The business world is but a stage
Everyone enjoys a good movie, play, concert or any public performance and work is simply no different. I recently saw Prince for the second time, knowing that he gives a nonstop, thrilling performance that gets the crowd dancing in their seats. When the curtain comes down, people are left screaming for more and demanding multiple encores. As the show closed, I was reminded to take a lesson from the Purple Yoda (what he calls himself) and take the same approach every day in my job. I need each and every day to be the performance of a lifetime.
Give ‘em the old razzle dazzle
Every single day in meetings, making presentations or strategizing about ways to make business happen, it isn’t enough to do your job. There has to be a little flair that gets people interested and moving in their seats. Some of the best business leaders in the room manage to create energy over some of the most common things simply by putting on a show that wakes up the crowd. I know I need to make people care about what I’m talking about even if they aren’t dancing in the board room.
Prince requires that no one take pictures of his show, even with cell phone cameras. Violators must delete the picture and get escorted out. I was disappointed at first, but once the music started, I forgot all about wanting to take out my phone. He knows that what he’s providing is in the moment and doesn’t translate to two dimensional snapshots. He wants the crowd to understand that being there is what matters and not the ‘notes’. The flip side of his demand is that he has to give the audience something compelling.
This commitment too often doesn’t translate to daily personal and work life. If people are texting during a movie, it is because they’re disengaged from the moment. Why should we take it any differently when people are texting in a business meeting? It is the job of the person presenting to make sure everyone is ready to give a ‘standing ovation’ after every performance.
There is one significant difference between a stellar concert or performance and conducting business: When people go to concerts they want to hear the greatest hits. They tolerate the new stuff to get to the songs that made the person famous. In a business meeting, it is up to someone to bring new ideas to the table. Sometimes those new ideas don’t want to be heard, sometimes they won’t be accepted, but they often need to be said. This will lead to productive conversations that will eventually make people aware of practices that could be improved upon. Your company needs a business rock star and not just a ‘roadie’ going along with the motions.
When the curtain rises and the spotlights hit you, it is your time to put on a show and make people remember the meeting when they’re back at their desks. Business isn’t just a cabaret old chum. You should want to rock your meetings and have people throwing roses at your feet when you leave the office. Skeptical? Try it.