✏ Leadership, 80s-Hits Style: Part 2

Word Up – Everybody Wants to Rule the World

Welcome to Part Two of our journey back in time, crafting some leadership lessons for today from some of yesterday’s best music. (Catch up on Part 1 here if you missed it). Without further ado, I’d like to offer my second top-9 picks and translations:


(1988 – Public Enemy)

“…Caught you lookin’ for the same thing
It’s a new thing, check out this I bring
Uh Oh the roll below the level
‘Cause I’m livin’ low next to the bass, c’mon
Turn up the radio

The competition for attention is at an all-time high, but are you all bark and no bite? What traits and skills do you possess as a leader that sets you apart from the rest? The bold, courageous and inspired leave their mark and live up to the hype. Be that leader that others want to follow.



(1989 – De La Soul)

“…Mirror, mirror on the wall
Tell me, mirror, what is wrong?
Can it be my de la clothes
Or is it just my de la song?..”

Unfortunately, there are leaders who refuse to adapt to change and continue to operate in a selfish manner. They are a boss, not a leader. Their goals are self-centered, and they have no regard or gratitude for those that they have the privilege to lead. Learn to empower others and teach them to lead. The return far outweighs the effort.



(1987 – U2)

“…Through the storm, we reach the shore
You give it all but I want more
And I’m waiting for you…”

Although Bono told the world he couldn’t live with or without you, companies have the advantage in the today’s marketplace to choose from so many qualified leadership candidates. They can and will live without you — or at least most of you. You’re responsible for your own success; it’s a daily task that requires effort. Be that leader they can’t live without.



(1985 – Talking Heads)

“…We’re on a road to nowhere
Come on inside
Taking that ride to nowhere
We’ll take that ride
I’m feeling okay this morning
And you know
We’re on the road to paradise
Here we go, here we go…”

You took the position for the title and the money, and now you’re stuck in a dead-end job watching your friends succeed because they didn’t take shortcuts. They took the longer path with their eye on the long-term prize as opposed to the short-term gain. But remember: it’s never too late to reinvent yourself.



(1980 – The Pretenders)

“…Got brass in pocket
Got bottle I’m gonna use it
Intention I feel inventive
Gonna make you, make you, make you notice…”

The gold at the end of the rainbow is just a myth, but you can still enjoy the rainbow. Work hard, pay your dues and be patient. Find a mentor and listen and learn. Look for opportunities to grow. Be thankful for the chances you are given to contribute. In time, your financial goals will take care of themselves.



(1987 – Eric B. & Rakim)

“…I came to overcome before I’m gone
By showing and proving and letting knowledge be born
Then after that I live forever.  You disagree?
You say never? Then follow me.
From century to century, you’ll remember me
In history, not a mystery or a memory . . .”

You have chance to leave a legacy by being a good leader, maybe even a great leader; don’t take it lightly.  Inspire, motivate, sacrifice, provide a clear vision that others respect and together you can make a difference. Lead with respect and gratitude, because the ones you are leading are watching your example.



(1986 – Bon Jovi)

“…We’ve got to hold on to what we’ve got
It doesn’t make a difference if we make it or not
We’ve got each other and that’s a lot for love
We’ll give it a shot…”

The weak and unprepared depend upon luck. The strong and organized create their own luck, but it’s not called luck. It’s defined as hard work and sacrifice. You will only get what you are willing to put in. Don’t hope for it, earn it. I been everywhere, still, I’m standing tall. I’ve seen a million faces, and I’ve rocked them all. (Sorry, couldn’t resist!)


  1. I’M ON FIRE

(1984 – Bruce Springsteen)

“…Oh, I’m on fire
Oh, I’m on fire
Oh, I’m on fire

Woo ooh ooh
Woo ooh ooh
Ooh ooh ooh
Woo ooh ooh
Woo ooh ooh…”

There is no better feeling than to watch a plan come together as a leader. To see each member of the team fulfill their contribution to the overall objective and succeed. It is what you work for, it is why you chose to lead. Take every small win you can and let it be the fire that motivates you.



(1981 – Squeeze)

“…I bought a toothbrush, some toothpaste
A flannel for my face
Pajamas, a hairbrush
New shoes and a case
I said to my reflection
“Let’s get out of this place…”

The short cut is always tempting, however, to win the race, you have to be willing to invest your efforts on the long-term. There will be times you just want the easier way, but don’t jeopardize all that you’ve earned because of a moment of mediocrity. Stay focused and stick to the plan.


Leadership is a privilege.

Did I say privilege? Bonus round!


The Fixx (1983): “Privilege”

“…Privilege you have the right
If you’re on the frequency, yeah
If you’re on the frequency, ooh yeah
So when you say that

There’s always something else to do.
There must be one
thing you can try.
always something else to do . . .”

Go do great things today and make a difference.

#chargeup   #lessonsinleadership   #leadership  #flashback #the80s #lead   #process  #failure  #success  #moveforward  #change #venture  #lead  #prosper #empower  #motivate  #inspire #gratitude  #integrity  #starttoday #ambition #action  #journey  #destination  #passion  #spirit



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Victor Pisano✏ Leadership, 80s-Hits Style: Part 2

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