Dec 282015

Rock StarReal rock stars lead interesting lives.  A life of partying and having fun is what we see on the outside, but on the “back end” it’s a life of practice, practice, practice and lots of riding on a bus.  I was privileged to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band perform in Buffalo in 2011, at what would be the final concert that Clarence Clemmons performed in before he passed away that June.  The arena was full of people from top to bottom, all appreciating Bruce, his band, his music, and the experience.

“The Boss” didn’t get to where he is today from a viral video, he did it through lots of practice, love, disappointment, practice, insight, practice, and talent.  Truly successful rock stars are also talented musicians that have spent most of their lives perfecting their skills.  That’s why most of us never progress past “air guitar” to end up at “Eddie Van Halen.”

I enjoy music of all sorts, and I enjoy watching someone who is good at their profession perform.  So I also go see jazz, bluegrass, Broadway, hip-hop, rap, grunge, opera, dubstep, country, and lots of other types of concerts.  Recently, I got to thinking – what if our every day jobs were like those of rock stars, with tens of thousands of adoring fans lining up to watch us work for two hours plus an encore?  What if we took all of the energy, devotion, and love that we show for our rock stars, and did the same thing for every day actions accomplished by the people we work with?

  • When everyone gets to work, there’s someone handing out glow sticks and there’s a green paper wristband waiting for you on your chair.
  • While Robert files documents, the rest of the office stands around and shouts “Rob-ert!!  Rob-ert!!  Rob-Ert!!”
  • Just as Mary finishes the expense reports for last month, a huge sign behind her unfurls from the ceiling that says “MARY ROCKS!!!” and then huge flame throwers shoot into the air.
  • After the sales department meets the quarterly sales goal, they body surf over the rest of the employees while everyone sings “We Are the Champions” by Queen.
  • At lunch, everyone sits around and jams, sings, drums on the empty food containers, or just taps their feet and has a great time being in the moment.
  • When a grant comes in or a round of investor money is obtained, fireworks go off and the CEO does a seven minute drum solo on a floating stage, complete with LED drumsticks and synchronized fireworks.
  • Guitar picks, drum sticks, broken guitar strings, and sweaty towels are left as “thank you gifts” whenever someone goes on a sales call.
  • Right before everyone leaves for the day, there’s a 20 minute encore of additional work that’s just as productive as all of the work done previously that day.
  • While everyone is driving home at the end of the day, they’re recalling the best moments from their day and then share them with their loved ones when they get home.  People talk about their epic work day for weeks.

Imagine how much more fun (and productive) work would be if we treated those we worked with like rock stars?