Everyone was talking about the amazing performance of Shakira and JLo at half time during the recent Super Bowl game. While I don’t understand the game for the life of me, I am always ready to be blown away by music and dance. So, I watched it. It was indeed an uplifting expression of feminine power, joy and grandeur. Watching it, everyone was in awe of the ladies who move the way they do at their age. I like to watch past the performer and I was blown away by how the dancers, though very few in the limelight, gave it their absolute all. It was evident.
As YouTube was guessing my preferences and feeding me more to watch, I came across a behind the scenes set of clips that show the extensive preparation that went into the few fiery minutes JLo performed. And that amazed me even more than the show. For once you see the amount of work and the engagement that goes into every single minute, the actual performance surprises you no more. It only comes naturally that they are great.
So here is what the half time show at the US Super Bowl taught me about team work and work in general:
1. There may be one star, one leader but, regardless of how shiny they are on stage, it is never just them; they stand on the shoulders of many and, if their performance is any good, it is a collective success.
2. As a leader, you will never get people behind you unless you respect them; respect them enough to explain, to listen, to get close, to be real.
3. When it is time for the actual performance, the leader is not only representing herself; she is carrying on the work of each and every person in their team – the responsibility is tenfold.
4. True as number 3 may be, when the leader fails, it is very seldom that failure will be attributed to the unknown who are behind her – it is her failure; this is why the team should get behind the leader even in moments when they don’t understand decisions necessarily. There is ultimately a level the leader always goes to alone.
5. Presence is the only way great things are made; for the smallest rehearsal that these performers put together, they are there and only there; no scrolling on their phones, no chit chatting, no surfing social media – they are giving it their all. It is the only way to make history.