Posts Tagged ‘team’

Play that funky music

I’ve said it before, but I’m gonna say it again: I’m a bit of a music freak.

Anytime I can take some time away (be it in business or pleasure) to jam out to a good tune or two, I’m a happy camper. It could be Marvin Gaye, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Kid Koala or a studio performance by John Legend & The Roots – I don’t care.

If it’s got a good vibe, I’m there.

There’s a lot you can learn from musicians and their music: they can help express a thought or feeling in 4 minutes or less; the right song can lift your mood on a bad day; and a band has the ability to rally an organization to an important cause with a fitting melody.

They can also help drive home an important point in business.

If you’ve seen Some Kind of Monster, Metallica may not be the first band you think of when you consider “equality,” especially since the film depicts the group in the midst of a huge crisis.

The big thing I get from the film (aside from the drama) is that, like a romantic comedy, the players emerged from that experience much stronger, closer and wiser. And in the case of Metallica, much more democratic.

And even though the funky and powerful Robert Trujillo plays the role of bassist in Metallica, he does not let it define him.

More importantly, the band does not allow Robert to be defined by this role.

As the video shows, James & Kirk didn’t shush him away when Robert started playing a six-stringer. They did quite the opposite: the other members of Metallica not only heard him play, these guys collaborated on how to ‘Metallica-lize’ it for their sound. They threw something heavy n’ hard down together with “the bass player” as partners… kinda like a real band.

Go figure.

Supervisors/Managers/Directors/VPs: we’re still in a bit of a workforce-money pinch. As a result, you’re probably piling on some additional duties to your team; they’re working longer hours and getting paid the same (or less) salary. You’re probably in the same boat: trying to wrangle new business, handle existing clients, mentor, etc. and getting weary just thinking about it. It’s not a great scenario. You know it; I know it.

Consider this: instead of allowing the ‘leader’ role to define you, why not lead with your team?

  • Just because someone works in a different group doesn’t mean that they may not add some value. Chances are, if they are eager, they may actually have something worth exploring. You can’t get fresh ideas from a burnt out team.
  • Those volunteers you’re working with may see something on the street or have a chance conversation with a friend that can shine a light in an area that (for some reason) you and your team have been missing.
  • That “kid” who just graduated from college may blurt out something that could turn the tide for a vital client. I’ve see it happen at various agencies (large and small) way more often than you may think.

Who knows… you may have a flamenco artist in your midst.

When was the last time you were jolted by a fantastic concept from an unusual source? What has been the most “surprising find” in your group?


This post was cross-posted on Waxing Unlyrical – a blog that is owned and operated by the wonderfully savvy and smart Shonali Burke.


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Last week, we went to see a live show at one of our favorite spots around Dallas.  We like it because the atmosphere is a little laid back and the bands that they book are pretty solid.  This night was no exception – the music was interesting and the overall performance was enjoyable.

At least the part of the performance that we caught.

You see, the sound levels were just WAY OFF.  Even though we witnessed one of the band members ‘test’ their levels to a point that was satisfactory (to them); and even though they asked for some corrections on their levels during the show….they never quite made it work.  In fact, the more they fussed around with it all, the worse it got.

It’s not like they had their microphones on backwards (yes….backwards)…

But the sound quality was so bad, we ended up leaving after four songs…..and we weren’t the only ones leaving.

Here’s the thing, PR pros: we don’t work around with sound levels or do mic-checks before a show.  But we do serve the ‘roadie’ role from time-to-time by providing support for a ‘featured act.’  This could come in the form of

  • making copies for a client presentation
  • getting an editorial calendar for a pitch
  • physically cutting-and-pasting a news article to make it look nice for a client that may not have access to the piece itself 

These ‘little’ things go an exceedingly long way when done right.


Because if any of those ‘little’ things come out sloppy, EVERYONE in your team (top to bottom) looks sloppy.  And you lose trust.  Rightfully so.  Would YOU trust your money; your time; your IDENTITY with a team that can’t handle being a ‘roadie’ from time to time…?

Roadies make shows happen.  Plain and simple.  Doesn’t matter how great your music is – if you don’t have someone handling your equipment, levels, lights, etc. correctly, your only prepping for a bad show.


This post was cross-posted on Waxing Unlyrical – a blog that is owned and operated by the wonderfully savvy and smart Shonali Burke.

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