In every contract that Van Halen signed when Roth was lead singer, they had a clause that said they needed "X" amount of bowls of M&Ms backstage, but no brown ones.
If there were any brown M&Ms, there would be huge penalties levied against the arena/venue, and even the potential of canceling the show. People thought Roth was just hard to work with (which he may have been!), but the reason he did this wasn't to be a pain.
Van Halen shows were legendary for pyrotechnics, and tons of bells and whistles. The attention to detail had to be perfect or else the show would be terrible or someone could get seriously hurt. The feelings of the band were that if the venue couldn't read and execute every detail in the contract to the Nth degree, then they might missing something really important during the show.
High expectations to the last detail led to a great show and one for the most successful tour bands of all time.
At our company we have several conference rooms. Many have different chair types. It bothers me to no end when there are different types of chairs that don't match. I had gone back and forth between feeling annoyed, to wondering why everyone doesn't see how it doesn't match. In particular, I had an administrative manager who never noticed.
There are only so many times you can point things out to someone, and then depending on the situation, either let it go, or let them go.
Well, with this leader I decided to let it go. "It's just chairs..."
It wasn't. It was symbolic. He missed things on client reports. He cut corners to hit goals and objectives. One resulting in almost losing a multimillion dollar client, and worse, soiling our reputation.
I had seen the devil was in the details, and I over looked it. I'm not David Lee Roth, and my company isn't as successful as Van Halen. However, when we pay attention to the small details, it drives everyone to be better.
As I'm writing this, I see two chairs that don't match...I've got to go move them, and then see if I can teach others the importance of noticing.
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