I still get a smile when I hear Pharell William’s song “Happy” come on the radio. I was curious about the person who got me clapping along in the kitchen.
As luck would have it, in the fall of 2014, he became a coach on The Voice – the NBC singing/talent contest. I was hooked. Each week I gleaned leadership gems from Pharell, the contestants and the other coaches.
Here are a few that translate to helping leaders to grow their repertoire.
1. Conviction. Pharell told his team members to sing with “conviction”. One definition is: “a strong persuasion or belief”. As a leadership coach, I work to get clients in touch with, and act from their conviction. Whether from belief in their value, perspective or gut instinct – to clearly know it and come from that place.
2. Stand up. When Pharell feels a connection with the singer and the song, he is out of his chair and on his feet. He stands at attention, rapt. I love all the implications of this – acknowledging what someone else has done, giving them that feedback. He is their mirror – when they are standing up for themselves through song – he stands right back up for them.
3. “Sing YOUR Story.” Pharell got mad and chided a young team member after a performance, “Don’t sing anyone else’s story. Sing YOUR story.” I translate that to: share your authenticity; don’t pretend to be someone you are not. Easier said than done for many leaders in the work world. But when you do, we connect – to your humanness and courage. And that inspires us to follow.
Oh my – there really could be more. But I’m interested: as leaders how do you come from your conviction, stand up or share your story?