The other night I was fortunate enough to see Keith Urban live. It was the first live concert I’d been to since pre-Covid times and boy, oh, boy, was it amazing!! I have seen him about a dozen times and he never disappoints.
I was thinking about his leadership as I watched his concert. Based on what I know and what I perceive as a fan, he nails it! Here’s what I noticed:
1) He seems to absolutely love his job and performing on stage, so totally aligned with his product. Have you ever been to a concert where the performer seems bored on stage and can’t wait for it to be over?
2) He loves his fans. Without fail, he does what he can to make the experience as best as possible for the fans. This time he released his playlist ahead of time in a special Spotify playlist. Thank you! So we knew which songs to prepare for so we could sing along. And he always gives you more than you expect. He shows up on time, plays all the songs you love, creates tons of energy using more than just music, always goes out into the crowd, brings people on stage, pays tribute to the city he is in, and always plays longer than you expect.
3) He seems to love his bandmates and they love him. They are always interacting with each other on stage, including the drummer and keyboardist in the back.
4) Most importantly, he gives all the credit to everyone responsible for putting on a great show. He takes time throughout the show to give his bandmates dedicated recognition. He turns up the spotlight on one of them and they then are given a dedicated amount of time to show off their individual talents. This is at least 10 – 15 minutes of time incorporated throughout the show. He praises them and then steps into the background to let them shine. Then he dedicates more time to all of the others like the road crew and technology teams. He even dedicated a personalized song to them.
I know that recognition and validation are one of the top motivators to engage employees. Keith does a great job recognizing the entire crew and given the execution of the performance, it seems like they are all going above and beyond.
So, the challenge to all of you leaders today…what will you do to regularly recognize and validate your employees?