Jay-Z has always been someone that I could admire - although his youth was littered with negative, he truly was one of the few that made a way for himself and has been a positive influence to those that stuck with him - other artists, family etc. From a financial perspective, he made wise decisions while other hip hop artists and various celebrities made all the wrong ones. He transcends genres and has worked with plenty of pop and rock stars.
But the night of the concert has me thinking of him in a whole new way. He worked his crowd. He gave more. Although the cost of the tickets was reasonable, and we were what seemed like a mile from the stage - he made you feel extremely close to him. "You could have been anywhere in the world, but you're here with me, and I appreciate that."
You hear a lot about overinflated personalities, arrogance and even that a celebrity, worth this much loses touch with reality. But for my intents and purposes he seemed very in touch with his audience.
His encore lasted 25 minutes or more. His cameras panned the audience as he joked and said thank you a dozen times. He made sure this felt like an intimate performance. Certainly it's one I'll never forget.
How can we achieve this with our customers, clients or partners? How can we make each member of our organization's audience feel that we appreciate them? After years, literally years, of working those same "crowds," there is quite a bit to be learned.
- Never forget who got you here, this is easier said than done. Truthfully, there may be less and less times to appreciate others intimately the bigger or higher you move in your career, or within a specific organization. Take those opportunities to show others they are appreciated. These moments exist to show your humanity and appreciation. Don't miss them.
- Create a setting for engagement. Presentations, operations or meetings all give you the chance to let those around you remember why they love working with you. Don't take those times for granted. Don't overlook those details. Sweat the small stuff, it makes others feel special.
- End amazingly. Always. This is by far the hardest part to remember. After grueling meetings, long quarters or tough presentations it's difficult to bring it full circle. It's difficult to amaze. Steve Jobs always had the trademark "One More Thing." Jay-Z had a fantastic encore. These things matter.
I never thought I'd want to take notes at a concert - but sometimes we find insight and lessons in the most unique places. Jay-Z took the time to thank "most importantly you, the customer." We can all learn that in the day and age of mechanical personalization, where everything is becoming a little more and less interpersonal at the same time, it can really pay to appreciate and add back a bit of that human factor.