5 Leadership Lessons We Can Learn from Dave Matthews Band’s #1 New Album

Last week, Dave Matthews Band released its latest album Away From The World and right away the record hit #1 on the Billboard 200.

With 266,000 units already sold, Away From The World is the sixth-straight DMB album to debut #1 on the music chart.

Landing in the top spot time after time isn’t a guarantee even for a band with such a passionate fan base.

How does DMB do it?

The answer has practical applications for our own careers (even if you’ve never been the biggest Dave fan). If you want to be great for a long time — and not a one-hit wonder — here’s the checklist:

1. Operate at a High Level

DMB purists will argue some albums have been better than others, but the band always turns out music that is skillfully composed and well delivered. Dave Matthews and his merry men never ‘mail it in.’ They come to work ready to give 110%, and that’s the most we can ever ask of ourselves.

2. No Drama

It’s become commonplace for mega-bands to crumble beneath the weight of fame and massive egos. Not DMB. For two decades, the group has pumped out hits — and toured like no other — while keeping any beef with each other in-house. In short: they never bring their drama to work.

3. Be Dependable

How do leaders emerge in an office? Talent always helps, but the rest of the company has to trust that the person will follow through on his/her responsibilities. Ever heard of a Dave Matthews concert completely bombing? Simply doesn’t happen. Reputation is everything.

4. Kings of Collaboration

Dave Matthews is the unquestioned leader of the group, but a DMB show is never just about him. Matthews always allows his supporting cast to shine much like a good boss relying on the strengths of each employee. Being a leader doesn’t mean doing all the work yourself; it’s about arranging the team so all the pieces produce great music together.

5. Change and Stay the Same

Any band that lasts more than 20 years must innovate to stay fresh. DMB’s style has evolved over the years, but its original sound remains true. In the work world, a strong leader has to keep up with new technology and adapt to an ever-changing business climate, but the core principles (#1-4 above) are timeless.

Master those skills and, like Dave Matthews Band, you’ll find yourself at the top again and again.

And right on cue, the rest of us will be singing your tune.

Whaddya think, Dave fans? Agree or disagree? And has anyone listened to the new album yet? Thoughts on that too?

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