Around the office, we sometimes take moments to discuss the latest celebrity news and pride ourselves on our collective knowledge and love for pop culture in all shapes, sizes and scandals. But what does it all really mean at the end of the day?


Just recently, I had the privilege of viewing Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” with a few of my colleagues and, while enraptured with emotions of sadness, joy, frustration and relief, we couldn’t help but ponder the profound impact one person has had on the world in such a brief lifetime.


Despite the publicity-palooza that has surrounded Michael Jackson throughout his life and even more feverishly after death, I felt it a valuable exercise to reflect on the lessons we’ve learned from the King of Pop as applied to personal and professional life goals.


1.   Remember the time – Keep it original and stay true to who you are. Know your limits, comfort zones and areas of expertise. Keep it simple and highlight your strengths to complement your teams, partners and the work you do. MJ underscored this trait eloquently when discussing with the keyboardist how a melody was to be played during the rehearsal. Simply put and staying true to himself, MJ requested, “I want you to play it how I wrote it.” No need for frills or jazzing it up – sometimes simplicity speaks volumes.

2.   Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough – As the old adage goes, “Rules are meant to be broken.” The same goes for goals, both personal and professional. Despite this song’s intended meaning, don’t stop until you’ve met your goals (and hopefully exceeded them) and are satisfied with the results.

3.   Man In The Mirror – To highlight two of my favorite personal motivational quotes, “Be the change you want to see in the world” (Ghandi) and “Only you can change you” (QBQ! author John G. Miller). The message from this song is no different. Whether improving the world around you or establishing a new best practice in your field, realize you have more control over your immediate environment than you realize and you have the power to make a difference in the world around you.

— by Meg Soule