic rock station
to this day without hearing his voice belting out classics like
“Proud Mary” and “Who’ll Stop the Rain”.
He was named by
Rolling Stone magazine as one of the top 100 singers of all
time, and as one of the top 100 guitar players of all time. He
was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Yet the most remarkable thing he ever did came when he was 48.
He realized he had never gotten really good on the guitar, and
decided he’d better get busy. He said it took him 17 years to
finally get good. During those years, he travelled from his home
in California to Tennessee, where he took lessons from 10
different guitar players here in Nashville.
He’s now 71,
and the guy is playing and sounding even better than when I last
saw him 7 years ago.
Though he’s a living legend, he
continues to practice for hours every day, explaining, “You
realize some of it is God’s gift, but you’ve got to work at it”.
If you’ve accomplished everything that can be accomplished
in your career and are wondering what to do for an encore, John
provides the perfect answer – "You continue to get even better
at what you do".
I was reminded of this last week when I went backstage to meet
Don Felder, The Eagles’ lead guitarist who wrote “Hotel
California”, which was voted by Guitarist magazine as the
greatest guitar solo of all time. I ran into Tommy Shaw, the
lead guitarist of Styx, and wondered what he was doing there.
When he joined Don on stage for Hotel California, the amount of
talent on that stage was so extraordinary that it was obvious
why he was there. Extraordinary people like to be around other
extraordinary people, because it helps them remain
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