Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Last Song for "America's Oldest Teenager"

It’s too bad that the only view many younger Americans had of Dick Clark was as some old guy counting down the ball on New Year’s Eve.

Clark (82), who died yesterday, had a significant impact on American rock and pop music for over 50 years as a DJ, music publisher, TV star and producer. He was dubbed “America’s Oldest Teenager” in the ‘60s.

A great part of the Dick Clark story is that we might never heard of him if it hadn’t been for a drunk driver. In 1952 he was the fill-in host of a radio station sock-hop (for the younger of you, in the ‘40s and ‘50s sock-hops were dance parties where girls would dance in, usually, white socks). When the regular host was arrested for drunk driving Clark was hired as the full-time host. The rest, as they say….

Here’s the unintended lesson we can learn: Be ready to step into the job, role, leadership position or life dream to which you aspire.

Invest in yourself so you know what you need to know to be a success…or, at least know enough to know what you don’t know so you can quickly learn as you go.

Where do you want to be in life in 6 months? Do you know what you need to know to get there?

In the last week I’ve had 3 people point out that younger workers want to be CEO in 6 weeks.

Don’t fool yourself, being The Man or The Woman takes a lot more than dreams, desire and a Red Bull. Dick Clark had been preparing for that moment in 1952 from the time he was a teenager.

Thanks, Dick. Rock on.

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