3 Leadership Lessons from Garth Brooks

We call them strong
Those who can face this world alone
Who seem to get by on their own
Those who will never take the fall
We call them weak
Who are unable to resist
The slightest chance love might exist
And for that forsake it all
They’re so hell-bent on giving, walking a wire
Convinced it’s not living if you stand outside the fire
Standing outside the fire
Standing outside the fire
Life is not tried it is merely survived
If you’re standing outside the fire

Garth Brooks- Standing Outside the Fire


My husband and I attended a Garth Brooks concert this past weekend with some friends. It was so good to spend time with friends we grew up with and enjoy live music again!  All of us grew up on Garth Brooks music, and like other artists of our time and age, a lot of his music has shaped the memories we have of our childhood and teenage years. 

I was struck not only by the music and the crowd of the concert but also by the leadership lessons Garth exhibited while performing:

  1. Surround yourself with a diverse group of people.  You’ll all perform better. Those that performed with Garth were a diverse group- spanning age, race, gender, and talents. It was obvious that they took cues from one another and truly enjoyed performing together. The whole was greater than just the sum of the parts, in part, because of the diversity present. 
  2. Give away the credit. You’ll find joy through others’ gifts. Throughout the concert, Garth recognized everyone on stage by name and highlighted their talents and the value they brought to the group. He also recognized those that had contributed to his success off the stage. His wife, Trisha Yearwood, was brought on stage to sing with him and also showcase her talents by singing two of her own hits. He glowed watching her perform and it was inspiring to see. 
  3. Bow together.  The crowd loves you all.  Garth was obviously the star, the person people came to see.  It would have been entirely appropriate and expected at the end of the concert for him to bow by himself. As they made their way around the four corners of the stage facing different segments of the crowd, Garth never once bowed alone. He bowed together, with his team—all of them. 

It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of celebrities, of the leaders, of the ones out front on center stage. But the ones who have the longevity of a career are usually the ones that build up the team around them.  Many of the people Garth recognized performing with him have been with him since the early 1990s.  He believes in them, and they believe in him. And with that, they all put on one hell of a show. 

What leadership lessons have you learned from those with celebrity status? 


Mary Ila Ward

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