Leadership and Life Lessons from Garth Brooks
“Stand straight, walk proud and have a little faith,” – Garth Brooks.
Recently my wife and I had the great pleasure of seeing Garth Brooks in concert. His show was everything that you could possibly expect from the best-selling solo artist in the history of music. It was entertaining, engaging and completely enjoyable.
Over the years I have had the opportunity to see some of the biggest musical acts in the world, and while all of those acts put on great show none of them compare to Garth, and I am by no means a country music fan. While the other acts were good, and gave myself and the rest of the fans exactly what we paid for Garth Brooks simply operates on a much higher level.
In fact a Garth Brooks performance can provide lessons to leaders, entrepreneurs and anyone else who is looking for inspiration or motivation.
Following are 11 leadership and life lessons from Garth Brooks;
1.) Garth’s’ success came AFTER he built his skills.
While he obviously has a huge amount of musical talent Garth started building those talents at a young age and refined those skills over a 25 year career. He was exposed to music from a very young age and learned to play the guitar and banjo as a child. He then refined hs musical talents playing in Oklahoma’s clubs and bars. Garth put in decades of work before hitting the big time.
His abilities as a master showman come from a combination of natural talent and effort.
The fame and fortune came, not before, but after he developed those skills.
2.) He and his team work very hard and have done so for years.
During his performances Garth and his team work very hard, constantly moving around the stage and keeping the energy high. Everyone contributes and everyone sweats. Despite their massive success Garth’s’ band simply does not coast. They put in the effort.
Garth not only works hard during his performances, he also does benefits, press conferences and spends a lot of time travelling and supporting charities.
3.) Garth and team are extremely consistent.
Closely related to the bullet above, Garth and team not only work hard, they do it consistently.
By the time they did the Calgary show Garth and his team had done somewhere around 240 shows on this tour alone. Yet there was no sign at all of fatigue, boredom or apathy. Every member of his team showed up and did their part to put on an awesome performance.
4.) Garth Brooks provides great value for money to his fans.
Brooks goes further out of his way to provide value for money to his fans than any other artist I know of.
Garth tends to play multiple shows in the same venue, at times putting on two shows per day. This accomplishes two things; it keeps his costs down so he is able to offer concert tickets for reasonable prices and it allows more people to see his concerts.
Aside from offering as many people as possible reasonably priced tickets Garth also does his very best to ensure that every seat in the stadium has a great view of the act. This is accomplished through a very open stage design, the use of multiple big screen televisions, and a well-choreographed s show that has the performers using every inch of the stage and interacting with as much of the audience as possible.
Even the people sitting directly behind the stage have an amazing view of a great performance.
Finally Garth is an incredible showman who pulls out all stops to ensure that everyone enjoys his performances.
Long story short people do not leave a Garth Brooks show feeling disappointed and as a result many show attendees go out of their way to see his show multiple times.
5.) He has created a great brand.
Over the last 25 years Brooks has created a great brand for himself. He has written many great songs. He puts on a fantastic performance at every show. And his music and performances appeal to an immense demographic.
How to create a great brand that appeals to a large audience is something that every business owner and entrepreneur should consider.
6.) Garth is loyal to the team who helped him rise to fame.
Unlike many prominent entertainment stars Garth is very loyal to the people who helped him obtain his mega star status. His drummer and keyboard player have both been with him for over 25 years and the “junior” band member has been with him for 23 years.
7.) He builds emotional connection with every person who attends his shows.
A major factor in Garth Brooks’ success is his ability to build emotional connection with an audience.
I know that every movement and word is well thought out, choreographed and polished to a tee, but I truly believe that all of his actions genuinely represent who he is as a person and are consistent with his nature. His ability to connect with people starts with authenticity.
Garth and his band have a great time on stage and they put a great deal of effort into drawing the crowd into their fun. The majority of people want to have a good time and the fact that Garth and crew invites concert goers into their fun is yet another way of establishing connection.
Brooks takes the time to interact with the crowd. In his concerts it is fairly common for him to respond to people holding up large signs declaring birthdays and anniversaries or requesting specific songs. By taking the time to connect with specific people in the crowd he deepens rapport with the whole audience.
Finally Garth connects to multiple emotions.
During his Calgary show he noticed and responded to a woman holding up a sign saying that her son was cancer free. Garth stopped the show and asked her 4 or 5 specific questions about her son, including his name, age and if the boy was at the concert. Upon learning that her child was unable to attend the concert because of a suppressed immune system Garth immediately signed his guitar and presented it to her as a gift to her son.
In one 30 second interaction with the woman Garth brought literally 19,000 people to tears. To see the news story and video click on THIS link.
Now that’s emotional connection!!
8.) Garth comes across as very humble.
Garth is, perhaps the biggest concert draw of all time. With over sales of over 140 million albums he also holds the all-time record for the most records sold by a solo artist.
Despite his massive success Garth comes across as humble and down to earth.
9.) He pays attention to detail.
Although authentic every aspect of his shows is considered, thoughtful and rehearsed. Aside from the music and the lights every word and every gesture is designed for maximum impact. Every wave, every word and yes even the gift of a guitar to the young fellow battling cancer is thought out.
A key aspect of this attention to detail is his ability to keep it authentic and professional rather than allowing it to become cheesy and manipulative.
Even his back-up singers were included in his attention to detail. Though no one would notice or care they danced in unison through almost the entire show and smiled while they did it.
Now that is the attention to detail that sets world-class apart from average.
10.) Garth gives back.
Garth has a history of giving back to the communities he plays and has created his own Charity.
In Calgary he donated all of the revenue from an entire section of seats to a local children’s charity called the Flames Foundation. THIS is the link to the news story.
Garth Brooks also has his own charity called TEAMMATES FOR KIDS. This charity has more than 4,300 professional athletes helping generate funds for children’s charities. Their work focuses on children’s health, education and inner-city outreach.
So far the foundation has distributed more than $100-million in cash, gifts-in-kind and scholarships, bringing aid to children across North America and 60 countries worldwide.
To learn more about TEAMMATES FOR KIDS or to donate click on THIS link.
11.) Finally he truly enjoys performing.
Loving what you do is, perhaps the master lesson. Loving what you do makes all the rest possible. Hard work and discipline all come easier if you love what you do.
Without enjoyment motivation will wane. Even with world-class determination and effort the results won’t be quite as good as they would have been with enjoyment.
I know there is a tendency to dismiss these lessons by saying “Yes, but that is Garth Brooks. Of course he does those things.”
But I strongly feel all of us can adopt these lessons that represent some of the foundational aspects of Garth’s super star status.
No matter who you are or where you are at in life think about how much more enjoyment and success you would get from life if you adopted some of Garth’s tactics and strategies.
What if you leaned into work that you truly enjoy doing?
What if you built upon your natural skills and abilities?
What if you consistently showed up and worked hard, paying close attention to the details that matter?
How about if you were ultra-loyal to the people who support you?
What would happen if you made sure that anyone you did business with left thinking they got amazing value from you?
What if, despite any success you might have, you remained humble and worked hard to build connection with people you came in contact with?
Would any of these actions result in more fulfilment and success in your life?
Let me know what you think.
Thanks for reading Success on the Far Side of Fifty and I hope you have a great week!!