As a kid I grew up in southern New Jersey near Philadelphia. A hair band named Motely Crue was the first CD I ever owned. The “Dr. Feelgood” CD by Motley Crue came into my life in 1989 and I’m tuning into that album again as I write this. Ah power ballads, I have missed you.
Do this with me. Picture your favorite rock band or hair band. Get all the details visualized. The mile-high teased out hair. The outrageous outfits that were so colorful they induce migraines. The MTV videos. (Yes kids, MTV used to play videos) Especially envision the live performances: the smoke, the lights, the energy of the crowds and of course the rock stars themselves blasting out your favorite tunes. Cue the head-banging. ????
Rock stars have a commanding presence and can perform for an arena full of fans in a way that is captivating, energizing and bonding for both the rock stars and the audience. A lot of things align to create a powerful concert experience. Skilled songwriters, lighting technicians, roadies and sound engineers all lending their talents behind the scenes. Then the music starts with drummers setting the beat, vocalists sharing (or in the case of hair bands often screaming) the songwriter’s words emotively and the bassist serving as the backbone to the band’s rhythm. Everyone working together in synchrony. The result of the cooperative use of each individual’s expertise is the joyful experience of a concert – and concerts make us feel good. Now, would you go see a band made up of only bassists? Probably not. Expert bassists are critical to the rock band’s overall performance and the contribution of that expertise is unique but we need the rest of the Crue, sorry crew, to put on the show.
Tangent: Dr. Feelgood was an actual album and title track. The Doctor in that song likely landed in trouble for a variety of “tax evading” transactions as described in the lyrics. Head-banging at said Motley Crue concert might result in some minor concussion-related symptoms though and there are some intoxicating effects of massive amounts of hair spray the band members applied in the 1980’s but concerts do make us feel good. The flow of “happy” chemicals our bodies produce like oxytocin and endorphin are produced when we rock out. The audience reaction at a concert is felt by the band too and there are repercussions to rock stars chasing the “high” of commanding an audience as you’ve likely seen in VH1 documentaries. (Kids: VH1 was a cable station….nevermind.) Chasing those neurochemical highs are natural but dangerous and learning to celebrate the highs, understand the lows and be satisfied with the times in between an important message I drive home with my clients. Just like a song life has highs and lows and the duality is a valuable teacher if not always fun when we’re in the lows.
Full-Circle: What if you and your team performed like the rock stars? Trudging through the workday, tolerating colleagues and a bland office culture makes the work feel like work. What if work was instead your calling and you team worked in synchrony to perform at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame level? Unlocking and embracing the uniqueness of your team is what our system offers and the result: a joyful workplace. What does a joyful workplace look like? Engaged employees, energized by their work, using their unique skills. When it all clicks? Cue happiness explosion in 3….2…1…BOOM! The results are infectious. Getting your band to go Platinum requires a different mindset and a different approach. Let’s turn up the volume and go to 11 like my second favorite band Spinal Tap. Ok, I’m out of rock star puns…
Anthony Poponi is a Corporate Trainer, Coach, Motivational Speaker and author of “Focus on the 40” specializing in improving team dynamics, communication and productivity for teams and individuals. His work is based on the research in the fields neuroplasticity, positive psychology, and leadership to focus on a flourishing life.