9 tips from from Bruce Springsteen on leadership and creativity

I recently went to see Bruce Springsteen in Cologne. It was such a great experience that I want to share a few thoughts with you on how The Boss can teach us something about leadership and creativity.

  1. Daylight:
    Starting a concert at about 7:30 pm when there is still daylight changes the whole concert experience. No crazy lightshows, everything is in plain view. Simple, raw, beautiful.What other things could be done in daylight and would change the experience completely?

  2. It’s all in the mix:
    The Boss attracts a great mix of people: octogenarians with a cane, 17 year old girls wearing a Born to Run T-shirt (they were definitely not around in 1975), Mom and Pop wearing checkered shirts with strange khaki vests,…
    He catered to this ecclectic mix by playing both old and new songs, ballads and sweeping you off your feet rock songs.How can you change the mix (of your offering, of what you do, of how you do it, of targeting other people,…) and what effect would that have?

  3. Team:
    Although Bruuuuce is definitely the VIP of the show, he is nothing without his team. And he has surrounded himself with the best people in their respective fields.
    A team is not just the people who work for/with you, but also your family and friends.Have you got the right team supporting you? What do you need to change/get rid of/bring in to change the dynamics?

  4. Spotlight:
    Bruce takes the spotlight, because his audience wants him to. But he also knows how to shift the spotlight to his team. He gladly brings out each player individually and lets them steal the show. People go crazy when Max beats his drums or when Steven of Nils do their guitar dance. And it does nothing to diminish Bruce, on the contrary.How can you put your people in their deserved spotlight?

  5. Fun:
    This is one of the most important elements in a concert, at work, in life. If you’re not having fun, no one is. And the E Street Band is having a fun that is visible, palpable even. And very, very contagious. And the fun does not take away the seriousness of their music. On the contrary!Are you having fun in what you do? Why not? How can you add more fun to your life/work/art?

  6. Trying new things:
    No Springsteen concert is the alike. There are always news elements, different songs, total improvisation. It’s risky. But wow, does it increase the quality! And that’s what people love! Heartfelt, authentic (yes, even imperfect) quality!Do you stick to a set routing? What new things can you try? The more you try them, the less risky they become.

  7. Endurance:
    A Springsteen concert is not your off-the-shelf-done-in-one-hour show. The one in Cologne lasted 3 hours and 15 minutes and was packed with creative, musical and physical action! And Bruce is 63!
    More (or longer) is not always better, I agree, but when you’re on a roll, it is so great when it does go on!How long are your experiences (the one’s you give and the one’s you live)? What would change if you had the stamina to keep it up?

  8. Fitness:
    You can only keep up such long shows if you are really fit. And to train regularly, you need to love what you are doing.Are you fit for the job? Do you keep in physical/mental shape to do what you do?

  9. Personal:
    Springsteen’s concerts are always authentic and personal. He tells stories, not only with his songs. Stories people can relate to. Which makes him real and loveable. Because he’s at the same level, he is vulnerable.How are you being vulnerable? If you’re not, what keeps you from it? What fear is blocking your authenticity?


Watch this video of Bruce talking about creativity and music.

“The one thing that’s been consistent over the years is the genesis and the power of creativity,” he said. “It’s all about how you’re putting what you do together. The elements you’re using don’t matter. It’s not confined to guitars, tubes, turntables or microchips. There’s no right way, no pure way of doing it — there’s just doing it.”

You can watch the entire thing here. [NPR]

This entry was posted in Business, Corporate, Creativity, Marketing, Music, Videos and tagged creativity, endurance, fitness, fun, leadership, personal, spotlight, springsteen, team. Bookmark the permalink.

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