Being The Boss

It’s TunesDay, and as I mentioned yesterday I saw a concert the other day which prompted our music/business thought for today.  It was the final show of the Springsteen tour and having been at one of the first shows 26 months ago it was a nice way to close the circle.  The video below is from the show and while it’s not of the best quality it is the only time the song – “Seven Angels” – has ever been performed live:

You might notice that during the introduction Bruce brings Garry Tallent, the bass player, front and center.  The song featured him and some great work on the bass.  Later in the show, the band did four songs in a row that were, in my mind, very deliberately chosen.  “High Hopes” featured Tom Morello‘s guitar work.  “Youngstown” featured a long, sizzling Nils Lofgren guitar solo.  That was followed by “Murder Incorporated” on which Steve Van Zandt‘s playing was featured.  Finally, “Johnny 99 let each member of the horn section stretch out and shine.  Only “High Hopes” is performed regularly on this tour so what Bruce did is instructive for all of us who have or will manage people.

Bad managers let their team do the work and take all the credit.  Great managers help their team to do the work and then let each team member stand up and stand out.  By letting each member of the band stand in the spotlight and receive the roars of the crowd he was recognizing their contribution to the two-year tour as well as showing that while it’s The E Street BAND, every member of that team is a star, not just the guy whose name goes in front.

The men and women on that stage are professionals. They’re in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame.  I’m sure each of them appreciated Bruce’s gesture in choosing the set list to feature each of them.  That’s why he’s The Boss.  If they still enjoy those kind of strokes, don’t you think the people who work with you might as well?

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