It’s a beautiful day in NYC. A cohort of women from Boston is the group I will facilitate today. They have
been through a two-day leadership experience with Leaders Quest and we are their final point of
connection before they head back to Boston on the bus. I am excited. Women’s Leadership Groups are
mostly rich and rewarding. Also, I will be playing with a woman drummer from Drum Cafe’s Atlanta
team, Melissa Massey, a shining princess of driving rhythm. I have brought along the Hand Pan, a sound
immersion instrument that Melissa will play when the women sit in silence. Today the women will take a
silence. Today we will feel some space between the notes of our non-stop day. Today, we will drop into
that place of inner knowing and sit with relationships formed, with self and others, and sit with gratitude
and sit with joy.

Today’s program brief is “Pure Inspiration”. My mission at hand is to make people feel
amazing from the inside out, to experience their essential and unique role and rhythm within the whole, and
to guide them through an experience of UBUNTU – we are who we are, through each other.
So we group-drummed, and sang together and together we took a silence, and then raised the roof once
again with rhythm. 30 minutes. When Darya Shaikh from Leaders Quest got up to speak, she commented
how for two days she had been in her heart and her soul, but now she felt also, truly in her body”
Someone mentioned that companies should do this every week, a drum event for employee
engagement, or an ongoing drum team-building workshop.

I began to think about “Death by Overwork”. These women were culminating a powerful heart, mind,
work-life-purpose workshop, and were already part of the shift in corporate consciousness. But what about
the people who suffer from what the Japanese called “Karoshi”. Karoshi translates as “Death by overwork”.
We all know now that overwork creates physical, mental and emotional stress, and impairs cognitive function.
We also know that competition at the top is fierce, and long hard work hours are a given if you want to be
noticed and respected.

On average, we therefore spend about 60% of our lives at work. Polls suggest that more than 60% of
employees report covering at work on some personal level. So, adding to the long hours of overwork, the
fact that also we don’t bring our whole selves to work, makes us weak and vulnerable to disassociation and
stress related diseases. Sure, there are gyms in the building for fitness, and meals available for all kinds of
diets or allergies. Progressive companies follow the Google office culture, – fun, creative, leaning in to
collaboration and innovation; some companies now have meditation/quiet areas as mental health initiatives.
But this is not yet the norm.

The team-building drum trend of 2019 became a trend because it served a need in the corporate community,
– the need to never replace the face-to-face; the need for people to put down their devices and become fully
present, focused on point, and accountable; and then the age old need – community, tribe.

When a team is burning out, we see exhaustion, blaming, shaming and general crisis. How can you catch
this falling knife as it goes through the stages of burnout?

Perhaps, as the woman from my Boston cohort suggested, – an ongoing, space in time, where the team
connects together on a level that goes deep into listening, courageous intervention, and transformation.
We’ve all heard of National Bring Your Dog/Child/Parent to Work Day. We at Drum Café USA, do now
declare a new national day – a “Bring Your (whole) Self to Work” day. First one day, then every day at a
time. Diverse, inclusive. The healthy choice.