The Development of ‘The Voice’

Over the last few months, I have been enjoying NBC’s new show, “The Voice” for it’s unique approach to developing artists.  When I first started watching the show, I thought it was just NBC’s version of American Idol, but soon realized, it is so much more than that.  I know it’s just a show, but below I listed some of the core ideas in the approach the show took in developing the up-and-coming artists that I really appreciated, and you may like to:

  1. Development was the priority.  This may sound kind of obvious, but so often strong leaders can miss this point.  Rather than striving to develop, they strive to further their cause, vision or organization at the cost of developing their people.  The Voice was so impacting because each of the four all-star coaches (Adam Levine of Maroon 5, Cee Lo Green, Blake Shelton, & Christina Aguilera) were as concerned with developing their artists as they were that they might win the competition.  The principle I saw here is developing people should always be a priority, not just getting to a destination.
  2. Fame was a tool not a goal.  As is true for most reality shows, superstars use them to continue to further their own careers and reputations.  In this show, that was NOT the case.  Each of the coaches were adamant in using the fame they had and pushing their artists to the forefront and allowing the young artists to shine in the spotlight, rather than themselves.  In doing this, these superstar artists actually further endeared their fans to them, and even caused some of us to become new fans.  My wife and I had never even heard of Blake Shelton before this show, and now my wife can’t stop singing his hit, “Honeybee”.  The principle that stood out was when you are given a platform, be willing to share it and watch that platform grow.
  3. The coaches invested more than just skill, but heart. Each of the coaches met with their artists numerous times, and in those meetings, they were not simply giving tips and “How To’s”, but they were actually opening their hearts and investing costly emotion into these up-and-coming artists.  Blake Shelton made the statement on the last show that his final artist, Dia Frampton, had actually become like a member of his family.  I don’t ever remember hearing that take place in any other competition reality shows like this.  I loved the emotional investment these coaches made and the lasting relationships that were established.  The principle is that, although costly, combining skill development with emotional investment will produce a person not only skilled but walking forward toward success with a valuable advocate at their side.
Maybe you didn’t watch the show (you can watch episodes on Hulu here), but what do you think?  Do these principles apply to your leadership or life?  Let me know what you think here.
And if you’re wandering, the winner of The Voice was Javier Colon – check out his music in iTunes here.

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