Perhaps you saw the wildly entertaining lip sync battle making the rounds between light night talk show host Jimmy Fallon and actress Emma Stone. If you have not seen it yet, you can watch it below.
Fallon is already the talk of the viewers early in his Tonight Show stint. Stone is a multiple award-winning actress who has shown a broad range, but it seems clear Fallon did not quite expect her dead-on performances. Despite her Syfy-esque attire, Stone prevailed. Fallon excitedly called her the “clear, clear winner” declaring her lip sync the best one ever performed.
It is really amusing to watch Fallon’s band members respond to Stone’s performance, especially the rap sections. They seem also to have been taken off-guard, but happily so.
As I watched the performances and Fallon’s reactions a leadership principle came to mind. Everyone recognizes Fallon’s talents as a comedian, musician and singer. A Lip Sync Battle should be his to lose, but Stone won. And, Fallon could not have been happier about it.
Sure, ratings are good and the video has more than 10M views in just a couple of days, so there’s that. But this was clearly fun for him. His show, his challenge, his loss, and yet, his joy.
Leaders need to be happy when others excel. Not the begrudging, faux-happiness of someone who must grin and bear it, but actual joy. The success of others should an intentional goal, not an incidental by-product of our leadership. This is especially true when we are responsible for giving someone the platform or opportunity to display his or her abilities.
Few things are more important than for a leader to express authentic appreciation for a job done well.
There is a well known story from the Old Testament. King Saul and David had both been off to battle with the Philistines. While Saul was huddled in his tent, David went to battle with the giant Goliath and prevailed. When they returned to Jerusalem all the people cheered; but, they did not cheer the same for each man. “Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands,” they said.
This did not sit well with Saul who soon after embarked on a near life-long obsession with killing David.
Do you have a chance to see one of your trainees, or someone you have mentored do well? When given the chance to they do better than you expect, or perhaps better even than you could? Are they showered with compliments while you are all but overlooked? Then try to respond with joy and praise like Fallon, rather being consumed by a bitter vendetta like Saul. In the end it will be better for your understudy, and for yourself.
The Jimmy Fallon-Emma Stone Lip Sync Battle (one swear word).