Bruce Springsteen dispenses leadership gold in 6 words

Watching Beyoncé and Bruno kill it (THANK YOU!!!) during the Super Bowl Halftime show reminded me of another amazing show I saw years ago.

Springsteen takes us to leadership school.

Oh yeah. He can sing, too.

The Boss gets right down to it.

Put yourself there…the huge stadium is bulging with tens of thousands of people. The buzz of infinite, excited conversations fills the air. Suddenly, the lights go down in the arena and the conversations stop. You can hear some people start to clap and whistle.

Bruce Springsteen 20080815You can’t see him, but The Boss walks onto the stage and up to the mic. In the darkness, you hear his twangy, raspy voice booming out of the mega speakers as he howls, “Is there anybody ALIVE out there?!” The crowd comes to its feet. Again, “Is there anybody ALIVE out there?!” The crowd screams and claps louder.

He shouts those six words 4 or 5 times until every person in the crowd is screaming their lungs out.

When the energy in the stadium peaks, the stage lights flash up and the band breaks into its first song. The band and the crowd never looked back. Everyone was fully alive.

Is there anybody ALIVE out there?

Bruce cut to the chase for all of us. In the end, isn’t that why you’re doing whatever it is you do? Not just to stay alive, but to be alive. To FEEL alive.

You pursue outrageous goals. You work hard. You engage with people. You live your life large in many ways, ever in pursuit of that feeling of being fully alive.

Steal like an artist. Or rather, steal FROM an artist.

Stop for a moment and think of all of the people you’re leading. They want the same thing: to feel more alive.

And many of them are looking to you to help them feel it. You’re their leader, and they’re ready to play bigger and be more alive.

No, it’s not your responsibility to help them feel alive. But when you create opportunities for them to be a part of something bigger than themselves and stretch and learn, feeling more alive is the gift you give them. We gladly follow the people who help us feel alive.

No wonder everyone loves The Boss in concert. (And Beyoncé and Bruno, too.)

Impact Players aren’t just playing big for themselves. They’re helping the people around them raise their game and feel more alive. And in the process, the gift comes back to them.

Your crowd is waiting. Step up to the mic.

  • Bob Degenhardt says:

    Great stuff and so pertinent to the challenges ahead of me right now. With knowledge of challenge vs. threat and the 7 games; I now have more tools to accomplish what I need to with a more intentional approach. Thanks for sharing these videos and ideas.

    • David Martin says:

      Can’t wait to hear how you’re applying them, Bob. This will help you stay focused on the important stuff. Plus, it will help you stay on track even when the inevitable setbacks and surprises show up.