If you thought of your business as a band, how would you describe it? In what genre would you be? Who would be your lead singer or guitar player? Would your fans talk about your songs or your players?
How would someone describe your act?
These questions came to me after discussing some clients with a colleague. He is a successful investor/consultant who also is a lead guitar player. Very decisive, clear-headed, and can take over a meeting. My forte is behind the scene business coaching focused on solving teamwork issues. I just happen to play the bass guitar. And it occurs to me that you need both.
Businesses need lead guitarist and singers who deliver the song in a way that distinguishes the band and grabs the audience. Think Sales and Marketing. They definitely need a drummer who provides timing, energy and direction. Think Operations and Executive Offices. And the bass is the linkage between the rhythms of the drummer and the melodies of the guitars and keyboards. Think informal leaders. When the bass and drums are in synch, we have a tight sound. You know it when you hear it, even when you can’t identify it. And the only time you may notice the bass is when you’re not hearing a tight sound.
Bass players in business link the strategies and business models to the day-to-day rhythms of the business. We call that synching up, tight communication. And here’s the similarity. When the band isn’t tight you know it. When a gap exists between execution and planning, you know it also. And the lack of linkage, more times than not, may be traced to communication not synching up.
So who are the bass players in your organization? They rarely stand out or take the lead. They are usually in the background influencing behaviors without being noticed. When rolling out a new program, product, or strategy, do you make sure your plan synchs with these bass players in your organization? Or do you merely focus on the lead players out in front with the title and responsibilities everyone will notice?
Good bass players are hard to find. When you identify your bass players in your organization make sure you spend time letting them know you appreciate their role. Making sure the communication and buy in linkage exists is important, because your bass players really can produce that tight sound of teamwork. And always remember that bass players fill the bottom, the bottom line that is.