You may not be performing before 10,000 adoring fans inside an enormous arena as you read this.
But trust me on this one.
No, I’m not *technically* a rock star. But I did see some live and in person last week.
The Killers are a rock group out of Las Vegas who have been performing their hits “Somebody Told Me” and “When You Were Young” around the world for the past 10 years.
I got to see them perform at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Alpharetta, GA last week. Lead singer Brandon Flowers turned out to be a fantastic live performer and the entire band put on a great set.
As I watched the show, I noticed a few simple traits The Killers embraced which all great rock stars have in common. Turns out you too can apply these 5 practices to your life to become a rock star in your office:
1) Compliment Your Audience – Throughout the show Flowers kept telling the Atlanta-area crowd what an amazing audience we were. He would say things like we were making this one of the best stops on the tour, and that we were turning Thursday night into a Friday night.
Now I’m not under the illusion we were a unique crowd. Every good rock star says this to their audience every night. It’s a simple trick to encourage the crowd to keep being lively. It makes a crowd feel special, unique, and empowered. Heck, even just knowing the city’s name where you’re playing and shouting it out at some point will get any rock star a massive pop from the audience.
Figure out your audience today. Pay them an unexpected compliment. Acknowledge them and they will be much more receptive to you.
2) Play To Your Strengths – The Killers have released 4 full-length studio albums in the past ten years. They’ve racked up a good number of radio hits along the way. “Mr. Brightside”, “Human”, “All These Things That I’ve Done”, “Runaways”. Through the course of the night they played every single one of them.
If you’re a more established rock star you can’t be expected to play all of your hits in one show. Someone like Pearl Jam, The Rolling Stones, or Bruce Springsteen couldn’t fit all their classics into one night. But The Killers knew to play to their strengths.
Sure, they played some deeper cuts casual fans might not recognize. But they weren’t too proud to play their most crowd-pleasing songs either. They kept the momentum going through the night by playing to their strengths.
Assess what you’re good at today. Do more of that. If you’ve been successful at something in the past, don’t be afraid to do it again.
3) Take A Breather – By now everyone at a concert expects the encore break. About 15 or 20 songs into a set most rock stars will step off the stage pretending to leave the crowd without playing some of their biggest songs. We all know now to keep cheering for a few minutes so the band will come back out and play the preplanned encore.
It’s all part of the act. But taking an encore break is a good tip for success.
We all need to take a breather. Take small breaks during the day. There is no shame in that. Your body and your mind need to recharge. Just walk around your building for fifteen minutes and get some fresh air. Listen to some music. Do some push-ups. Take a break from the computer screen. You’ll be refreshed and ready to come back for your encore.
4) Embrace Community – The Killers returned from their encore alongside their opening act, a band called The Virgins. Together they played a cover of a Neil Young song called “Albuquerque”.
It wasn’t the best cover I’d ever heard. But I do love anytime a rock star brings their opening act back out to the stage. It’s a great way to help establish a band or a performer the crowd probably didn’t pay much attention to earlier in the night.
Every rock star needs a few big breaks along the way. If you’re already established in your office, embrace the community underneath you. Work with someone lower than you on a project. Check out what ideas they might have. They just might surprise you and bring out the best in you.
5) Finish With Fireworks – The Killers saved some of their biggest songs for late in the night. Along with those songs we got a killer fireworks show and confetti raining down from the ceiling. It made for a memorable way to end the night and send the crowd home happy.
Your day may not have started out the way you wanted. You may have woken up late. You may have failed a test. You may have dropped the ball.
Put it all behind you. Work harder than ever this afternoon. Finish with fireworks.
You may never headline Madison Square Garden. You may never even headline a karaoke night at your local bar. But if you put any of these five principles into practice today, you’ll be one step closer to being a rock star in whatever you do.
How can you be a rock star in your job today?