This week’s riff: When I was a teenager growing up in Morecambe my favourite way to impress girls was to give them my very own mix-tape. You may find this hard to believe, but despite all the hard work that went into selecting the tracks, working out the best running order and painstakingly recording the songs, most of the recipients barely took notice of this most precious gift!

Twenty years ago, I did a similar thing for mine and Scythia’s wedding, preparing a specific playlist for the DJ to follow (First track, A Man Is In Love by The Waterboys; second track, Girls & Boys by Blur etc.). And now that I’m in my 50’s, I even occasionally catch myself thinking about the songs I’d like played at my funeral – well, you can’t rush these important jobs!

I realise, however, that although I share some lyrics with you each week, I haven’t yet given you my all-time favourite business tracks. So, here is my mix-tape playlist for you of my Top 10 tracks for business leaders to use for reflection, rejuvenation and inspiration.

I just hope you enjoy this gift more than Julie Lonsdale did!

  1. Born To Run by Bruce Springsteen.
    A song of ambition and hope that is bound to get you feeling positive and fired up. Someday girl, I don’t know when, We’re gonna get to that place where we really wanna go, And we’ll walk in the sun!
  2. The Distance by Cake.
    Like the hero in this song, you will never achieve anything unless you’re willing to go the extra mile.
  3. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For by U2.
    All successful leaders have a restlessness that underpins their creativity and performance.
  4. With A Little Help From My Friends by The Beatles.
    In business, nothing of note is achieved alone; it is always a team effort. Of course, you may prefer Joe Cocker’s brilliant version of this song!
  5. Get It Right Next Time by Gerry Rafferty.
    Innovation is critical to growth, but rarely works at the first, second or tenth iteration. The important thing is to keep going until you find a way that works.
  6. Lose Yourself by Eminem.
    You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow!
  7. Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen.
    For when you are on a roll and want to feel unbeatable.
  8. That’s Life by Frank Sinatra.
    There are so many Sinatra songs that are great for leaders to listen to, but this one reminds you that even if you’ve had a bad day, tomorrow is a completely fresh start.
  9. It’s A Long Way To The Top If You Want To Rock & Roll by AC/DC.
    Not only is this the final track on one of my favourite films – School of Rock – it also highlights the fact that there are no shortcuts to success.
  10. Forever Young by Bob Dylan.
    A song of youthful innocence that you can reflect upon to make sure that you don’t get stuck in a rut, but fully achieve your potential.


Off The Record: Forever Young by Bob Dylan

May you build a ladder to the stars

And climb on every rung

And may you stay

Forever young


© Stuart Cross 2017. All rights reserved.