Be Your Own Boss

TheBoss_crp-980x634Along with 19,000 other Springsteen fans, I was lucky enough to see The Boss and the E Street Band perform at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul this February.

Fair warning: I may never shut up about it. The night was epic.

Whether you like Springsteen’s music or not, you have to appreciate a 66-year-old musician who jams at full throttle for over three hours without taking a break. He gave his all. Fans like me couldn’t help but sing along to well-worn lyrics that somehow felt truer and more powerful than ever.

As I sipped my beer and jammed to “Hungry Heart” and “Thunder Road,” I could not stop thinking of the parallels between Springsteen’s gifted performance and what we are capable of bringing to work each day.

Here are three tips to being your own Boss at the office:

Bring it.

Springsteen released his first album in 1973, long before many PadillaCRT staffers were born. Yet he performed in St. Paul with such genuine enthusiasm that it could’ve been his first show. The entire arena was electric and the enthusiasm contagious.

We have that opportunity at work too. Every day we have a choice to show up and go through the motions, or decide to immerse in our clients’ business challenges with the eagerness and passion that makes us who we are. When we are passionate, we have the opportunity to do transformational work, and that benefits everyone – our clients, our teams and ourselves.

memeMake every gig count.

I went to the concert expecting to be entertained and to hear some decent music that I’ve listened to for decades. But I never expected the 3-hour thrill ride that Springsteen delivered. The lesson? Go beyond the expected. That doesn’t mean you throw away the statement of work and go rogue, but you can find ways to surprise and delight clients and colleagues.

Dig into your client’s business and industry, provide some extra insights or tactics or recommend a strategic approach they never thought of. That’s what insightful work is all about – understanding our clients’ business and finding ways to deliver game-changing strategies with the potential to transform.

There’s often a valuable bonus when you give it your all, too: great performances can lead to additional work, making us more valued and trusted partners.

Rock out with your band.

Springsteen played all the songs from his album “The River” on the tour, calling it “a coming-of-age record about dancing, laughter, jokes, love, faith and lonely nights.” He played each tune as if it were the final song of his last concert. And you knew he was enjoying the ride.

Transformational work happens when we’re having fun together. That makes it a lot easier to bring it every day and make every gig count, too – and it will probably earn you a fan base.

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