Don’t You (Forget About Me)… On being a leader… on being a parent… DeMarco Banter

Well, why should I remember you?

LegacyI love that song.  “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” is a 1985 song performed by the band Simple Minds.  The song is best known for being played during the opening and closing credits of the John Hughes film The Breakfast Club.

The song resonated among the Gen Xers of the 1980s and the tune rose to #1 on the Billboard charts in 1985–but why did the song resonate?  Perhaps it is because none of us want to be forgotten.

Reggie Joiner spoke on legacy at Catalyst this year in Atlanta, and his message just stuck with me.  One thing Reggie mentioned was, “You will only be remembered by the people who know you now.  You will die sooner than you think, and you will be forgotten.”

Pretty harsh huh?  But so true.  And even if it is not your impending death, perhaps it is an impending job change, a high school graduation, a college graduation, or in the military–a change of command.  After all the time you spent with your employees, your classmates, or the folks in your command, what will resonate with them?

We have to remember that the power, potential, and opportunity for legacy are found in your present relationships only.  How strong are those relationships?  What have you done to forge those relationships?

IMG_3273A command tour is only 24 months.  You only have 104 weeks or 730 days to make an impact.  We all know a good leader will wait about 100 days before making any huge changes or pushing dramatic change on the organization, so now we are at 630 days…and counting.

Or, think about this. Once your beautiful child is born, you only have 970 weeks until your bundle of joy graduates and leaves the house.  Believe me I know.  Our once 5lbs 6oz Lukas has graduated and will leave the house in a few weeks. Where did the time go?

Those 970 weeks went by too fast.  When you get intentional and see how much time you have left, you tend to get serious about the time you have now…and now is the time to get serious.

Psalm 90:12

Teach us to number our days
so we can have a wise heart.

Reggie mentioned he and his wife give a jar of marbles to new parents with a marble numbering each week until the child graduates high school.  We are rapidly losing Luke’s marbles (so to speak).

When you see how much time you have left, you make what matters matter more.

Don’t You Forget About Me …. Sometimes as leaders we get confused about what we can and cannot do.  We cannot force others to do the things we view as good. You can’t make a kid love God, but you can demonstrate  that. You can’t make a kid go to church, but you can make an experience. This is legacy.

To leave a legacy, we need to keep doing our work that God has given each of us, and let God work. We get tired when we try to do His work. We need to know God has it. I am not God and I cannot change anyone, but I can love a few….and hope for a change in that love.

Perhaps we can’t see the growth because it is spiritual, it’s gradual.  There is a principle in leadership.  We keep leading when we don’t see results because we trust God to do what He does…AND this is very difficult for Type-A leaders. I struggle with this.

There is also a secret in legacy.  It builds over time.  See what time you have left, and keep doing what you are supposed to be doing.  Think about your command… 24 months.  It goes quickly.  Think about your baby…970 weeks flying by. Now, magnify that into life.

Legacy…to be known by people who are known by God.

Love over time equals worth…love over time is believable, and gives someone a sense of worth.

Fun over time equals connection.  How often do you have fun at work?  Fun with your kids.  We need to have more fun–don’t you think?

Stories over time give us perspective.

Tribes over time give people a sense of belonging.

When you see how much time you have left, you tend to spend more time with a few.

Are you confused by the meaning of the word legacy?  Legacy has less to do with inheritance (inheritance is what you leave for someone) and more of what you leave in someone.  

Legacy is not fame (getting applause).  Legacy is giving applause to someone else.  Some might call it cheerleading.  I have been called a cheerleader, and it was meant as an insult, but it was one of the greatest compliments I think I have ever received. Legacy is SO not about you.  It is all about others.

The greatest gift is giving time to others.  Not being magnificent or remarkable, but being ordinary and dependable.

One day you will have to let go and step out of the relationship, and you will never have that same relationship again.

Ponder, you will be remembered by the people who know you now.  So pour into them, be intentional about your time…and as the psalmist says… Teach us to number our days….so we can have a wise heart. 

And.. I won’t forget about you…

____________________________________________________________

Side note… the song “Don’t You” was written by producer Keith Forsey and Steve Schiff (guitarist and songwriter from the Nina Hagen band). Forsey asked Cy Curnin from The Fixx, Bryan Ferry and Billy Idol to record the song, but all three declined; Idol would later perform a cover of it on his 2001 greatest hits compilation. Schiff then suggested Forsey ask Idol’s fellow Britons, New Wave band Simple Minds, who initially refused as well, but then agreed under the encouragement of their label, A&M. According to one account, the band “rearranged and recorded ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’ in three hours in a north London studio and promptly forgot about it.”

Hey, hey, hey ,hey

Ohhh…

Won’t you come see about me?

I’ll be alone, dancing you know it baby

Tell me your troubles and doubts

Giving me everything inside and out and

Love’s strange so real in the dark

Think of the tender things that we were working on

Slow change may pull us apart

When the light gets into your heart, baby

Don’t You Forget About Me

Don’t Don’t Don’t Don’t

Don’t You Forget About Me

Will you stand above me?

Look my way, never love me

Rain keeps falling, rain keeps falling

Down, down, down

Will you recognize me?

Call my name or walk on by

Rain keeps falling, rain keeps falling

Down, down, down, down

Hey, hey, hey, hey

Ohhhh…..

Don’t you try to pretend

It’s my feeling we’ll win in the end

I won’t harm you or touch your defenses

Vanity and security

Don’t you forget about me

I’ll be alone, dancing you know it baby

Going to take you apart

I’ll put us back together at heart, baby

Don’t You Forget About Me

Don’t Don’t Don’t Don’t

Don’t You Forget About Me

As you walk on by

Will you call my name?

As you walk on by

Will you call my name?

When you walk away

Or will you walk away?

Will you walk on by?

Come on – call my name

Will you call my name?

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