Everyone needs a Michael Anderson.
People come to see Building 429 shows and they always tend to be really stunned at the way that we interact with each other on stage and off. Yeah the show is HIGH intensity and yeah we are a united front when we walk on the stage. To the public we always stand United, but it hasn’t always been that way. In fact we come from a very different place. A place that most bands know all too well. We come from a place of complete chaos and dissension. Seriously… that’s where we come from. If you were to hit the rewind button on Building 429’s career and take it back 4- 5 years you would see a VERY different thing. You would see us in the middle of a turbulent series of months where the two leaders of the band were at complete odds. You say, “the leaders of the band….. I thought ya’ll were all equal?” Well we are… but two of us have been here the longest and as such we are the two guys that carry the leadership banner most of the time. But there was a time when we (the two leaders) HATED each other. What? Gasp, shock, you’re horrified I know!! That’s just the truth. Michael and I literally did not like each other at all. It took us a while to figure out why…. and that almost killed our band and our relationship, but we did figure it out THANK GOD.
It’s not so much that Michael didn’t like who I was, or that I didn’t like who he was…. we just didn’t understand that way we each processed things. Here’s how we look personality wise:
Ultimately we were at odds most of the time because he was a buzz kill to my excitement, and I was a buzz kill to his reality… because the things I would think up wouldn’t ever happen.
So how do we co exist on such great terms today???
I started paying attention to him and trying to understand where he was coming from… and he started believing that the crazy stuff in my head might actually be achievable. More than that… I started to realize that the reason he was in my life was because God needed me to have someone like him as bumpers for the bowling alley of life.
Here’s the thing…. i am a great leader… I know I am…. but I become even greater when I embrace the gifting of the people that God has put around me. I came to realize that Maybe Michael wasn’t a liability, maybe he was a HUGE strength because let’s be honest… I don’t want to deal with the stupid rhetorical math of money… Michael LOVES THAT STUFF. I don’t want to deal with the Merchandising side of Building429…. I want to have input on designs but I don’t really care how many of each t-shirt we have in inventory. When I’m on stage I am not focussed on anything other than connecting and leading the people in front of me… but every night Michael can see what I can’t see…. and his analytical mind sees the way that we could be better even if we KILLED it.
Likewise… Michael knows that I am a songwriter at heart… and he let’s me be the songwriter I was born to be. Michael knows that in front of a crowd 99 times out of 100 my instincts are going to lead us to a pretty awesome connection, so he let’s me be free. He also knows that when we do meet and greets and interviews that it’s best for me to lead the way, because that is my gift. He’s not threatened by the fact that I am the leader in Public…. because he is equally the leader in Private.
We’ve also learned the subtleties of our leadership styles. He gives me the right to share my heart at any point in the show as a point of deferment. In turn when he thinks the point has been made and I should stop talking he gets the right to crank us back into the set as a point of deferment. That makes us both better. You don’t know it, but every night right in front of your eyes at a Building429 you are watching the act of compromise on stage. The whole time you think I am in control… as the Public leader, but in actuality he is in control as well as the Private leader! Pretty cool huh?
The more that I chose to learn about the way he thinks, the more I was able to implement some things that allowed me to meet him on common ground. It’s true…. the more I learned about his way of handling things, the more that I started trying hard to at least act like I care about details. I found myself beginning to see how the glass might be half empty sometimes. I began to process the idea of allowing him to lead in business meetings. I found myself actually deferring to Michael on the order of our set… and the way we put our productions together. He did the same for me…. and little by little we began to find common ground!
But here is the single biggest thing that changed our world. We made a decision that it was imperative that we never try to beat each other. That’s right…. I can’t beat Michael…. I don’t even try. I don’t try to win arguments with him. I try to find compromise because the only way that I win is if WE WIN.
When we decided that we had to win together everything changed. Suddenly there was no competition for leadership…. why because we were in it to win it together. In fact there was no way to win separately. If you’re in a band hear me….. “THERE IS NO WAY TO WIN SEPARATELY” You will fail if you’re goal is to win internally. You will ultimately put your well being above the rest of those that you work with… they will see it and they will quit… and you will be DONE.
What’s the point of this blog? Who is your Michael Anderson? You might think you hate this person…. but then again maybe God wants them in your life so you can be more than you ever thought you could be.
If you don’t have someone who disagrees with you and challenges the way you think… you are probably on your way to some ungodly behavior. SERIOUSLY.
If all you ever do is surround yourself with Christians you will eventually find you heart for the lost and broken fading to grey on your way to being a modern day Pharisee.
If all you ever do is surround yourself with non-believers you will find your faith waning on a daily basis till there is none left.
If you’re a singer/songwriter and all you ever hear is how great you are… I would dare say no one is telling you the truth.
If you don’t have someone who will challenge you… I’m telling you now… you better find someone, because you need it.
The Bible says Iron sharpens iron and it looks like you and Michael have been good for each other. Nice to have someone who gets you and lets you be yourself. We all need that person though what they say may not always be easy to hear.
Awesome as always!Yes I have a Michael Anderson!He is the one who tells me to slow down! He is a linear thinker. I jump from topic to topic. He is methodical. I am impulsive. He is not afraid to tell me no! Not my favorite word!I think you are right that the Lord puts people in our lives who think different to challenge us and help us grow. I think it is awesome how you are honest about how you all work together and give Michael credit for being the private leader! Your transparency is one of the things that make you a great public leader!I do follow Michael on Twitter and love his photos and observations!You got me thinking again about others in my life who challenge me that the Lord may want me to stop and listen to more closely.Great job!Keep it up JRoy! May God bless all four of you and your families! Maria
Great post Jason!
Have I ever told you that I really enjoy your blog??? Oh wait, DUH I probably do every time I comment on it! lol! Anyway, I would have never thought that you and Michael had differences way back when. Like you said on the outside y’all act like you’re inseparable. God knew what he was doing when he crossed your paths. He knew you were ADD and loved to dream big and would be a great public leader. As he knew that Michael would rock the OCD and would be awesome leading behind the scenes. What a blessing that you and Michael were able to find your common ground and work together for the glory of God and so that you could stand each other again! You guys including Jesse and Aaron are amazing men of God and influence so many people. Your ministry leaves me speechless and your love for God is awesome! Thank you again for being faithful servants and for all of your hard work. May God continue to bless you and your families as you are blessing those around you!
Oh and ps- do you believe that one can be OCD and ADD all at the same time? That’s me, I’m more on the OCD spectrum but boy I can be ADD as well! Be blessed, my friend!
Excellent insight, Jason, thanks.
I’d have to say that my Michael Anderson is…actually my older sister! And she’s that way for many reasons.
Here’s why–we’re nearly stark contrasts, and it’s super easy for us to get into disagreements, but when everyone else around me is trying to give me the nice answer (even with my writings, or artwork, one would automatically say “It’s amazing! I love it!” and not tell me if there was anything off about it. Just because we are all too nice sometimes when in fact it’s not helping us with anything but our self-esteem. Of course, I appreciate the compliment, don’t get me wrong…), my sister will give me the blunt truth if she knows it’ll get my head out of the clouds. If she sees it, she tells it. I might be irritated at first for being proven wrong, but over my whole life of grating like two uneven stones with her, I’ve finally begun to read her a little more carefully and not take her (sometimes brutal) honesty for granted.
Actually, after reading this, you and Mike remind me of my sister and I in many ways…XD
Its really awesome to have that connection with Michael. I’m a drummer for my church here in Havelock and New Bern, North Carolina. I’ve had a period of time where I was having trouble understanding and relating to my worship pastor. We both focused on paying attention to different areas of our worship services when we led the church. After a few weeks of battling each other, we both reached a point of trying to find a commonality of what we wanted our worship services to bring to us and the hearts of the congregation too. I do enjoy perfecting the music and rocking out, but we both found out that we didn’t want to lose the atmosphere of getting people lost in the worship at the same time. In the end of it, I felt more of the experience of the heart of worship where the music began to fade and I started crying out the words to the songs from my heart which made me play more passionately on the drums. I learned the big difference between worship and just making noise during this season.
I learned to just let my worship pastor share his heart at any point in the worship services, but he also understands my moments of deferment at the same time. We have such a great friendship and respect for each other as musicians and leaders of worship because of this season in our lives. I guess I am Michael Anderson to him in this time of our lives. We always find a time of compromise when we play worship like you said.
I really believe that these values create a great band like yours to see live all the time. I think the vocalist/leader and the drummer have one the best relationships in a band..you both truly have that. You both are my favorite ones in Building 429 to talk to and you guys never disappoint during all the times I’ve seen you guys live. I really enjoy your blogs Jason. Thank you for sharing your mind and heart. I’ll see you guys around!
Thanks for sharing this awesome blog, I always love reading your blog. Thank you for being honest and open with us. That is why I love all four of you, you guys are an amazing band. We need more bands like you who are honest with their fans. I am not a born leader, I am being trained to be a supervisor at work. My co-worker is my biggest helper, she has been very encouraging. We work together to get the staff to do their job. Thanks again for this awesome blog, I look forward to read more from you. Take care and God bless you and the rest of Building 429. Love Marjan
This post makes me happy.