Early morning in Dallas Texas, listening to an archive recording of John Peel’s Desert Island Discs as I’m awake far too early because of being in the wrong time zone, I saw a curious link and heard a profound observation from the famous, now deceased, Radio 1 DJ.
First the link, John Peel lived in Dallas for 4 years, working as an Office Boy. When the Beatles arrived in Dallas a local DJ ‘spoke a lot of nonsense’ about Johns home town of Liverpool, and he phoned up to correct the DJ. He was invited on air, and this was the beginning of his incredible radio career.
Now for the profound observation. Responding to a question from Sue Lawley about why a certain piece of music moved him to tears, he said that he didn’t know the answer to that, and went on to say:
People ask me what criteria I apply to choosing records for my programme and I’ve never known the answer to that, nor would I want to. Because at the core of everything that’s worth doing, everything that’s good, there must be/remain a kernel: something which is unidentifiable and indescribable.
Having just spent two days in dialogue with some amazing people lead by Peter Koestenbaum and Peter Block, this quote seems incredibly apt.
It resonates with Peter Koestenbaum’s first lecture in which he described leadership:
Leadership is to see chaos and wonder — and to make sense of it, gain some control over it and provide credible hope. Peter Koestenbaum