"The art of doing what you NEED, not what you WANT"

Von Matthias Jackel

Wenn sich Kunden schon in der Verkaufsphase über das Entertainment-Element unserer Arbeit hinaus für die tiefere Wirkungsweise interessieren, oder wenn sich am Abend nach dem Event noch die Gelegenheit ergibt, dass Entscheider oder Teilnehmer mit uns ins Gespräch kommen, dann sind es diese Geschichten aus 14 Jahren Drum Cafe Tätigkeit, die begeistern, berühren und oft sehr nachdenklich machen.

Es geschah bei einem Promotion-Event auf einer Fachmesse vor vielen, vielen Jahren, als nach einem Drum Cafe jemand auf mich zukam und mich fragte, ob ich denn wüsste, was ich da tue? Wahrheitsgemäß und recht marketingorientiert antwortete ich damals, dass ich interaktive Trommelevents anbiete und die Menschen miteinander Musik machen lasse, zum Mittel der Motivation und des Entertainments für Firmenevents, u.s.w…

“Nein, nein”, war darauf die rege Antwort. “Was Du da machst, ist ein schamanisches Ritual. Es ist ein sehr, sehr kraftvolles Tool, was Du da anwendest – und ich hoffe, Du bist ein guter Mensch!”

Schon damals hatte ich mich eher unbewusst gefragt, warum z.B. bei einem klassischen Sales-Kickoff manchmal Teilnehmer hinter die Bühne kamen und fragten, ob sie uns mal kurz drücken dürfen.

Aber es war der Abend dieses besonderen Treffens, als mir mit aller Wucht bewusst wurde, dass wir nicht nur ein kraftvolles Tool in der Hand halten, sondern auch einfach nur hinblicken müssen, wie bis zum heutigen Tag Millionen von Menschen darauf so positiv reagierten und was sich daraus für die Art und Weise, wie wir miteinander arbeiten und umgehen, ableiten lässt. Das Phänomen der Verbundenheit zwischen den Menschen. 2018 habe ich mir endlich die Zeit genommen, dies in meinem 1. Buch zu beschreiben.

Buch the connection phenomenon von Matthias Jackel

“Es scheint mir, dass Matthias Jackel den besten Job auf der Welt hat. Wo immer er auf der Bühne erscheint, erzeugt er diese erstaunliche Euphorie und positive Stimmung unter dem Menschen. Wieder und wieder und wieder. Es lohnt sich das Buch zu lesen um zu erfahren, was die Quelle hinter diesem Effekt ist.”  Gerhard Kulhavy, Gründer und CEO von Speakers Excellence, Deutschlands Nummer 1 Agentur für Keynote Speaker

Bitte beachte, dass das Buch in englischer Sprache verfasst ist. 

Bestelle über Amazon als eBook oder Taschenbuch. Alternativ kannst Du auch per Email innerhalb Deutschlands versandkostenfrei direkt vom Autor Matthias Jackel bestellen, inkl. Signatur und Widmung (bitte Namen und Wünsche angeben).


How can we change for the better? To change for the better, it requires a change of behavior.

So, the question then becomes, how then can we change behavior? The answer… by a change of experience! – and the more unexpected the experience, the more we are able to make massive change.

In this must-read book, Matthias Jackel is sharing his experience from thousands of interactive drumming events and workshops with almost a million participants joining in unintentionally. Because, what he did was mostly booked as a surprise by organizations, groups and companies for their teams. No matter how sceptical the audience was, it always turned into amazing success for a deeper reason which will be revealed within these pages.

It served a basic human need and became a reference to the audience for a feeling of connectedness which in turn brought about an increased quality of their communities.

Matthias Jackel understands that music was not created by the human being to become a matter of excellence. It was created to make us feel something with each other and bring people together. It changed the author. It changed many audiences. Within 12 chapters it invites the reader to change, too.

Prelude (als Leseprobe unten angefügt)
1 – Loosing Connection
2 – Feeling Connected
3 – Business Connections
4 – Inner Connections
5 – Brain Connections
6 – Global Connections
7 – Daily Connections
8 – Human Connections
9 – Balanced Connections
10 – Connect Yourself
11 – Counter Connections
12 – Connection Ambassador
Finale words and fade-out​

For me, writing this book was a five-year process and many huge hurdles had to be overcome.

A good book is literally supposed to speak to you. But if I showed up right here, right now, as a speaker in front of you or your team, the first eight-ten minutes wouldn’t even involve any speaking!

Instead, the first few minutes would provide a tangible experience. Rhythmic instruments would be provided to the audience and we’d get the music started in an interactive live act.

Most people would respond with surprise, especially the critics and sceptics among the lot. But eventually, everyone would be amazed and joyful, their experience taking them to a place that they never believed possible.

This is what happens even before the first “hello” is spoken.

What I do with my clients and audiences is always experience-based. In this book, unfortunately, it is impossible to have you make music with me.

So I’m writing about an experience you cannot experience yourself at this point in time.

I also had to wrap my head around what I experienced during all these events. Conclusions came to mind but there was a mismatch between what I saw in our projects and my own business and personal life. It took me years to understand that even the best conclusions mean nothing if they are not put into practice. Let me tell you how I resolved this issue.

Everyone has a story about their relationship with music. You may remember how you “learned” music. I personally feel that rehearsing the flute in pre-school classes damaged my brain. Playing the triangle in the school orchestra was quite stressful. And the teacher who presented the Pandeiro as a Tambourine was so boring because he had no clue how wonderful that instrument was. I also remember how the piano teacher damaged my soul when he shouted at me because of a wrong note.

Your early experiences with music lessons might not have been positive either. Music is one of the most intense explorations young people can make. It’s up to the teacher to foster a curious mind for a wonderful world or create misleading mindsets by reducing music to a monotonous practice. Some are also guilty of telling students that they have no talent, are not musical or not rhythmical, all of which is nonsense.

Voltaire said, “Music, as it stands today, has been reduced to performing complex composition, but what becomes only complex won’t please anyone in the long run.”

And Issac Stern once said, “The greatest crime a musician can do is to play notes instead of making music.”

I had not heard these statements when I was younger. So in my mind, music became synonymous with embarrassment, labour, effort, struggle and stress. And unless you are a professional musician with a spiritual attitude like Miles Davis, chances are you also feel the same way.

Now imagine that you come into a room and are faced with a challenge. Given your past, your mind insists that you are not a musician. And then, you sit down on the chair with a drum or some other rhythm instrument in your hands. You may think to yourself: “Why on earth do I have to do that?”

The fact that it turns into a major success anyway is because we’re not trying to do what people used to do previously when it came to making music. We don’t treat it as performance art.

The second, more important, reason why it succeeds is because of the positive vibe between the participants that gets injected into the group. It may not be conscious in the beginning but it slowly becomes apparent.

We don’t name this new vibe right away as the impact of it would require some reflection, but this book is certainly intended to unfold further details about it later on. Initially, people are thrilled by the sheer fun and energy created. That is the wave we surf during the events.

But how come a serious-looking man approaches me backstage during a professional sales motivation kick-off event, asking if he can give me a hug? This is because the events create a sensation beyond mere entertainment. This is a feeling that makes the vast majority of them join into the drumming for the duration of 30 minutes or several days, depending on the length of the event. Eventually, they leave the room with some sort of change in their mindset.

Understanding the deeper reason for that changing mindset may become the start of a transformative process affecting both, you and your organization. People change. And this leads to change within the organizations or companies where they work.

But how can people possibly change?

There are actually three ways of learning. The first way is via rational thought, which is probably the most noble way. The second way involves copying others, which may be the easiest way. Lastly, you can also learn from experience.

People say that learning by experience hurts the most. But to me, it seems like the only effective way of learning. Because when you experience things, you have feelings. And your old emotions are unfolded, too. This is the basis of any kind of lasting knowledge. And this is why we set our audiences to playing a rhythm instrument!

Over the course of the last few years, my teams have seen so many people perform together. And not a single event has ever failed!

As a result, I started thinking to myself that there must be a basic human desire that we serve i.e., the desire to be connected.

As a matter of fact, if I were to bring the whole book down to one line, then I would point out that we human beings want to feel connected. We are a social species and this makes us hardwired for connecting with others.

However, the way we’ve grown up—our culture and the economy around us—doesn’t support that connectivity. Instead, it treats us as objects, rating us and comparing us with each other. Our worth lies in the way we look, our status, our know-how, our achievements and our possessions. We are all affected by this type of behaviour in our social lives as well as in business. No one is free from its effects, including myself. At the end, we are human beings conditioned by the way we grew up to become “human doings.”

So when people come into our sessions, they experience something live that they are missing in their day-to-day lives. They can interact with other human beings without experiencing the usual barriers and judgements. They can contribute to the group as individuals and grow together.

But undergoing that experience doesn’t mean that life becomes different the minute after. Old habits cannot be changed in 45 minutes; you need further reflection and practice to make this happen.

In 2004, I partnered with the worldwide Drum Cafe organization and opened the offices for Switzerland, Austria and Germany. Drum Cafe has become more of a movement than a “normal” company. It was started in Cape Town not long after Nelson Mandela became president of South Africa in 1994. This was a time of ambivalence and a period of joy, fear and hope during which many people anticipated bloodshed and war.

With 11 official languages, cultural differences and a minority which had held power for decades, South Africa needed to undergo a radical change. Under the guidance of President Mandela, bloodshed and war were averted and South Africa was transformed rapidly and profoundly into a “rainbow nation” which brought together cultures, races and communities under a unified banner.

The Drum Cafe took Madiba’s philosophy (In South Africa, “Madiba” is an affectionate nickname for President Nelson Mandela) as the core of its approach and during South Africa’s time of transition, it brought the message of cohesion and unity to hundreds of companies across South Africa. The Drum Cafe facilitated communication and cooperation between black and white, male and female, old and young. It learnt to bridge the gap between the old and the new and to foster understanding and friendship between employees from vastly different cultural backgrounds.

Today, Drum Cafe is running almost 300 events with 100,000 participants every month throughout the world. When Shakira was performing at the opening of the World Soccer Championship in South Africa, many drummers performing with her came from Drum Cafe. When South Africa was presented in the China Olympic games, the drummers on the field came from Drum Cafe. The concept even transformed to a production named Drumstruck that ran massively successful off-Broadway shows in New York as well as shows in Japan. At this point of time, Drumstruck still tours the world.

In 2014, I added my HR and people development experience to the services and founded andante communications GmbH (Ltd.) which was transformed into the Drum Cafe Academy in 2018, taking the experience of interactive Drum Cafe events to the next level, helping clients to understand why it works and what they can take out of it.

The core of the experience laid out in this book comes from personally having led close to a million people in drumming events. That became the university of my life. It became a massive empirical study about togetherness.

Now that we’re talking about empiricism, there’s a well-known problem in the empirical world called the problem of correlation. This means that if you try to find out the effect of something on a human being, you still have to deal with other effects layered over your study. Human beings don’t stop living to become a part of a scientific study. They remain in their lives, so outside effects must be taken into account in the study.

For example, you might postulate that a kid playing the piano is developing a better brain compared to a kid that does not play the piano. The problem is that a kid that is growing up in a family that can provide piano lessons probably has more benefits available to him or her. This kid will have a lot more advantages compared to a kid that is growing up in a family where there is no time or money to fund piano lessons.

In actual fact, you never know exactly whether that piano-playing kid is “cleverer” because of the piano he or she learned, or because of all the additional family advantages that paved the way for an enhanced brain capacity.

In the case of drumming, the issue of correlation can be completely shelved because of the sheer number of people and the variety of clients that I worked with. These ranged from kids to adults, from people working in the factory belt to clerks, from administrative staff to mid-level and top-level managers, from CEOs to country leaders, from people in jail to celebrities and from joyful people to those hit by disasters. I have worked with people across all industries and across many cultures, ethnicities and countries.

There was no difference between them because they were all seeking the same thing. Those people were looking to get into contact with each other; they were seeking kindness and love.

This is what I do. From entertainment events and keynotes to workshops and trainings, I facilitate a development process by applying the Drum Cafe interactive concept and sharing my experience as well as existing world wisdom.

This book is meant to tell you the story of connectedness. It will also tell you how I lost that feeling of connectedness in my previous career. It will go into how connectedness happened in the last 14 years to the participants of our events and how it helped me reconnect. What does connectedness mean to businesses and the people working in it? How does our brain connect and how do you connect mindfully with people all around the world? How do you connect with other human beings, find balance and, finally, connect to yourself?

There are forces and reasons working against a more connected world, but you can overcome them and become a connection ambassador. This will benefit you and others.

Making music together offers incredible potential. It’s an amazing way to discover yourself and life.

Of course, I’m excited to have you read the book and get inspired. As this is an individual endeavour, please don’t expect a new leadership cookbook filled with management dogma. Instead, it is meant to provide you with thoughts and tools to start looking at what you need deeply inside instead of what you want superficially.

Human beings often want. For example, you want things to progress. But you need sleep. You never want sleep. But there is no progress without proper sleep. While we strive for the things we want, there are a lot of things that we’re in need of to become complete and independent as individuals. You need to understand that principle on a greater scale. This is especially true today, when families, communities, businesses and the world are in need of leaders.

If this idea doesn’t resonate with you and you stop reading this book, then at least consider one thing: seek what you desire. There is nothing wrong with any path, but it’s important to remain connected with yourself and other human beings.

“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”

– Victor Hugo

Chapter 1 – Loosing Connection

Continued in the book…