What Can Leaders Learn from the Rolling Stones? A lot!
Okay, some of you know I’m a huge Rolling Stones fan and recently I watched a concert presented in Hyde Park. At first, I was going with the flow of their songs and the joy and excitement of the crowd. Then I began to think about what leaders could learn from this amazing group of old dude’s in today’s market.
I know the old dude was not necessary, yet, here is the core group of the Rolling Stones in the their late 60’s or older entertaining their fans – their loyal fans who knew the words to every song played.
So what do leaders of organizations need to relate to when thinking about the Rolling Stones and their Organizations?
Here are the Five Lessons to the Longevity of this group – driving at least 50 years of success and music together.First, they started with a Passion to entertain. In the early days before they became experienced songwriters and performers, they played other people’s music – mainly from the rhythm & blues era of the 50’s. They did begin to apply their unique sound (think brand) using their arrangements to these old hits.
Second, they began to develop their own Unique Brand and sound. They remained true to their sound throughout the years & decades with few distractions of the musics trends within the industry which derailed other groups along the way.
Third, the Core Group remained strong and united, ultimately becoming the symbol of the group. There was little need for independence by any one individual – they remained together as a group through all the high’s and low’s of the group’s history. They had each others backs all the time.
Fourth, due to their Brand, they created a strong and loyal following of fans of all ages and ethnic groups. When you see crowds of thousands engaged with the group, singing along, knowing the words to ALL the songs – you have a strong and committed group of loyal fans.
Fifth, They all wanted to be Better every time they preformed. There was no just going through the motions, faking it or a lack of emotional engagement with their audience. This to me is the key factor that separates the winners from the one shot wonders. When you listen to candid interviews of the members talking about individual responsibility, their collective response was “to get better and make every performance memorable for the audience.”
Lessons Leaders can Apply from the Rolling Stones…
- Passion – Know the reason you or someone started the business. What was the passion? What was the Focus from the start and relate it to the current. Passion and Purpose are very strong drivers for individual and company success.
- Unique Brand – What is your unique brand, quality or proposition in your industry? Have you used a laser approach in marketing this brand or have you made the mistake of “most” by using a shotgun approach – thus confusing your market?
- Maintain a Core Group – Most companies seem to be focused only on the “new blood” factor and have missed the opportunity to utilize the knowledge and wisdom of the “old dogs.” Wisdom and experience are NOT a GIVEN in the selection of talent portion of your business. Personally, I have seen very dumb PHDs and very smart college dropouts. (This is a fact – check the data)
- Loyal Customers / Fans – The big test here is how your customers perceive your value in their lives? Are you an “after thought” or a “top of mind” only one of a kind company? I see some companies getting very tuned into this and are bulking up their customer service teams rather than dismantling them for automated response systems. (Last I checked – People still prefer to deal with Real People and get Real Answers – FAQ is not the only answer).
- Getting Better All the Time – You can look as close as your training budget or your continuous improvement plans. If you have none, well, the customers will discover your disconnect with improvement shortly and revenue will drop – causing the uninformed “non-people” executives to initiate another round of cost cutting. Too bad they cut all the knowledge and wisdom out of the organization in the earlier rounds – so there is no one to point out their errors.
In conclusion, think about the need customers have for consistency, quality and excellence experiences with your brand. When you exceed their expectations frequently you will begin to notice loyalty and commitment to your brand by these same customers.
Business is really not that complex when you relate it to the Rolling Stones experience. Treat your fans to any experience with every interaction, stay consistent with your brand and improve your brand experience at the same time. And, the Fans – Your Customers will stay with you for along time.