Born to Run

636004875600969072-782077745_concertYou know the song, but did you know Bruce Springsteen just launched a book with the same title on September 27th? It’s his memoir, and from a branding perspective, it’s a brilliant title because he is the song, and the song is him.

I wasn’t always a Springsteen fan, but when I met my wife and we began dating, one of her deal breakers was that I had to take her to a Springsteen concert. And, if after that, I couldn’t consider myself a fan, we would have to part ways.

If you’ve ever had the chance to see him perform in person, you know it’s not just a concert. It’s a show where performer and audience have mutual appreciation and admiration for one another in ways that create energy from the moment you enter the stadium till the time you reluctantly leave, four hours later. And, at every show, no matter what new material or new album there is, he always plays his signature song, “Born to Run.”

Fortunately for me, and my eventual marriage, I became a fan. I even talk about “The Boss” and his iconic song as part of my leadership development session, “Rock Your Role.” I ask each person to to name one song that defines his or her life’s work. One song title. They can choose from any title of any song by any artist ever written. Their choice can be based on the title itself, or the lyrics that make up the story of the song, but they only get one song.

Over the years, the song titles my audiences have chosen run from the profound to the hilarious, but always revealing. Here are a few of my favorites:

– Stairway to Heaven
– Highway to Hell
– Don’t Worry, Be Happy
– Beautiful Day
– I’ve Had the Time of My Life
– On the Road Again
– Survivor
– I Need A Lover That Won’t Drive Me Crazy
– Crazy Train
– Stronger

We have wedding songs and special moment songs. We have fight songs. We have workout songs. Songs are emotional anchors to the different times in our lives worth remembering. They remind us who we are and what we are still capable of being. But, can you choose one? Springsteen has published over 300 different songs and I’m sure he loves them all. But, “Born to Run” is obviously his defining song.

At your next team meeting or client dinner, you can break the ice and ask your attendees the same question. What song title defines your life’s work? I guarantee the song they choose is just the beginning of a meaningful and spirited conversation.

My song? “Lose Yourself” by Eminem.

Stand For Your Brand,

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