Perform In Front Of Your Peers

Netflix’s The Greatest Night in Pop documentary tells a story I’ve been amazed (obsessed? utterly fascinated with?!) for years. On a single night in 1985, the biggest pop artists in the world – from Michael Jackson to Bob Dylan to Cyndi Lauper + MORE, recorded the hit song, “We Are the World.” The documentary tells the whole story. 

How do you get this many celebrities together without any press? How do you do it on one night? How do you do it, effectively for free, as a fundraiser? How do the egos not explode? How does one agreed upon song get written?!

There have been written stories and YouTube clips for years, but there is nothing like seeing this complete documentary about how it all played out. 

I could give you a million little lessons, but this is THE ONE that is blowing my mind the most. 

Quincy Jones, upon realizing all of the talent they had lined up, was asked how they’d record the solos. 

Lionel Richie figured they’d let everybody take a turn in the vocal booth. 

Quincy said absolutely not. They only had one night – we’re talking matter of hours – to get all these solos tracked. No superstar is going to be isolated and allowed to run take after take to get their line perfect, it would burn up too much precious time. 

Everybody was going to perform in one room. 

In front of everybody else. 

These are people who were used to being surrounded by managers and an entourage. That fed their egos. Quincy realized this was the move – to take it all away, to make them feel like they were in class in front of their peers. 

The performances are iconic. 

Quincy’s move is why they’re iconic. 

We do our best work when we know the pressure is on, when we know our truest peers AND those we admire are watching. 

You may not be in a room like this. 

But in an online world… you are in a room like this. 

They’re watching. 

Go perform, go capture their attention. 

Engage, don’t enrage.

Do it with purpose. 

And whether you’ve got Cyndi Lauper energy OR Bob Dylan vibes, there’s a place for you (and me). 

Ps. you really do need to watch this, it’s wonderful