This morning, while my daughter was running time trials, I decided to listen to some singing – something I do too seldom despite the fact that I once lived in the west of Ireland where singing was part of my social life.
I opted to listen to a choral version of Jerusalema, so brought up the Stellenbosch University Choir. They are one of the best choirs in the world and I enjoy listening to them almost as much as I marvel at how they bring vocal excellence to life.
After Jerusalema, I clicked to listen to their arrangement of Fun’s 2012 song, Some Nights. As the choir’s wonderful harmonies outlined the protagonist’s existential challenges (what do I stand for / five minutes in and I’m bored again), I was reminded not only how important it is for people to have a sense of purpose and for that purpose to be worthwhile but also that it is incumbent on organizations that wish to be excellent to enable this.
The next song came on, another cover of a song from 2012. Jason Mraz’s I Won’t Give Up. Although the context of this song is different, I found some of the lines from it also hold messages for those who wish to strive for excellence. Specifically, the points about having a lot to learn, about staying the course to make the impact you can, and the fact that people’s differences help us learn from each other.
I was certainly influenced by the beauty of the African voices but, nonetheless, a decade after their release, I found the songs timely on the eve of a new year when organizations around the world need to step up for the benefit of all their stakeholders.
I wish you all an excellent 2023.