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.