Sing Along With Mitch – And the Power of a Deadline

I remember when the legendary Mitch Miller died at age 99. He was a very successful music producer, but will probably be best known for hosting the musical program “Sing Along with Mitch.” All of us Baby Boomers grew up with it.

Along with major stars he produced in his lifetime, one of the most interesting stories is about Johnny Mathis. After numerous best selling albums with Johnny, he had to fulfill a last contract but as the deadline approached, he had no material for the album. Desperate to come up with something, he decided to go back and pull the biggest selling songs from Johnny’s career. He called it “Johnny Mathis’ Greatest Hits.” It turned out to be a blockbuster.

In fact it was so successful that it stayed on the charts for 10 years! That was the first “greatest hits” album, and of course it started a huge industry. Mitch was a music genius and one of the great showmen of his generation. But perhaps his greatest idea only happened because his back was against the wall and a deadline was looming.

Next time you face a deadline, stop looking at it as an obstacle, and think of it as a potential springboard to what could be the greatest idea of your life.

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