Leadership Lessons from ‘The Voice’


You don’t have to look hard to find lessons about becoming a stronger leader. Sadly most are about what not to do. However NBC’s recent singing reality show The Voice overflowed with positive leadership lessons.

The premise:  32 amazing up-and-coming singers performed for four award winning superstar singers who are at the top of their respective genre—rock, country and rap.  

The superstar coaches, Blake Shelton, Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green and Adam Levine had their backs to the performers, thus could initially judge them by
their ‘voice’.

Each coach competed for a team of ‘eight’ with whom to work with over the coming ten weeks. As in business, coaches competed with one another. Performers competed with one another. Everyone was in the moment and at the top of their game.

The coaches made agonizing choices each week to fire members of their team in order to select the top performer to compete with the other three.
Here are the top ‘seven’ leadership lessons I gleaned from watching both coaches and performers:

Treat everyone with respect. Unlike the early days of American Idol, each coach treated all contestants and each other with respect. Contestants followed suit admired each other’s diverse talents. Mutual respect was a win for all involved.

Competition is a good thing. Each contestant improved week-by-week not only through their coach’s encouragement, but by watching and learning from each other.  

Focus on strengths. Each performer brought intriguing skill sets which were highlighted by coaches. The popularity of the show was in part because the audience had fun watching contestant’s growth. How do your customers benefit from your team’s growth?

Give constructive feedback in the moment. Each contestant had areas on which to improve.  Specific and immediate feedback built a stronger foundation on which to grow. Performers didn’t have to wonder where they stood, they knew immediately.

Believe in your team. Coaches were passionate about the strength of their team. Though the word ‘love’ won’t be used in business as often as on the show, anyone will grow by leaps and bounds when believed in and unconditionally supported.

Be creative in making your team the best it can be. Each coach chose different ‘field trips’ to grow their team, from live performances to spa treatments to performing with famous musicians. Leaders, look beyond your annual retreat to grow your team.

Create win/win scenarios for all. Every interaction, even constructive suggestions led to positive outcomes. Coaches supported each other.  Performers supported each other. Even when Javier Colon was named the winner all contestants cheered.

Leaders, are you 100 percent in support of each member of your team?  When one individual succeeds does the rest of your team celebrate?  If not, is it really a ‘team’?

I admire you for taking time to read this article to help you become a more effective leader.

Leadership Coach Ann Golden Eglé, MCC, has steered highly successful individuals to greater levels of success since 1998. Ann is President of Golden Visions & Associates, LLC, serves on the Board of the City Club of Central Oregon and can be reached at 541-385-8887 or www.GVAsuccess.com. Subscribe to Ann’s internationally acclaimed ‘Success Thoughts’ e-zine on her website.


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