Saturday, April 19, 2008

Rock and Roll and The Success Effect

Rock & Roll and the Success Effect

“Music can be such a revelation.”


A person’s taste in music and books tells me a lot about who they are.

When John Eckberg, business reporter and columnist for the Cincinnati Enquirer, wrote The Success Effect, (Sterling and Ross Publishers) he interviewed Donald Trump, Jerry Springer and over 40 other successful business people. Eckberg showed us the traits that helped these successful people get to where they are today.

He also asked them what CDs were in their CD changer and what books were on their nightstand.

I am fascinated by what people listen to and what they are reading. Common musical tastes allow me to connect with people I might otherwise disagree.

A political commentator used to appear on a television show with me. If stayed on politics, the show would turn into a Jerry Springer-like event. They didn’t because we liked each other’s taste in music.

A guy who saw Joe Jackson in concert cannot be all bad.

Eckberg’s, The Success Effect is the opposite of his first book, Road Dog, about serial killer Glenn Rogers. While The Success Effect is about people striving to do their best, Road Dog is about people striving to do evil.

I return emails to most who email me. A time I did not was when one of Glenn Rogers’ ex girlfriends wrote me. I wanted to write back and tell her that several of Glenn’s ex girlfriends reside in cemeteries. I decided not to create a connection.

If any of Donald Trump’s friends want to write, my email is at the end of the column.

I suspect a friendship would be short lived. One of us would say “you’re fired” pretty quickly.

The only common bond that Trump and I is our first name. We look different, talk different, and have different ways of operating our businesses.

He has weird looking hair. I have almost no hair.

Yet, I feel some connection to Trump because one of his CDs is Elton John’s “Tumbleweed Connection.” He picked one of Elton’s greatest albums (from the days when they had albums), and I own a copy as well.

Trump’s selection in books shows me his lack of intellectual depth. He only has three books on his nightstand, and one allegedly is Bill Clinton’s autobiography.

No one has actually read Bill Clinton’s autobiography. I will bet even Bill has not read it. It is a 1008 page long ordeal that includes every piece of minutia from Bill’s early life. Despite being 1008 pages long, It rolls past the Monica Lewinsky story in about two sentences.

I received it as a gift, which is how everyone gets their copies. People buy Clinton’s book for other people, who put it on their nightstand to impress visitors. Showing off and putting on an act is the exact thing Donald Trump would do.

You can buy a copy of Clinton’s book for 32 cents on Amazon.

Unlike Clinton’s book, Eckberg’s book is easy and fun to read. He devotes about 5 to 10 pages to each person. He really gives us a glimpse into their souls by telling us the books and music they like.

I like professional golfer Dave Pelz. What little I know about putting came from his books. I really like him now that I know he is a Harry Chapin fan.

Unlike Trump, Pelz is upfront and admits he does not read much. Most Americans do not read books, and since Pelz spends hours hitting golf balls, I can see why he is not at home pretending to read the Clinton book.

Dr. Stephen Covey, author of The 7 habits of Highly Effective People, gave The Success Effect a strong review.

I wish Eckberg had called Covey and asked what he is listening to. If listening to rock ‘n roll is an indication of effectiveness, I am definitely a success.

It bothers me Donald Trump also meets that definition.

Don McNay is the Chairman of the Board for McNay Settlement Group in Richmond, Kentucky, a city where Donald Trump has never fired anyone. You can write to him at and read other columns he has written at McNay is the author of Son of Son of a Gambler: Winners, Losers and What To Do If You Win the Lottery.

The paperback version of The Success Effect will be released on April 28.

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