Sunday, September 22, 2013

Why I Lead

People ask me from time to time if I look for talent. They ask if I ever approach artists who I find interesting and ask to work with them. They wonder if I make “back-end” deals with artists to make sure I get a piece of the action once they get going.

Eric with Pedro Simoes
And to each of these I answer, absolutely not. They look at me quizzically, wondering why in the wide world of sports would I ignore the way it’s been done in the music business for the past century? It’s lunacy! Don’t I know the way to make it big in music is to find a talent and ride it for all it’s worth?

Well, I’m sorry. That just doesn't appeal to me.

And this is the part where most readers drop off…oh well, he’s not going to help me get signed, make me a star, or become the next big thing. On to the next Google search!

For me, it’s about leading music artists and songwriters. It’s about helping them grow, walking through the development process together, and watching them blossom for years and years.

“Leaders are meant to help others become the people God created them to be. They are called to discover the hidden, encourage the uncertain, develop the untrained, and empower the powerless.” – John C. Maxwell

I have been and still am a songwriter (and sometimes artist). I know what it’s like to hope, pray, and dream of finding people to work with that will not just understand what I am trying to do, but happily assist me and want to see me succeed. And not just for the money, but for the joy of working towards quality.

The players, designers, and engineers I work with that have been doing this for 20 or more years are not just fans of quality, it’s all they know. And I LOVE being able to offer that to the people I lead. It’s one thing to listen and consult, it’s another to offer the kind of quality that you really can’t get anywhere else.

“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected.” - Steve Jobs 

People want quality. When they hear their song in their head it sounds like the radio, but that’s not always what they get when they go down the street to dude’s house with the cool setup in his basement. (And I know, I used to be dude in his basement!)

Instead the musicianship, creativity, and experience that the folks we have at our disposal help in the very leading I want to do. And it is why I don’t have to only work with the diamonds in the rough that just need a good demo and a hot 8x10 to get noticed. Anyone who has a song to sing or write is worthy in my book to get the absolute highest quality service and sound for their ministry.

“Good leadership consists of showing average people how to do the work of superior people.” - John D. Rockefeller 

Friends, don’t be afraid of your mediocrity, God isn’t. It’s a starting point. You don’t start at the end result. You come with the talent you have, and grow it from there. And everyone starts at the beginning!

So, I’m kind of cool with my role. I feel like I have helped hundreds of artists start, grow, and find their own version of success, and I have found mine too.

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” - John Quincy Adams 

Have a great week!


Eric Copeland is president of Creative Soul, a company that helps Christian artists develop and follow their creative dream. For more info, check out For more on Eric Copeland, his music and mission, check out


Maynard Hock said...

Thanks for sharing this. This is one of the reasons that drew me to Creative Soul. I really like your heart!

Jen Haugland said...

I really like this blog and agree, it's your heart that makes Creative Soul what it is and why I chose to work with you. Thank you for helping us go beyond mediocrity.

God uses mediocrity (what no one else would notice as important) for His purposes. Look at David, a simple shepherd boy, the overlooked youngest son, whom God selected to become King. David went through a lot of training before he got there...and additional screw-ups while there. But he had a heart after God. Scripture is full of these stories.

Zoro the drummer had a great quote on 9/27 in his "Big Gig Quote of The Day" twitter feed: "Publicity is easy to get. Make yourself so successful you don’t need it, and then you’ll get it."

David was a successful shepherd boy! God noticed when others didn't. We don't need our validation from the industry to do what God has called us to do.

Cherie said...

Well stated and exactly why I came to Creative Soul also. Thanks Eric!