by Tracy Johnson
For decades, the Eagles hated each other. They wouldn’t even ride to the shows in the same limo. But they also knew they were better together than separately. And they respected what each brought to the band. They, like a multi-personality morning show, are codependent.
Winning morning shows don’t have to be best friends, spend holidays with each other and vacation together. They may not even be able to have lunch together. In fact, a well-cast radio show probably won’t be all that compatible in real life.
The morning show for one of my clients recently broke up. It was a shame because the show was quite good together. But internal issues that had nothing to do with how the audience responded. Off-air issues made it impossible for the show to continue.
They simply couldn’t figure out how to make it work. But strong radio personalities on a team show are codependent. They must find a way to coexist.
Like it or not, great shows with dynamic performers often have to overcome differences, and they do it with a For The Show (FTS) attitude, just like the Eagles have for nearly 50 years. Yes, 50 years!
Can you imagine performing the same song library night after night for nearly a half-century? Talk about a grind. But what if those band members can’t get along?
The Eagles started in Southern California, releasing their first album in the early 70s.
Their peak came from the mid 70s to early 80s, with classic songs like One Of These Nights and Hotel California. Many of their hits are still heard on many formats today.
The band continues to perform today, commanding well over $1 million dollars a night.
For most of this half-century, they haven’t been able to get along. At times, it was so bad they wouldn’t speak to each other.
But they also knew that they were much stronger together than as individuals. They had some success as solo artists, but those songs from band members Don Henley, Glenn Frey and others probably wouldn’t have been hits without the Eagles.
But none of their solo projects was as popular as the band.
So The Eagles found a way to put aside their differences so they could perform together.
The Eagles committed to a routine each night before a concert. They called it their “Circle of Fear”.
It was from anxiety bordering on fear. They were terrified at the idea of performing a great show for the audience, regardless of how they personally felt about one another.
For several hours each night, they were able to look past problems, ignore issues in their personal lives and overcome how they felt individually. They did it for the benefit of the team, and for their fans.
They realized the “show was the thing” and they respected their responsibility, even if they didn’t respect one another personally.
Each night, 30 minutes before taking the stage, the band meets to review details of that night’s show. They make sure they know the city, the day and date and if there are changes in the set list. They invest time and themselves to connect in the interest of performing as a cohesive unit.
Their commitment to one another allows them to take a professional approach . Basically, they learned to “fake it” for 4-5 hours a day. During “show time”, problems are set aside. Personal feelings are ignored. They get into a performance “zone”.
I’ve used this story in many situations for shows that have a hard time working together. Usually the problems are personal. Ego is often at the heart of the matter (sorry, couldn’t resist the Don Henley lyric reference).
Some shows find a way to work through problems. Sometimes they don’t. A manager or coach can help sort it out, but at the end of the day, each member of a team show has to be committed to the show first.
My show wasn’t able to keep it together. I hope yours will, because if the show doesn’t succeed, each individual fails. There are few MVP’s on teams with a losing record.
When there’s a commitment to the show, there’s a commitment to one another, no matter how distasteful or difficult that may be.
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