Today is the anniversary of the birth of Frank Sinatra (Dec 12, 1915). I’m a huge fan of Frank Sinatra. I’ve been listening to his music for years. I love the songs. I love the voice. Most of all I love the attitude. Many years ago when I was sitting at a job I knew was taking me nowhere I dreamt up my transition, my steps into a new way of living life. I was listening to Sinatra, Live at The Sands. I remember reading about his now famous gatherings on stage in the wee small hours of the night with Dean Martin and Sammy Davis. They never called themselves “The Rat Pack.” They called themselves “The Summit” and their times together their “Summit meetings.”
As I reflected on those performances I saw two important characteristics. One, these men were extremely good at what they were doing. Their level of performance was high. Second, they appeared to gain extraordinary fulfillment from what they were doing. I think the audience was just lucky to be in the room, but they weren’t very necessary to the proceedings.
I hear the same story from many different people that I work with. It’s also my story. We spend a long time, years sometime in a job or situation in which we do very well. I mentioned that I was sitting at a job that was taking me nowhere. While I was quite good at my job, the trouble was I got no sense of fulfillment from it. It was, in fact, for me soul-killing work. I dreamt of something different for myself and for my family. I dreamt of finding my “Summit,” going there, and living there.
We all have a Summit, a place where our high performance intersects with extraordinary fulfillment. We have a right and a responsibility to find that Summit and step up to it. As leaders we want to be leading from our Summit and creating conditions for those around us to find and reach their own Summits in their work. If we or they aren’t living and working at the Summit, you can be sure that neither you or they are fully engaged. We owe it to ourselves and to those around us to find and reach our Summit. It might require some modest adjustments to the status quo. It might require radical change.
Whichever the case may be, we have to own our reality and go for it. As I’ve said in earlier posts. In all things we have to go to the edge, push farther, and repeat. What about you? Where is your “Summit?”
Happy Birthday, Frank! And thanks for the inspiration!