Thirty-seven years ago a mediocre rock-and-roll drummer was transformed into a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame drummer by his “Boss.”
Max Weinberg, a 42-year veteran of Bruce Springsteen’s E-Street Band, recently told the story in Rolling Stone Magazine.
During the recording of Springsteen’s “The River” double-album, Bruce offered Weinberg some coaching that made him a better drummer.
Weinberg said, “…during the recording of (the song) “Out in the Street.” He (Bruce) took me down the hallway, and we had a face-to-face. Three minutes. Then we went right back in and recorded… Immediately, I was 60 percent better. What he transmitted to me was a little bit of tough love: “I know you can do this. I believe in you. You need to apply yourself.
“I had to make the transition from being a young, talented, energetic drummer to grasping the true role of the professional. The instruction from Bruce was, basically, ‘Talk to the guys you admire. Find out how they do it.’ It was a little more forceful than that [grins].”
Springsteen earned the nickname, “The Boss” in his teenage years for how he showed up on stage, directed his band mates, and for what he expected from them.
Not enough do we equate, and expect, a “boss” to also be a coach.
What could happen if we did?
Thirty-seven years ago “the Boss” turned his already superb, major league drummer into an eventual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame drummer by communicating promptly, directly and respectfully.
Springsteen reinforced his belief in his team member, spoke from a position of positive intent and then offered suggestions as to what was needed to do to get even better, exerting positive influence that worked.
This is what bosses should do.
Bosses should see themselves more as coaches positioned to make everyone around them better by articulating promptly, directly and respectfully their needs and expectations of performance.
’til next time Communicate With Power!