Throughout an artist’s career they can find themselves working with various production companies, maybe end up in a duel or full on electronic music band. During these time boundaries are tested and tempers can most definitely flare. There are a few things you will want to watch out for while you feel out the members of your crew. Why? Because you’re only as good as your weakest link and those “links” can really bring down the value of your brand. When you see it, you’ll want to take the proper steps in resolving the issue. But first, what to watch out for.
Always has an excuse
You’ve got a practice but something came up on their end. They missed another deadline? It was out of their hands. (Repeated behaviour.)
This person thinks everything is happening to them. They easily get stuck in a negative cycle and usually is right up there with “Mr(s). Excuses.”
They may be enthusiastic about what they are doing, but not care about the quality of the product they put out. Or the other way around, want to sound amazing but doesn’t put much thought into anything else. Basically playing in your garage is good enough for them.
This person will invest your money with a scam artist or think the gear is safe in the parking lot. They just want to believe the best in everyone but it ends up putting your whole crew in sticky situations.
The puppet master
They seemed to control and influence members to do their dirty work without directly getting involved. These ones are harder to catch as they are very manipulative and cunning in their approach.
All talk no walk
You know em! They talk big, they probably talk for extensive periods of time and have nothing to show for. Or whatever it is they are “showing up” is from 5 years ago.
S/he always has a problem with someone and it’s never, ever their fault. You secretly think they might be hiding something by consistently talking negatively about others.
But Kilma, that’s just the way s/he is, and sometimes they are right.
If I gave you a quiz with answers a, b or c to choose from and you only picked b… eventually you would be right. Try not to get that mixed up with someone that understands the place and time for that behavior. While sometimes it may feel appropriate, it’s the repeated behavior that should concern you. At the end of the day it will have have an effect on the brand’s look and can have long term issues.
– If you’ve got one guy on your team whom consistently “negatively talks” about other bands, people that hear this may start to think his opinion is shared among the band.
– If you have a naive member that continues to land gig where the promoters never pay, word may go around that your duel plays for free. Not to mention missing potential paying clients.
– Maybe you are the artist constantly “talking yourself up” but never sharing a new mix, tune, or gig. Eventually people will start to call the bluff.
This is where it gets tricky for many because sometimes we feel completely powerless in these situations. “What if no one listens to me?” or “What if they think I am the problem and start attacking me?”
Members absolutely need to be held accountable for their behavior. Sometimes this mean rules and regulations need to come into effect, other times you may find yourself walking away from a group all together. It’s not an easy decision nor is it one to make over night. That being said, playing out worst case scenarios can help you make the best decision and then find a plan of action to execute. Forbes has a wonderful article on the steps you can take to turn things around.
One Last Thing
One important note made at the end of the article, “If you learn to use these ‘good manager’ approaches when you have a difficult employee, then no matter how things turn out, you’ll end up knowing that you’ve done your best in a tough situation. And that may be the best stress reducer of all.” – Erika Andersen’s Author of, Leading So People Will Follow.
This could not speak more truth because as important as it is to deal with problematic behavior at the end of the day you want to make sure you are making the right choice. If you think you may be dealing with “The Puppet Master” Researchers Paul Babiak and Robert Hare long studied psychopaths alongside Hare, the author of Without Conscience, and world-renowned expert on psychopathy, have a wonderful book called, “Snakes in Suits”. I highly recommend it for industry people that take their work seriously. It’s a very helpful and insightful book in dealing with the worst of the worst.
Have you dealt with any of these types of people before? How did you deal with it?
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