I had just moved to Atlanta in May of 1984. Having worked at Six Flags during the Summer of 1983, it was a natural fit to work there again following the permanent move.
One Saturday evening in early June, I was taking my break when I saw some familiar buses pull up belonging to the Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps. Being a big band geek, I headed to where they were parking. My job at the time was part of the same department that was in charge of park security so I happened to have a walkie talkie. They corps manager saw this and thought I was there to help.
Well, he wasn’t too far off. I was glad to help but had no clue as to where they were going.
Long story short, I quit my job the next day and joined Spirit, learning the music and drill in order to march with them for the rest of the season.
At the helm was the founder, Freddy Martin. “Martin served as Spirit’s director from the corps’ founding through the 1993 season. A noted band director in the Atlanta suburbs, Martin brought a love of music and especially for the education process to the corps.”
“Freddy Martin not only served as a teacher in music to the young men and women of Spirit, but he also imparted many life lessons to members of the organization.” **
Even though it has been several years since we’ve seen each other, I have no doubt he would remember me. He would have a big smile and probably call me by name. That’s just the kind of guy he is.
You might be asking what this has to do with customer service. Well, he worked with countless numbers of teens and young adults with varying levels of talent and education. But he worked them toward the same goal. Most of his time was spent coordinating the efforts of a 128-member musical ensemble, uniting them into a cohesive performing team.
As a business owner or supervisor, you have the same responsibility to those you lead. Unite them in purpose and singleness of vision.
Our theme song in 1984 was “Sweet Georgia Brown.” Freddy, you’re like an “old sweet song” to this Alabama boy. Thank you for your vision, your guidance and your passion for musical excellence and for being an influence on thousands of men and women for all these years.
** (The above quote was taken from the 2006 Drum Corps International Hall of Fame induction.)Tweet