Ever get discouraged at work? Ever decide it’s not worth it? Too hard? 
Do you know the story of Rick Allen?
Allen, also known as the Thunder god, is the drummer for Def Leppard. If you aren’t familiar, the hard rocking group has been around since 1977 or so. They’ve had numerous hits like Pour Some Sugar on Me, Photograph, Foolin’ and others. If you’re not familiar trust me when I tell you that drums play a big role in their music – thus placing even more importance on the aforementioned Mr. Allen.
Oh, did I mention he only has one arm?
That’s right. On New Year’s Eve in 1984 he crashed his Corvette Stingray into a brick wall. Somehow the seatbelt came undone and he lost his left arm.
That should have been the end of the story, at least as far as his career as a drummer was concerned.
Right?
In an interview with the British magazine Classic Rock, Allen said he was told he would be hospitalized for six months. He was there a month.
Of course he was also told his music career was over. He started practicing right away on a piece of foam.
Long story short, in August of 1986 he re-took his place behind the drums at a concert and has been there ever since.
Think about that for a second – 20 months after losing his arm he returned to a job that everyone else in the world needs two arms to do properly. It wasn’t a stunt. You don’t sell millions of albums with a stunt. The man was world-class at his job before the accident. He got back to that level after as well.
Here’s what he said about it in the article:
“ . . . On the day of Monsters Of Rock, it felt quite surreal. I was nervous, but I knew that I was capable of doing this. Backstage, it felt strange to be the center of attention. Everyone from Ozzy to the Scorpions came by to wish me well and offer encouragement. Everybody was on board and knew that what was happening was unique, I felt overwhelming support . . . Nearer show-time the bubble burst. I realized that this would either be great or a complete trainwreck. Before the show we had decided to treat it like just another gig, but without getting too cheesy, there was a vibe of overwhelming love, and I knew within a number or two that it would be fine. There was a groundswell of energy from the audience, willing Joe to say something. He had no choice. When he introduced me so beautifully, and the roar of the crowd was so loud, I burst into tears.”
How many of us give up when we hit minor roadblocks? How many of us get discouraged over a minor glitch?
We could learn a lot from Rick Allen.

Next week: Planning to plan

Business Playbook is written by Tim Timmons. Timmons’ book, Coaching Success: Creating Champions for the Business World is available at www.tim-timmons.com.