IT Leadership Blues

Words by Terry Gray (E-A-Bm 12-bar blues)

Dedicated to the "Boys from Boston", Brian McDonald and Jim Bruce

Back in January 2008, a month before my first ITLP (MOR Associates IT Leadership Program) experience, I happened to think of a Tom Lehrer bit from That Was The Year That Was. In introducing "So Long, Mom", Lehrer talks about our nostalgia for songs from previous wars, and says: "I feel that if any songs are going to come out of World War III we'd better start writing them now. I have one here." In that spirit, and remembering Brian's "Take No Prisoners" reputation, I decided that if there were to be any songs coming out of ITLP, then "we'd better start writing them now." A modest example follows. (Oh, and in the second verse, it would be perfectly approprate to substitute "Sandy" for "Somebody"...)

IT Leadership Blues (2008) © T. E. Gray

Well, I'm walkin'... in those LEADERSHIP SHOES

Just kickin' down that road... 'til I blow a fuse

Got those head-down, can't cry

--no time to even try-- LEADERSHIP BLUES

So stop the presses, here's the truth:

I need to find some new... LEADERSHIP SHOES


Yes, I'm knockin'... on that LEADERSHIP door

Don't know why... I keep comin' back for more

My baby sez I work too much; my boss sez get a clue

I've got my 20 years in, but still I'm payin' dues

Somebody better tell me where to find a good brew...


'cause | I'm talkin'... 'bout those LEADERSHIP BLUES

Just goin' 'round in circles... wonderin' what to do

All those petabytes and teraflops are really kewl

But complexity is growin' like Georgia kudzu

And Amazon & Google are stealin' our crews...


that's why | We're talkin'... 'bout those LEADERSHIP BLUES

Still searchin'... for all those management jewels

We got ITIL, Six-Sigma, Balanced Scorecard too

Now everybody thinks it's a Dilbert-like zoo

Gotta work all night to finish those reviews...


That's why | We're talkin'... 'bout some different rules

Nobody wants to... play the management fool

We got a new name, new aims, but staff are still confused

The Provost wonders where all that money gets used

But the boys from Boston tell us that we really can't lose...


While | We're walkin'... down that LEADERSHIP ROAD

Yes, we're changin'... that old management code

Collaborate, participate, and share the load

Can't do it alone, or our heads will explode

Everybody knows it's time to find the next mode


So let's | Start talkin'... about a whole new view

Gonna see things... in a brighter hue

So stop the presses, here's the news:

We'll find a way to lose those... LEADERSHIP BLUES

Yeah, those head-down, can't cry

--no time to even try-- ... LEADERSHIP BLUES

So, we better get movin' and find some


Yes, we better get movin' and find

some brand-new... ... LEADERSHIP SHOES

MP3 Link

Written: 1/27/2008 Revised: 3/9/2008