Big Shoulders

Sears (Willis) Tower was designed to resemble Chicago's "Big Shoulders" // Image via

Two weeks ago, I wrote chord sheets out for about 20 songs in one night. It wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t all that difficult either. I’ve been making music in one form or another since I was 18 years old (8 or 9 if you count piano lessons and choir).

This is just something I do. 

It wasn’t necessarily the most fun I’ve ever had, but the fact that I could write them out so quickly meant that I could be free to focus my attention on other aspects of my life and work. In other words, I know my musical shoulders are big—I can carry a lot, and I can do so with efficiency and relatively little stress. It certainly takes time, but relatively speaking I can handle a lot of musical work and still be able to get other things done in my work. Musical “wins” come quickly for me, which leaves me time to work through more challenging aspects of life.

We all have them, and one of the tensions of leadership/creativity/work is to know where your “shoulders” are “big”—the things you can do, because of your experience, giftedness, and passion, that come easily—so that you can get to the things that may take more time and energy from you.

  • Do you know where your shoulders are big?
  • What can you take on easily while staying free to accomplish other tasks?
  • What “quick wins” can you look for in your work?



One thought on “Big Shoulders

  1. Pingback: “I Got 21 Problems…” « eric case

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