Monday, January 20, 2014

Stand by your employees: an ode to Norah and the Troopers

For the past nine months, my daughter has been taking guitar lessons at School of Rock in Strongsville. This past fall, we upped her from private lessons to the performance program, which, for the beginning students, is known as Rock 101. Her band started with four other kids, but quickly dwindled to just Norah, as the others bailed for various reasons. With a band of only one, the school initially suggested canceling the program for this session. Knowing my daughter, and believing both that she’d want to continue and would be comfortable even as the only child in the band, I asked that the show go on. And it did. And, what a show she gave this past weekend. Here are the results of her hard work.

I have some people to thank, and then I’ll get to the lesson of today’s post (so you don’t think I’m just using this space to shamelessly brag about the awesomeness of my 7-year-old daughter, playing to a standing-room-only house — and, yes, she was tears-to-my-eyes awesome). Thanks to John Koury, the GM of the Strongsville School of Rock, and Shelley Norehad, the school’s owner, for letting Norah do her thing, all by herself, and not cancelling the program as her band mates dropped out. Thank you also to Norah’s amazing guitar teacher, Ed Sotelo. And, finally, thank you Norah’s band: Kayleigh Hyland (bass, keys, and backing vocals, and also the Rock 101 director), Donald Pelc (guitar), and Dominic Velioniskis (drums).

Here’s the takeaway for employers. Stick with your employees, especially in times of difficulty and adversity. They might just surprise you, and may even do something amazing. It would have been very easy for School of Rock to decide that they couldn’t make money on a program of one, and tell us that Norah would have to wait until the Spring for her first Rock 101 experience. Instead, they embraced the enthusiasm and work ethic of a 7-year-old girl and let the show go on. As a result, they allowed her to walk off the stage with a club full of strangers chanting her name. (Contact me for booking info).