It’s not about you

Prince Roger Nelson known by his mononym Prince is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and actor.

On top of that, he is a genius, great business person and leader. What promted me to write this post anyway? Recently, I stumbled upon one song I particularly remembered from the early 90s. The song in question was “Love Thy Will Be Done”, written and produced by Prince, and recorded by Martika for her album “Martika’s Kitchen”.

Martika’s song may not necessarily be the greatest piece Prince has ever written. Martika herself, as much as I admire her, may not necesassarily be the best singer ever. However, that song was the best one ever that suited her well and that underpinned the best of her artistic abilities.

Then, of course, there’s another example of Prince’s collaboration. I’m sure you remember the “Nothing Compares To You” piece that he wrote for Sinead O’Connor. I’m not quite sure if the world would have heard much about Sinead if this collaboration with Prince did not happen.

The genius of Prince I mostly admire – apart from his undisputed ability to write, produce great songs for himself and then perform them with any reincarnation of his band – is how he is able to work with other artists as a producer and song-writer. He can see potential in people and then collaborate with them in a way that would let these people enjoy their own success from collaborating with him.

What can we learn from Prince and how could we apply it in our Business and Leadership roles?

As Leaders, it’s not about us. It is not about our individual contribution. The thin line between our success or failure as leaders is in our ability to identify the best of abilities in teams and individuals we lead. And in how we then create the best possible environment and conditions for our people to … let them flourish and enjoy their success. Our own success will follow.

Your success will be measured by how many successful people emerged out of your team or organization.

It is all about the people you lead. It is not about you.