Thanks once again to Rick Newman from U.S. News & World Report for the article on what the Boss can teach CEOs. Crossing it over from Business to church leadership, we explore Rick’s #2 observation: Innovate. In Rick’s own words,
Springsteen’s knack for turning old material into something completely new seems like a magic touch compared with all the lame efforts to create hip, modern variations of old TV shows or movies. Instead of copying success, he creates it all over again.
Can somebody testify? I must admit, when my pal Glen Baldwin offered to take me to my first Springsteen concert a few years ago, I figured I would be watching a washed up old man playing the same tunes for the millionth time so he could get enough money to pay his back taxes (tip of the hat to Willie).
I was wrong. Dead wrong.
The reason people flock to a Springsteen show is that you never know what this cat will do, but you know this: he takes old tunes and makes them new. Brand new.
Glen and I took in a show with the E-street in Chi-town where he innovated with full-on rock show style. A few months later we caught up with him in St Louis where is was just he and the guitar. How innovative can you be on tour with a guitar and some songs? Ask the guys counting money at the sold-out show. Last year, we rounded up some friends and caught Bruce with the Seeger Sessions Band. What is that you say? Well, the Boss-man decided to dig up some gospel and folk tunes. He put together a band with horns, strings, guitars and some other bells and whistles. The result? A mind blowing show of sonic goodness. One of the best concerts EVER. EVER. And every song was old. Amazingly old. And new.
Why would Springsteen do such things? Maybe he figures he might as well innovate. What’s the worse that can happen?
So, what is keeping you from innovating? Tired of singing the same old songs? Maybe it isn’t the song. Maybe it’s the singer. Back in the day, somebody innovated when they wrote the song you are singing. Re-write them. Re-arrange them. Give them new life. Play them like they were meant to be played. Innovate. Risk. What is the worse that can happen?
What about you, mister “I’m not a musician guy?” What is keeping you from innovating in your leadership? Your family? Your personal life?
Stuck in a rut? Knock off the dust and try something new with something old. You don’t have to re-invent the wheel, just innovate.
What’s the worse that can happen?
Photo by luiginter