There is something to be said about great leadership. This past weekend was the Super Bowl. This is the national event where we mignons are allowed to witness the greatest of the great in football come together and beat each other to a pulp for a silver ball statute, a blingy ring, bragging rights, and general financial increase. This is also the same event where the masses are allowed to have a 15 minute mini-concert with some of the top names in show business. This year we had the opportunity to witness Beyonce Knowles as the half-time act.
You can argue all day long about why this was inappropriate. Yes, she is quite provocative for a blended audience. Yes, her songs are questionable and the lyrics are blatantly for all things sex. And, yes, she is known to wear barely any clothes. All those things aside, one thing cannot be denied. The woman is a performer and at the top of her craft.
Being that she has earned her way to be called one of the best performers ever, you have to wonder what it is that sets her apart. As I watch things strictly for pleasure or to be entertained, I always try to look at them from a “what lesson can I learn from this” or “how will this help me be a better anything”. I did not watch the halftime show while it was live. As I said, the girl is provocative and I was with my family at a church. It would have been highly inappropriate to view it there.
Instead I caught the rebroadcast on YouTube. I try my best to study greatness in action and Beyonce happens to be one of the people I’ve taken a closer look into. On one of her many YouTube videos she gives an in depth look at the preparation that takes place for one of her shows. Just the amount of professionalism and dedication she exudes in the planning stages is enough to send most of us back to bed. Mind you, the actual practice for the show has not taken place yet. She’s setting up the practice for the practice of the show. It’s amazing how much she takes a part of the whole concept of her shows.
But, back to the Super Bowl half time show. As I suspected, her show was yet another example of leadership in practice. As I stated before, this woman is the top in her field. She is a performer in her own, confidant in her own abilities to sooth and persuade an audience into submission. Her dance moves alone can get a rise out of any teenage boy. Her lyrics can cause several babies to be conceived on the night of her concerts. In fact, her voice isn’t all that bad either. So where was the leadership in this?
She decided with all of that ability to share her stage with two other women who would probably never be afforded the opportunity again. She decided to allow Kelly and Michelle to perform on stage with her at one of the most publicized arenas in the world. Destiny Child was back. All three ladies were on one stage with the slew of backup dancers doing their thing. The move was absolutely brilliant and demonstrative of the highest form of leadership: humility.
Does Beyonce need help singing? No. Does she need help dancing? No. Does she need help commanding a crowd? No. Do the other ladies have stronger voices than her? No. What does she have to gain from allowing the other ladies to perform with her on “her” stage? Nothing. But yet she did it. If you can’t see the leadership in that, I beg you to take a closer look.
I aspire to be that type of leader. Beyonce’s act showed that she is confidant in her abilities in her field and that she is not intimidated by allowing other people to share her spotlight. She knows that she is the center piece and that there is no harm in letting other people get a taste and feel of what she does and how she does it. Kelly and Michelle will more than likely never perform in front of a crowd like that again. While they both pursued independent careers outside of Destiny’s Child, they never achieved the success the group had as solo artists. This was probably their last chance to perform at this level. Beyonce, on the other hand, may very well just be getting started.
What can you and I learn from this? When we are in leadership positions we have to be secure in our positions as leaders. We have to know that we are trained and equipped to do our job, no matter how talented the next person may be. We have to be confident that we can do the job alone if need be, but prefer to lend a helping hand and give someone else a shot. Leaders have to able to perform under pressure flawlessly and give actionable steps, i.e. dance moves, that others can follow or imitate. We have to know how to delegate tasks or lyrics to the supporting people. We have to also be willing to stand out in front and put our names on the line no matter the outcome, good or bad.
Leadership can be tricky and complicated only if we allow it to be. Most of the time we as leaders know how we should act and what we should be doing. If you’re a leader, it’s because you have an innate leadership ability that others see in you. We can still learn from other leaders. This weekend I chose to learn from Beyonce. I’d encourage you to do the same.