** After being reminded of this post from awhile back, I am re-posting as I believe it still applies to the spirit of this blog.
“That’s why we rehearse” – Michael Jackson, This Is It
What I learned by watching This Is It
It doesn’t seem like a movie that teaches lessons about leadership and running a business, and getting what you want. But it is, and in fact, there are scenes that could be a good addition to any seminar about leadership and entrepreneurship.
Lesson #1 – Be Direct
Tell people what you want. Don’t beat around the bush, or hide away… tell them what you want, and what you expect. Say what you want clearly and without reservation.
“What can we do to make the ear piece sound better?”
“Just bring the level down a notch.”
Done. That’s it. They brought the levels down, he was happy, the crew was happy, and they got on with it. No wishy washy, no, “Oh, I don’t know, maybe you can try and bring the volume down just a little bit and let’s see how that is.”
Directness. It gets the job done, people know where you stand, and they can do what they need to do to move forward.
Lesson #2 – Give People The Chance To Shine
When you have superstars on your team, they need to shine. Give the room to do that so they can be seen and heard and have the spotlight for a moment. In the end this makes the entire team, the business, and yourself much better.
The woman guitarist comes up on stage, it is just her and Michael Jackson. He tells her to really hit that note and to really go. Then he says, “This is your time to shine.” It makes the song, the performance, and Michael Jackson… better.
When great people shine, they make everyone around them shine. It’s physics… or something like that.
Lesson #3 – Do it out of love, not fear
No, this doesn’t mean you need to tell everyone around you that you love them. What it really means, is lead out of a place of love and respect. Don’t lead so that people fear you and loathe to be around you.
There is a moment in the film when the music team plays a part of a song, and Michael Jackson stops them. He says, “No, no, no… you’ve got to let it sizzle.” Right after telling them ‘no’ he follows it up with the comment, “This is all for love, l-o-v-e.”
What happen when he does this… you see the whole room become lighter. You see a great combination of respect for their leader and also see a room full of people who now know that this is a team, a collaboration, a group effort to make it the best it can be. He wants what he wants for the betterment of the project.
Lesson #4 – Look for, and see, the beauty in things around you
When we see beauty in the things around us, it can help make a more peaceful and joyful environment.
Near the end of the movie, they are about to practice the last song, “Man in the Mirror.” They are talking about the safety presentation flight attendants give before a plane leaves the gate. Michael Jackson mentions the movements they make while pointing out the exits and says, “I love when they do that.”
Beauty in the everyday.
Lesson #5 – Sometimes you just need to feel it
As a leader, there are times when you won’t have a cue, or someone to get an opinion from. Sometimes, we just need to ‘feel it.’ Call it intuition, call it a gut check, call it whatever you want… it’s the moment when the you just know what to do.
Michael Jackson is standing at the top of the stage, they realize he won’t see the cue from where he stands. What is his solution to this problem… he says, “I’ll just need to feel it.”
Not another word is said. He will just feel it.
Whatever your thoughts on Michael Jackson, there is no doubt he was and always will be one of the top entertainers of our time. The piece I didn’t know until I saw this film was that he is not just a top entertainer, but an extremely good leader. A leader who takes pride and ownership in his product. A leader who gets people to come along for the ride because they want to be part of something bigger than themselves. A leader who demands, and gets, a great amount of respect from those working with him.
A leader who does all of this without losing his cool, without yelling, without being an asshole who everyone can’t stand to be around. He does it all from a place of L-O-V-E, and I think we can all learn from this.