What do you think the podcast Bizarre Albums is about? It’s not what you think, thanks to creator Tony Thaxton’s novel approach to this unusual material. Here are three leadership lessons I’ve gleaned from it that will benefit you and your career.
Resist the Temptation to Take Potshots
Bizarre Albums spotlights records that are made by people who aren’t known for their musical abilities. Or they’re known for their musical abilities in genres other than the ones featured here. For example:
It would be easy to make fun of these highly unusual recordings. Lancelot Link and the Evolution Revolution is a rock album whose songs were written for a children’s TV show about chimpanzees who played music when they weren’t solving or committing crimes. But even if the show isn’t for you, the album itself is top-shelf pop performed by outstanding studio musicians. Listen to “Wild Dreams (Jelly Beans).” I defy you to dislike this tune!
What’s distinctive about Thaxton’s approach to these albums is that he treats them with respect. “Like anyone else, I love a great album,” he says at the beginning of each episode. “But I also love those strange albums that make you wonder how and why they even exist. I’m not here to make fun of them. I’m here to celebrate them and tell their story.” And that’s exactly what he does.
Think about the bizarre people you encounter in your work. It might be easy to ridicule them behind their backs. (I’ll admit it: I’m guilty of this from time to time.) But there are riches in store if you’re willing to suspend judgment and find the good in them.
This podcast demonstrates the power of diversity and inclusion.
Get the Facts
This is an obvious rule, but how often do we follow it? How often do we hear or read the phrase “studies show” without a single study cited?
Tony Thaxton provides a solid overview of the stories behind each bizarre album, and he includes plenty of excerpts from primary sources to support each claim he makes. He also plays excerpts from most of the tracks on each album, so you can make up your own mind.
Keep It Short and Sweet
Each episode of Bizarre Albums lasts about 20 minutes. It tells a compelling story well, and then it stops.
Think about the last time you asked someone, “How are you?” and then they tell you in detail. Their response goes on and on. They are highly interested in what they’re saying but forget that you might not be and probably aren’t.
It’s worth keeping the short-and-sweet rule in mind the next time you’re asked how you’re doing. The rule applies to all of our communications: emails, social media posts, texts, and holiday letters.
Listen to a few episodes of Bizarre Albums and judge the advice here for yourself. It’s available for free on Spotify, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. On Patreon, you can become a patron of the show and get access to material not published in the free version.
I’m glad I discovered this terrific podcast while searching for the Lancelot Link album on Spotify. (It’s there in its entirety.) Why not give this wonderful show a try?