Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Take This Job And...

Would I be standing here?
After all these years...
Among the stars above;
Maybe not...
If It Wasn't For Your Love.
Gordon Chambers

That Johnson Boy has a new gig! That's right folks, on July 24th I began a new chapter and joined the Operations side of ASCAP.
Earlier this year I graduated from ASCAP's groundbreaking MOVE Leadership Program. It was a grueling, but gratifying nine month experience. Shortly thereafter, the Head of ASCAP's Royalty/Distribution came a courtin' and I listened. I loved my job as a Membership Rep - having risen through the ranks from Executive Assistant to the Sr. Director, Creative Affairs in ASCAP's NY headquarters. Yet, as we concluded our initial meeting, the nervous energy that only a good challenge can produce was undeniable. I was seduced. A few rounds of intense interviews and negotiations and the deal was done.

On July 24th, I headed into my new gig with an overwhelming sense of accomplishment and exhilaration. Why then, less than two weeks into my new role, did I find myself declaring...

"You Can Take This Job and...".

Have I lost my mind? Perhaps the transition from night owl to daywalker was more than I could bear. What could make a reasonably intelligent, ASCAP-invested person emphatically state

"You Can Take This Job and...?"

What was it that woke me up at 3am in a cold sweat? Was it the steep learning curve or the constant flow of data? Was it the never-ending stream of acronyms that made me a foreigner within my own department? Does ANYBODY speak english here? These ingredients alone were rendering me unconscious shortly after the street lights came on!

Perhaps it was the realization that I've been charged with leading an area vital to the distribution of over $680 MILLION in royalty payments to our songwriters, composers and publishers. That's 680,000,000 reasons to lie awake at night.

Maybe it was the challenge of managing approximately 30 individuals. That's 30 unique INDIVIDUALS with individual needs, desires, goals, etc. How will I feed them? How will I grow them? How will I challenge them?

My initial response was to hit the gym. I ran on the treadmill like a man possessed. I figured I'd burn off the energy until I was too tired to worry. It did produce sleep, but failed to resolve my core issues.

My deliverance arrived via a phone call from one of my closest friends and Ph.D candidate, Kenney Dickerson. Dr. D shared with me something he heard at a recent educator's conference. "We come into this world with everything we need for our entire life journey." That means we arrived complete. Fully-loaded. Pimped out. Diamond in the back; sunroof top. You get the picture, don't you?

Why did I feel anxious? I wanted to succeed. I wanted to deliver the goods. I wanted to make a substantial return on ASCAP's investment. Why would God honor my prayers and give me the desires of my heart if I wasn't ready?

I don't remember the time or what I was doing, but I do know this... at some point the words of Dr. Dickerson took hold. I found within me a seed planted before birth and nurtured by an early illustrated children's bible. I can honestly say that I haven't recalled the story in 40+ years. But, in the spirit of Abraham, I gathered up my new job in it's entirety, and returned it to it's rightful owner.

"Lord, You Can Take This Job and
Have Your Will Be Done.

Not My Will but Thy Will."

I returned to Him that which He had so graciously given to me.

Twenty-four hours after my offering, I was standing before 30 or so individuals curious to hear what sayeth That Johnson Boy. As I rose to speak, I did so fully confident that together we will accomplish incredible feats. Together we will grow leaps and bounds. Our future has been forever altered by the humblest of pleas. "Lord, take this job and have Your will be done." And for all that we shall accomplish, to God be the Glory!

Thank you Dr. Dickerson. You are my brother and you remain as you've always been, the wisest of counsel. In the words of Donald Lawrence, "You Speak Life!" May God continue his divine work in your life!

To the rest of you, know that everything that you need for your life journey was imbedded in you before the beginning began. That makes you uniquely qualified to do the unthinkable, achieve the impossible and have a wonderful time along the way! Love always, That Johnson Boy!

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