Why the rock band RUSH is a great role model for leadership!
I love the band Rush. They’re amazing musicians who are extremely talented. If you’ve seen Neil play drums, Alex play guitar, or Geddy play bass and perform lead vocals, you will understand they are not just a band but music wizards. The 3 of them playing are so tight and the music so full, if you didn’t know better, you would swear there were more. I could go on about their amazing lyrics, how they have been around for over 40 years and have been inducted into the Music Hall of Fame. But what I really want to share with you is how they are a great role model for business leaders!
Why RUSH is a great example of leadership for others to model themselves from.
#1: They follow their heart when crafting their music. Sometimes in business we think with our head more often than checking in with our heart. It takes a lot of courage to go against what we’re told to do, especially when there’s a lot of financial pressure with the decisions we make. Following our heart ensures we remain true to what’s important to us and what motivates us in the first place to do what we do. Everything else will follow and flow when you remain true to your passions and not give in to pressures. The band RUSH may not exist if they didn’t do this at the most pivotal time in their career. After their 1975 album Caress of Steel didn’t do well, the record executive pressured the band to make a more commercially oriented album. They struggled with this demand and choose to follow their hearts and instead made the iconic 2112 album that was definitely not commercial but resonated with their fans. It could have been their last album, but they choose to stay true to who they were and we all benefited from it.
#2: They are thoughtful in their lyrics: What we say and how we say it is so important when it comes to motivating those around us. Our words are powerful. RUSH’s lyrics are full of life and weave an amazing story. I’m drawn into them and when I listen to their songs a full picture is painted for me. As a business leader it’s critical to motivate those around us. Be thoughtful in what you say. Definitely think before you speak and when you do speak be sure to carefully craft your words. Your words do impact others.
#3: They are always continuously improving: This band has been around for 40 years and I swear they get better and better with time. Their shows are still as energetic and entertaining as they were when they first started. In fact, they are better. Could they get away with doing just the minimum, I’m sure they could but that is not what you get. They’re always seeking ways to be better, to improve and to learn. Neil, one of the best drummers in the industry, took lesson to improve upon his already amazing skill set. Be the best you can be and always remember that learning is a lifetime activity.
#4: They love their fans and their fans love them: RUSH has one of the most dedicated fan base and I feel it comes down to a mutual respect. RUSH understands the value of connecting with their fans and providing the fans access to the band. In business, it is so important for leaders to truly have respect for their customers and employees and not take advantage or assume they don’t know any better. A great leader knows that by providing the best product, customer service and workplace, they will have a customer for life and a dedicated employee. To do this you must have respect for yourself and for others.
#5: They take risks and experiment: To many times in business, risk-taking and experimentation are frowned upon because it may hurt the bottom line. But here is the quandary, you need risk and experimentation to become innovative and to grow. RUSH is always experimenting musically with the times. Sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s not. But at least they try. Perhaps this gets you new fans/customers or perhaps you lose some. You will not grow unless you try, so as a leader don’t be paralyzed by fear, do your due diligence and take risks to become better at what you do.
There are many other great leadership examples all around us. Look “outside the box” of your industry. Find the inspiration you need to be true to your passions and to lead others with mutual respect and understanding. But most importantly, realize that to be a great leader you need to always start with yourself and strive to continuously improve so you can properly serve other.