“Raise Your Glass” What we can all learn from PINK

Even if you don’t like what’s going on with contemporary music these days … read this anyway!

Sunday night, I watched the American Music Awards on television.  I’ve been waiting for this for several day now, if for no reason than see Pink perform may current favorite song .  Little did I know it would be the topic of this article.  I figured the performance would be good, but it was something that transcended music for me … it clarified how I want to do business.  Here’s what I learned – or as Pink says, “the dealio.

Start with a great product. Pink’s song ‘Raise Your Glass,’ is a great song.  In a year of memorable music, it may be the toast of the group.  It’s catchy and it has uplifting fun lyrics.  And it gets you up and moving.  While your business may not have your clients “dancing in the streets,” what you offer them sure should make them happy, and remember you for what you provided.

Adapt but stay true to yourself. For those of you not familiar with Pink, let me summarize.  She’s an edgy, scowling, rock and roll diva known for her unpredictable, ‘over the top stage antics.’  Heck, in the last Grammys she entered flying over the crowd, singing upside down on a trapeze. Sunday night, due to her present physical condition, there was no trapeze.  Pink is pregnant.  But that didn’t stop her from being Pink.  On the most elaborate stage set of the night, Pink was all over the stage dancing and rocking out, ebit in flats rather than the normal stiletto heels.  But she was still Pink.

The printing is in a major state of upheaval.  Its members are all over the place searching for ways to stay relevant in the changing communications environment.  Whether its web to print, social media, variable data printing or QR codes, printing companies are desperately looking for any way to engage and retain its customer base.  While change is definitely needed, too many of us have lost our way and forgotten that first and foremost we are communication delivery providers.  If we concern ourselves with making sure our clients get out the right message, at the right time, using the right medium to THEIR clients  … we’ll be all right.

Share the spotlight and trust your team. Pink’s performance was more like a circus than anything and she was the ringmaster.  The stage was full of activity – all the time.  There were dancers everywhere, seeming to all be creating their own routines on the fly.  There were flips, trampolines and jumps.  There was even skate boarders on ramps flying in back of, in front of, and all around her.  A good portion of time the time the cameras weren’t even on Pink as she sang. While the whole extravaganza seemed a random hodgepodge of frenzied activity, it was all carefully choreographed .  As she moved throughout  the song, she joined in with whoever she was around, supporting them.  She was the backbone … but her team was the rest.  Pink was the one that connected all the dots.

Running a company in this environment is a not unlike this.  We need to orchestrate the whole process and keep everybody together on the central task … but at the same time, let them do their thing, using their expertise.  After all, aren’t our companies are really nothing other than the people we have in them.

Leave a lasting impression. Overall the awards were relatively boring.  Aside from Pink, I really won’t remember much it after a few days.  I’m sure that most people in the audience at the Nokia Center probably feels the same.  But it wasn’t enough just for Pink to put on the best performance of the night.  Her song ended with streamers, balloons and glitter falling from the ceiling … glitter a lot of the celebrities will be pulling out of their hair well after they’ve left.

While I don’t endorse treating your clients like they’re at a birthday party for six-year olds, you still  have to leave them when an impression they will remember.  That last few minutes of a sales call, a job delivery or even a phone call is what will stick with them.  Make it count.

And finally, have fun. At one point in ‘Raise Your Glass,’ Pink sings “don’t be serious.”  And she does it with a smile and a giggle.  And as she struts off the stage, she rubbed her pregnant belly.  She wasn’t trying to mask her emotions to maintain her edgy reputation.   She was having fun, and you knew.  And the fun was contagious.

It’s easy to get all caught in the gloom and doom of what we hear and see in our industry everyday.  We read about firms closing every week.  None of us are immune from this news.  But how we react to it is up to us.  You don’t have to show you be on the bandwagon to bankruptcy.  Be a leader.  Be the than one that your clients want be around, the one that they want to associate with … the one they want to do business with.

“Raise Your Glass!”

You have to check out Pink’s performance on the AMAs.

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Also check me out on Twitter at @clayforsberg.

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Tom's Shoes in action

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Amplify’d from blogs.hbr.org

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