What Pink can teach us about team safety

A few years ago, Mrs G and I were lucky enough to go to Pink concert (Beautiful Trauma Tour). She was amazing. Then recently we sat down and watched the doco (All I know so Far) about that tour, and we watched an amazing mum, an amazing wife, an amazing performer… and an amazing leader! I’m even more of a Pink fan now!  

Here’s why: 

Pink was so open with her behind the scenes shares. There were no holds barred, there were nappy changes (Jamison who was a character and took a lot of Pink’s attention). And of course, Husband Carey Hart was always on hand, to be the parental support that a touring performer needs. There were hotels, concerts, daughter Willow conversations, tears and smiles, anguish and excitement. If you haven’t watched the doco, don’t thank me now. You’ll love it, especially if you are a leader! 

Here are some pearls of wisdom from Pink: 

“I don’t go out the door to work – my work and my home life are the same thing – our family goes everywhere together” 

And not once did Pink say to her children that ‘sorry Willow or Jameson, I have to work’. It was amazing to see the balancing act of performing and parenting.  

There really wasn’t a separation between the two areas of Pink’s life, and she explained that as parents, her, and Carey worried that the kids might not be getting a conventional upbringing. Then, it was – ‘but hey, look at the life experiences they are getting’. 

Although there were moments of emotional turmoil during the doco, the calmness that Pink demonstrated during the whole process of filming was something to be marvelled at. Whether she was performing or parenting, Pink has this ability to remain in control. It was an example of both leadership and parenting under pressure. Nothing seemed to really phase Pink (other than one stage change that she demanded… nicely).  

“I don’t get why other performers are always auditioning new performers – our team have been together for 10 years plus – we love our team” 

Pink just couldn’t grasp why you would want to change your team members, just because. Her philosophy was that loyal team members should be rewarded and recognised for their contribution.  

They should enjoy their work. And their leader’s role is to encourage that. The tour was hard work, but at the same time, they were rewarded with a lot of down time, and team members got the chance to socialise and have fun with Pink and her family. 

There was a feeling of family to the tour, and to the team’s interactions with Pink, Carey, Willow, and Jameson. It was lovely to watch how the team interacted with the children, and the team were not ‘subordinates’, they were active members of the decision-making process, and the relevant conversations about the tour. 

Pink used the word leadership on a few occasions. When she used that word, it was really about everyone, about being inclusive, and being caring and conversational. Pink attended one of the team’s birthday dinners whilst on tour – she sat at the table and cheered a team member on for their birthday. A little thing, but very symbolic.  

“Your team has to feel safe – safe to show up and safe to be the best version of themselves” 

My jaw dropped. Go Pink. Talking about (sort of) psychological safety. And it was just an off handed comment that most people wouldn’t have heard. But it is critical to what Pink believes and how she behaves. Pink encourages contribution. She shared openly that her leadership strategy is to encourage people to shine.  

To encourage team members to share ideas. 

To encourage team members to grow. 

To encourage team members to learn and to become more during the touring process. 

One comment Pink made was around hiring smarter people than her! 

How good is that. Pink – superstar, world renowned, crazy good at what she does (and the only person that does the type of acrobatics that she does on stage) – talking in a documentary about team member safety. Wow.  

Let’s summarise what team safety means to Pink, from my understanding of the doco – Pink manages her emotional states and doesn’t get flustered (she did when she got pulled off stage by a rope that wasn’t connected properly – oops – even angry, but she kept it together well). She had care factor for her team and went out of her way to show that she cared. And they cared back. And she made courageous decisions like trusting her team to step up. Asking for input. And hiring smarter people than her.  

This documentary is a leadership training program, really, not a documentary, and is an example of a human who is as vulnerable as everyone else, but who also doesn’t hurt people along the way. Pink is the leader that everyone wants to work for. Top shelf.  

So glad Mrs G talked me into watching a doco on Pink…  

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About Anton

Anton has dedicated his working life to helping leaders to upgrade their mindset, upskill their leadership, and uplift their teams! With a focus on helps leaders to better lead under pressure. Anton is an entrepreneur, speaker, consultant, bestselling author and founder of The Guinea Group. Over the past 19 years, Anton has worked with over 175+ global organisations, he has inspired workplace leadership, safety, and cultural change. He’s achieved this by combining his corporate expertise, education (Bachelor of HR and Psychology), and infectious energy levels.
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