On authenticity, likeability ………. and Gary Barlow

Well Last night I went to see Gary Barlow.

Ok so some of you reading might be thinking what? why? …  or who the hell is that?
Well aside from the fact that I am the same age as Gary and therefore when Take That were at their height in the 90s they were literally the ‘hottest’ boy band on the planet.. yes planet!, all I can say is I ❤️ him. There i said it. Yes I know it is a cliche. Good looking super talented man in his forties.. But it’s more than that.
It’s also about authenticity and likeability and I feel like he has it nailed.
So for anyone that doesn’t know, the the story goes,  that in 1996 after 28 top 40 singles and 17 top 5 singles in the UK, and  56 number one singles, and 37 number one albums overseas,  the band split following the departure of one Robbie Williams in 1995.
Gary Barlow wrote I think pretty much all of Take That songs. He was the ‘talent’ but not the popular on, and he could not, and still cannot dance. It always amazed me that someone with so much musical talent essentially has no rhythm when it comes to dancing?
Anyway following the split it was widely regarded that he would be the one forging a spectacular solo career.  Instead Williams flourished and  Gary, derided and abused by the press, vanished from public life, and music?  His personal brand was in tatters. In this autobiography ( yes I have read it) and in speaking publicly about this time,  he has spoken about depression, and other struggles that he suffered from for a number of years.
Yet in the background if you look at the list of songs and musicals that he has written he carried on working non stop – because that is what you do when you love what you do.  And then 10 years later in 2006 the group announced a reunion tour, and they have gone onto bigger and better since.
So you might be thinking why are you talking about this. Well last night as I watched this amazing songwriter ( and performer ) and what struck me as he performed was authenticity.. built on likeability and trust. So here are some lessons for us all from Mr Gary Barlow
  1. Love what you do and do what you love and it will absolutely shine through.
  2. Don’t try and hide your failings…..embrace them, acknowledge them and people will love you more and more.
  3. Be flexible: If you really know your craft and are super talented you can perform your skill,  in different ways and not follow the same formula ( The big band version of could shine was fantastic!)
  4. Be consistent in who you are and what you do, and you will absolutely be known for this – your personal brand will be infused with the spirit of all these things.
  5. Keep on working – even when it seems like you are not getting anywhere. Someone is watching and taking note.
  6. Be who you are, and who you are not – a super talented musician who doesn’t need gimmicks (or dancing)
  7. Know your audience (in this case yes mainly 40 + women) and embrace it – they will keep coming back for more.
And that my friends is authenticity …..last night Gary showed that in the end talent and hard work will win out .
Now I’m off to find a Spotify play list …

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