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8 Lessons I Learned at Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp 

How You Can Apply It to Your Teams

Part 3 – Immersion

I just finished 38 years in the corporate world with the last 25 leading 9 different meaningful pieces of work.  So, I have a point of view what the corporate world is all about.

As I entered this 4-day immersion called “Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp” I was intrigued to see how the incredibly creative culture of Rock and Roll would mesh with the structured, disciplined and measured culture of the corporate world.  I was listening and watching for things I could learn and share with those of us from the corporate world.

This is the third of 8 articles I will share that highlights what I observed and some insights for corporate leaders.

Lesson: To get Great at Your Craft You Must Be Immersed in it Without Distractions

If you have read the first two articles about my experience at Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp you know that I was blown away by the incredible talents of the counselors.  They are the musicians that lead your band.  They drive the song choice, the practice time and decide who does what.

These are wildly talented individuals.  Do you know how they got so talented? They practice and practice and practice and they work at it all the time.  They play with multiple bands, they work with multiple artists, and they play. I am sure there is some talent they are born with or it’s in their family DNA but work on their craft and make it better.

I have read a little about the Beatles and one of the reasons they grew into icon status is because they played, all the time.  They took a gig in Liverpool and they had to play multiple sets a day, 6-7 days a week, for years.  If you play that much you get better. It’s just that simple.

As leaders, how much time do you spend becoming a better leader? 

Were you promoted from a manager job to a first time leader position?  Are you still managing or are you leading?  My experience is that fist time leaders first need to learn to get out of their own way and let people do their jobs.  First time leaders need to figure out quickly that leading is not managing and if they don’t figure that out they never get to the next level of leadership which is cross-functional leadership.

Cross-functional leaders manage a team of managers or leaders that have very different skills from their skills.  The leader might be a marketing person and now they are leading sales, finance, supply chain, I/T, product development, merchandising, etc.  They can’t tell their teams how to do their jobs but they must lead them.  They must learn how to connect with them and learn what drives them.  They must learn how to communicate effectively, which is not the same method for everyone.  Some people want to debate, some people need to process, some need one on one discussion.  It’s not the same for everyone and it’s a process that includes repetition.  One time will not get it done.  These leaders must also master the skill of setting metrics, dates, assigning responsibility and holding people accountable. This is a tough and demanding leadership job.

The final level of leadership is enterprise level.  These are the jobs at the top of the house and they make decisions that give a company a path for growth or they screw it up and people go home, including them.  They must have intensive focus and the ability to listen and look around the corners.  They must understand the competitive landscape personally and clearly know what’s happening the marketplace.  I call this competitive intelligence. It’s not research or the aggregation of everyone’s opinion about the marketplace, it’s their personal, hands on knowledge of the business and what their competitors are doing all the time.

So, what level leader are you?

What are you doing today, this week and next month to develop better leadership skills?  Are you making plans to become a better leader or are you always diving into the details of today’s fire drill and work? 

No question that doing the work everyday will make you better at doing that work but what are you doing to train yourself to become a better leader?

If leaders learned how to immerse themselves into the skills of becoming better leaders the way musicians learn how to immerse themselves into their craft, I wonder how much better leaders could be?  Can better leadership change the growth path of a company?  I know it can. Can better leadership inspire employees and generate new ideas and innovation.  I am sure of it.

Then as leaders, why are you not spending more time learning how to be better leaders?

I have some ideas. Go to my website for more insights and ideas. 

Several more articles to follow over the next few weeks…

Thanks to David Fishof, CEO of Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp, for a one-of-a-kind experience.

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