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  • Writer's pictureSETH MCCOLLEY

Living in Oz: A Lesson in Engagement

Okay, I'll admit it...I'm a sucker for 80's music. I grew up in the 80's and during my formative years I got to experience things like the world premier of Michael Jackson's "Thriller", Kiss taking off their make up, Live Aid and the birth of MTV. I know this sounds crazy, but MTV actually used to play videos. Like 24/7.

So it was no surprise that when I saw this Mashable post pop up in my Twitter stream today, I had to check it out. I mean it's Rick Springfield, for crying out loud! When I was a kid, I didn't know any guy who didn't want to be him or any girl who didn't want to marry him. He was a BFD back in the day. I mean, I still have this LP (look it up, kids) in my album collection. Is that wrong? But I digress... So this morning, Rick Springfield decided to take to the streets of New York City (actually under the streets...the subway) to generate some buzz and help promote his new album. No elaborate sound stage. No sectioned off corner of the subway platform. No pomp and circumstance. It literally looks like he just threw on some clothes, grabbed his guitar and made his way down to the play for the masses. 

This, my friends, is an excellent lesson in engagement. I didn't watch all of the clips (I like Rick and all, but I still have real work to be done), but I love the fact that he's just having a blast, playing his music, singing his songs and being one with the people. He doesn't appear to be concerned about hitting the right notes or having fans get too close. It looks like he's genuinely embracing the moment and having some fun. 

Our leaders today can learn a lot from this clip. When is the last time you (if you're a leader in your organization) or your senior leaders took some time to just go hang out and spend some time with the folks who make things work in your organization? I'm not talking about scheduled time, a quarterly business review or a town hall meeting. I'm talking about MBWA (Management By Walking Around) time. Unstructured. Untethered. Unprotected. 


Keep rockin', Rick!

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