What being a punk rocker taught me about leadership

matt and todd

I grew up listening to punk music. During my high school years, I spent much of my free time playing bass for various punk bands.

As a 16 year old kid playing my bass guitar, I knew I couldn’t be picky about the shows I chose to play at, the bands I played in, and the “fans” I talked to… so I played shows quite literally everywhere. My bands played in clubs, high school gyms, garages, basements, backyards, graduation parties, and living rooms. There was even one time that my band, Tearsome, played a show with another band, Solid State, that featured both bands wrestling each other during the show “intermission.” I wasn’t choosy… I just wanted to play punk music.

Here’s the funny thing. Some of those bands I was in were actually pretty ok. Others were kinda terrible. But people constantly showed up to shows to see us play. Even when the music was awful, the venue was terrible, the sound system was rag-tag…people came. People were drawn to our shows, to that scene, because we were incredibly passionate about what we were doing.

People can sense passion in others. People are drawn to passion.

As a leader, I am always looking for more things to be passionate about. What I am passionate about comes out in my daily actions and my interactions with others. Last night, after I closed down the store for the night, I led a brief huddle on this totally awesome new headlamp that Petzl just put out (it adjusts its light output based on what you’re looking at!). It’s super nerdy but totally cool to me. I had 6 staff with me for the huddle, who were a bit tired from a hard days’ work and from the Christmas shopping season. However, after geeking out about a headlamp for 3 minutes (a freakin’ headlamp!),  I witnessed my employees laughing, conversing, and coming alive again.

Passion is contagious. Find something that you are passionate about and – be passionate! Pursue that, let others see your passion, and share your enthusiasm! Whether it’s punk rock or headlamps, others will take notice and be intrigued.

1 Comment

Filed under communication, leadership

One response to “What being a punk rocker taught me about leadership

  1. I agree, passion is contagious. nice post!

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