What Bruce Springsteen Understands That Your Boss Doesn’tPosted: March 21, 2012
On Monday night, I went to Greensboro, NC to see a concert by Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band. In fact, for the first time of all the times I’ve seen them, I was right down front.
Seeing a concert, and seeing a concert from right in front of the stage are two different experiences. I’ve seen Springsteen in indoor arenas and outdoor football stadiums. Up front, the interplay between the audience and artist, and between the performers on stage become part of the show.
The Boss On Management
I’m not a music critic, I am a fan. I’m not going to go into the details of the show. What I will tell you is that if you are a Bruce fan, I hope you have tickets – the man is 62 and still rocks harder than any three twenty-somethings. The band is still tight and the new horn section adds a soulful dimension to the old favorites.
But this is not a music review, this is about management. Bruce Springsteen is a musician. He is also the leader of a band, a business man. As goes the band, so goes Bruce. When The Boss is successful, the band and a lot of other folks are able to pay their bills.
I have no idea how the man conducts his business out of the public eye. I do know what I saw of how he conducts his business in public.
At the end of the show, Springsteen and The E Street Band took their well deserved bows. They headed toward the ramp at the rear of the stage to end the show. Bruce stopped at the top of the ramp.
Tough Times Don’t Exclude Respect
We live in a time where the little guy is not so popular. People and their families are tossed aside to satisfy the bottom line. The people at the top neither know nor care for the people below. I’ve worked for someone who could call me by name when he saw me on the elevator. More recently, I worked for someone who couldn’t be bothered to acknowledge my presence. I’ll leave it to you to guess who motivated me more.
Times are tough. People are grateful for work. That does not entitle managers to treat them as if they’re fortunate to have work. Too few know that.
At the end of the show the band headed to the ramp at the back of the stage. Springsteen stopped at the top of the ramp. As each of the musicians in his band passed, he stopped them. Each got a smile, a few words and a pat on the back. They earned that recognition.
The recognition wasn’t much. It was simple, and visibly heartfelt. Does it take more than that? I don’t think it does.
We work to put food on the table, take care of the light bill and keep a roof over the kids’ heads. Work helps us take care of our physical needs, but it should also be personally satisfying.
Some of us play piano for Bruce Springsteen in front of 17,000 people. Others of us do the office thing, build cars or teach kindergarten. We all get paid for what we do, but it sure helps to get a thank you and a pat on the back from the boss…or The Boss, as the case may be.