What Being A Foo Fighters Fan Can Teach You About How To Leave A Legacy

“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there. 

It doesn’t matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.” 

― Ray BradburyFahrenheit 451

Often we hear about people wanting to “leave their legacy” – this is especially explored in when we engage in leadership or personal development.  But recently I have been watching a real life example of leaving a legacy.  Actually, it’s even better than that – because it’s about leveraging other’s legacies and using them as inspiration for finding and leaving a new legacy behind.

Premiering on the eve of Foo Fighters’ 20th anniversary, Foo Fighters Sonic Highways aims to “give back” to the next generation of young musicians. 

Foo Fighters (one of my favorite bands ever), founder Dave Grohl is directing a series on HBO – Sonic Highways.  It’s an 8 week reality/documentary that showcases the band writing their latest album – but they do it in such a unique way.  The beauty of their approach is that they have found a way to get you to fall in love with “the baby” (the song) before you’ve ever even heard it.  How do they do it?  They invite you to the “conception” and the “delivery room”.  TMI?  Not at all!!  The “conception” insight comes from exploring the cultural influences that shaped the musical heritage and how it personally inspired a few legendary musical artists of 8 major cities.  The “delivery room” experience comes from the band recording the song in a legendary space/recording studio integral to the unique history and character of each city.

The Foo Fighters do something we can all be inspired to apply to our own jobs –

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