One of the main things I watch out for as a coach is when someone’s ego gets overblown. Here’s why…
The Beatles squabbled often, and George Harrison and Ringo Starr grew to resent how John Lennon and Paul McCartney were making a LOT more money than they were – when often, George, in particular, contributed lyrics or musical ideas that played a big part in fleshing out a song that John or Paul “wrote.”
Many groups, like U2 for example, learned from this, and simply listed “U2” as the writers of their songs. Problem solved.
As a team show, or as a radio station. a COLLECTIVE ego, where you have pride as a whole, as a TEAM – but not one person’s ego dominating everything – always works best.
We can all remember the first time someone said, “I love you.” (We can also painfully remember when someone didn’t).
We are created to be known. From the early playground experiences of “Mommy, mommy, look at me,” to the moment you discovered the pretty girl knew your name.
“To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything.”Timothy Keller
Being known means we’re valued, seen as special. Being known validates who were are, that we have worth.
There is no place this is more evident than in the greeting card aisle at your local supermarket or drug store.
You hear a great story. Then you hear another one. But the odds are overwhelming that you’ll only remember one of them.
A story can’t set up a story. That should be TWO breaks.
In Music Radio, the reason for this is usually just a lack of discipline. Or ego.
The cure: ONE story per break.
In Talk Radio, we often hear the host tell a story, then bring on a guest, who then tells another story. Or even worse, we often hear the host tell most of the story while introducing the guest, then that person comes on and tells the longer, more detailed, and often more boring version.
The cure: Make it simpler; more compact. Do a SHORT intro, then just let the guest tell his (or her) story. Then, INSTEAD of launching into a story of your own (which can come across like you’re trying to “top” the other person), simply REACT to the other person’s story.
This discipline is what I often refer to as “The Barney Fife Method” – meaning, like the deputy on the old Andy Griffith Show, Barney only HAD one bullet. I constantly tell people “Fire your one bullet. Then you have to ‘go back to the courthouse’ to get another one.”
Take a look at your high school yearbook. I dare you. It’s embarrassing to think about how we used to think.
How could we possible have… thought that was cool… dressed like that… worn our hair like that?
In my not-so-effortless transition from thinking that programming a radio station was about 1) playing cool songs I like, and 2) evaluating talent on the basis of “he’s got a good voice and runs a tight board,” to embracing things like strategy, branding, and actually mattering to people, one of the first books I came across was Al Reis and Jack Trout’s “The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing.” (Do yourself a favor and read it.)
One of the concepts shared was “The Law of Sacrifice.”
It’s essential that you have some sort of emotional investment in what you’re saying, whether it’s just reading copy, giving an opinion, etc. In short, you need to sound like you MEAN it.
Yes, it’s a challenge, especially with something you’ve talked about a zillion times on the air, like a station promotion, feature, or contest.
But if you don’t sound like you mean it, no one is going to pay much attention to it.
Here’s a tip: when I go through “copy,” I mentally highlight (or even physically underline) the ONE word in each sentence that I want to stress. It only takes a few seconds of this prep work to make sure that it “imprints” on the mind of the listener.