“You’re a rockstar!” That’s the most consistent compliment I’ve received throughout my career. Every positive interaction I’ve had with any rockstar has had two factors, their humble upbeat attitude and leaving you feeling great, with the 10 minutes hanging out with fans waiting to meet Albert Hammond Jr (guitarist from The Strokes) particularly reinforcing that notion. Let’s explore 5 factors I’ve noticed from rockstars and how you can apply them, even if you don’t like rock music!
Every rockstar I’ve met is just infectiously happy.
Hammond was always smiling, listening intently, and making sure no one felt left out. The only reason we don’t do that in our careers is because it’s easier to let fatigue exhaust us into becoming grumpy and terrible to our customers and colleagues. Despite fame and autonomy, there are rough days being a musician. No sick days! No slacking! You’ve got to bring everything you’ve got every night. Anything less would disrespect to your customers.
What if we acted that tenaciously in our professional environments?
Let’s run through additional examples. Seeing GUITAR WOLF is like quantifiably understanding tenacious effort, so naturally, I wanted to meet them. I wanted to be cool and tell guitarist Seiji say “どうも ありがとう ございました！” but as it goes when you’re out of practice, I messed up terribly. Seiji politely laughed it off and didn’t make a big deal out of it. That’s how we all should approach similar mistakes. If it’s embarrassing, ease their anxieties.
They’ll remember that cordiality and comradre for years.
Years later, I was talking with the guitarist from Calabrese before their show, and naturally we talked about how incredible Guitar Wolf are to see live. Parts of that conversation helped me realize that rockstars are just like us. We tend to idolize musicians as celebrities that possibly couldn’t be impressed with normal things. Until you meet them. Then you realize they’re probably more excited to meet their fans than you are to meet them!
Let’s return to those post-show 10 minutes with Hammond.
If it’s a smaller venue, you haven’t already met the band inside, and you see an equipment trailer or van, chances are you’ll find a group of people hanging out nearby that are also willing to wait the hour it might take to meet the band. I’ve found they’re always stoked to meet these fans. Hammond was no exception. When you have an important meeting, if you consider people’s time similarly, you should do well!
I’ll conclude with the biggest thing I noticed:
Hammond’s photogenic smile. He always smiled in a way that wasn’t fake, although certainly well-practiced. That easily-approachable presence made it easy for fans to express their nervous adulations. I’ve found success at work, or anywhere else really, carrying around that sort of personality. I can’t recall meeting a “rockstar” that didn’t act like that. Probably because they’re selling an image of themselves as capable performers and they’d lose fans if they were rude or aggressive.
Now become a rockstar in your career path!
|Sources: Meeting over 4 musicians.
Inspirations: This was going to be a concert review. I initially gave the concert 4 stars, but I don’t like writing concert reviews much anymore, so I figured, why not write something that could be more helpful? Hammond’s music also grew on me more while writing this and listening more. Maybe it’s coincidental?
Photos: Above, concert. I decided against censoring the faces on this one since my friend Bernardo had a great reaction. Below, Bernardo meeting his musical idol. I intentionally took this photo before the good one to catch the unstaged excitement.