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Takeaway #11: Ice Cube inspires mission statement discipline


When you first start rhyming

It started off slow and then you start climbing

But it wasn’t fast enough I guess

So you gave your other style a test

You was hardcore hip-hop

Now look at yourself, boy you done flip-flopped


Ice Cube       True to the Game; Death Certificate (1991)


One of the hardest lessons in the corporate world is determining how to excel without selling out.  I don’t mean, without cashing out – I mean without abandoning your core competency or mission statement.  Companies expand into different industries and sectors while telling the investment community that in fact it is a related, vertical or horizontal integration move.  Executives turn into social climbers and status seekers shunning the fundamental diligence and thoughtfulness that created their original success. 

This is not to say that people should be change adverse.   New styles and new methods are the heart of innovation, which is the corporate driver – soul of success.  However, innovative methods do not justify abandoning a fundamental corporate mission.  Keeping it real, does not have to be keeping it real dumb.  Just don’t lose your focus.  I suppose Steve Jobs would say, “stay crazy, stay wild.” 




Bonus Video:  Developing the CEO in You

About codemizell

The Beats Per Management collective (“The BPM”) is curator for C.O.D.E Mizell and supports the repurposing of hip hop content for professional success. BPM consists of former Hip Hop junkies now living in the corporate world. BPM members carried milk crates of 12” records when “bpm” used to mean beats-per-minute for mixing music, now BPM members focus on Excel spreadsheets, legal briefs, power points, whiteboard-scribbling and business plans. BPM cannot shake the instant recall of Hip Hop lyrics. The good news is that BPM realized that these lyrics had application to its daily management concerns. BPM does not claim to have captured the true artist intent in its lyrical analysis, BPM seeks only to celebrate the role that hype-lyrics can play in the daily grind to get business done in the corporate world. This is not a glorification of urban pop-culture or a debate on the poetic merits of rap, we leave that to the literary critics and socio-political commentators. If you disagree with BPM send us your spin on the lyrics. We have an open mind, and hope you do. The “BPM Takeaways” dispense reminders for your business day. Hopefully, the next time a referenced-cut is heard on the radio, it will trigger your “Takeaway” and not just flashbacks to the music video. A quote-a-day will make you a better executive. BPM hopes to keep all advice short and to the point – Executive Summary Style. Technically the lyrics are “raps” and the culture of the genre is “hip hop” but lets not get overly technical -- substance not form that controls here. The point is you are putting that untapped knowledge to use. And to think they said that Hip-Hop would get you nowhere…puhhleasse. -Roscoe Waxx for BPM

2 responses to “Takeaway #11: Ice Cube inspires mission statement discipline

  1. Yes. In jazz the time and key signature form the limits of improvisation (generally, of course a virtuoso can push these limits as part of his creative enterprise). The basic thinking is: you can play whatever you want within certain limts bc that’s the formula for success. In hip-hop, I’d guess this translates to adhering to the rhytm pattern, meter. Here, perhaps a “master rhymer” (yeah, I know, un-cool phrase!) could push these limts and be successful. In terms of governance, its a “guided democracy” — freedom within limits.

    Good video. Key questions seems to revolve around integration; vertical and horizontal. Keeping your ear bent to the ground as a way to capture diverse information, grow your knowledge base, expand network… and even talk to “union people” (gasp!).

    Inside-outsider: stay in time and key signature and create whatever you can dreamup but can reach across and through all scales and even go above and below the musical staff if you are talented enough.

  2. Well said. Great analogy of inside-outsider and scale-reach.

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