Two Sundays ago the world watched in awe as the New England Patriots made the largest Super Bowl come back in history to defeat the Atlanta Falcons. I’m actually still in shock over that comeback. It was not only improbable, but seemed impossible. All sorts of life and leadership lessons or insights could be made around that game, but I noticed something from Lady Gaga that has been rolling around my brain for over a week. (There’s lots of space to roll around up there)
The Super Bowl halftime show has become the apex of a musicians career. You are asked to play at the Super Bowl because of your previous success, and from what I understand, it only propels you into more. The creativity, showmanship, spectacle and often controversial half time shows are the talk around the water cooler and on social media for days following the event. When she dove off the top of the Stadium at the start of her performance I think Twitter almost imploded. (The word Gaga received 41,000 tweets per minute on Twitter and 3,960,000 people per minute were talking about her on Facebook. PER MINUTE!)
Love it or hate it, the show wasn’t even the most fascinating part of Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl day for me. It was her interview before the game with Michael Strahan. I posted the YouTube video below but at one point, Michael asks her about not getting overwhelmed by the magnitude of the moment. He said, “You started out playing in dive bars and now you are playing at the halftime of the Super Bowl. How do you not get overwhelmed by that.” Her answer was amazing!
“When you play a dive bar, my philosophy has always been that you should play it like it’s the (Madison Square) Garden. So when I play the NRG Stadium (Super Bowl) I’m gonna play it like it’s a dive bar.”
That is GREAT leadership advice right there. I’ve fallen for the temptation before that “I’ll give more effort when there are more people in the room or more people watching.” But even Lady Gaga recognizes that the only way to succeed is to “play like it’s the Garden” no matter where you are. That’s one of the reasons she has been successful enough to play at the Super Bowl, because she gave the same effort when she was in a dive bar.
So, pastor or leader, what is your dive bar setting that you should be giving the effort of a Super Bowl? Where are you slacking off because the stakes don’t seem as high? Where are you just phoning it in where you should be dialing up the intensity a notch?
For me, every sermon I preach, I want to preach like it’s a packed out stadium of people, even if it just feels like an empty dive bar!
Picture Courtesy Billboard.com HERE