Musings from the CU Suite

May 07, 2013

Furniture, Van Halen, Brown M&Ms and Assumptions

Written by Anthony Demangone

Recently, I asked a successful credit union CEO if he had any advice for a new CEO. He mentioned a number of things, but one of them really struck me.

As a new CEO, you'll be tempted to move the furniture around.  But remember this: The furniture might be where it is for a very good reason.

And that leads me to Van Halen, the legendary rock and roll band.

Legend has it that Van Halen had a clause in its contract that demanded a bowl of M&Ms. But the clause demanded that all brown M&Ms be removed from the bowl. 

What jerks! Just another example of a star losing touch with reality. Right?


The M&M clause was real. Van Halen did use it. But not to be jerks.  The following ( comes from David Lee Roth, the lead singer in the band.

Van Halen was the first to take 850 par lamp lights -- huge lights -- around the country, explained singer David Lee Roth. At the time, it was the biggest production ever. Many venues weren't ready for this. Worse, they didn't read the contract explaining how to manage it. The band's trucks would roll up to the concert site, and the delays, mistakes and costs would begin piling up.

So Van Halen established the M&M test.  If I came backstage and I saw brown M&M's on the catering table, it guaranteed the promoter had not read the contract rider, and we had to do a serious line check, Roth explained.

Well then. That paints a different picture, doesn't it?

So often, we jump to conclusions.  We see something we don't understand, and we assume it was done randomly...without thought. But the furniture and the M&M clause might be there for a reason. 

Have a great week, guys. 


And so it begins.

Recently, my lovely wife celebrated a birthday. I bought cupcakes, not knowing that Kate and Briggs were making their own with Grandma.  Of course, we ate theirs, and I put my cupcakes in the cupboard. Kate saw me store them, which she filed away for later. Fast forward a day or so.

Kate: Daddy, can we have one of the cupcakes you bought for mommy?

Me: No, Kate. I already heard mommy say no a few minutes ago.


Kate:  Maybe we could just eat them and not tell her?

Me: (Sigh.) 

My little creative thinker...