After examining over 50 games at the Uefa Euro 2016 and the players involved, looking at both verbal and non-verbal clues of passion before kick-off, researchers at the Staffordshire University came to the conclusion that passion impacts performance. Their study shows that “teams that sang national anthems with greater passion went on to concede fewer goals”.
Why would this be?
Singing together increases team unity and togetherness. It strengthens the connection within the group and elevates commitment and enthusiasm for a common goal.
“Group singing has been scientifically proven to lower stress, relieve anxiety, and elevate endorphins … Oxytocin also enhances feelings of trust and bonding.” Time Magazine
Whilst teams can’t be instructed to sing with meaning, singing with shared purpose and passion can have an impact on performance.
“If players are genuinely passionate because they identify strongly with their nation and its team, it is likely to increase collective effort and performance” – The Independent
So it would seem that there is an obvious link between passion and performance. If you don’t care about something, it is much harder to find the motivation to accomplish something of value. But inspiring passion and maintaining it is a difficult balance. One requires a spark. The other a consistent flame.
Example versus Experience
Our work unpacks the metaphor of music in a corporate context. As keynote speakers or management consultants, we can talk about the importance of teamwork and motivation at great length. And even provide powerful examples to illustrate this point. However, it takes a transformative experience for individuals, who can participate in this process, to produce the greatest and most long-lasting effect.
We’ve seen this time and again when business leaders across many industries experience the unexpected through the power of music.
Common Vision, Common Purpose
The aim of a company vision is to unite people with a common purpose and drive them forward. But, in most businesses, it rarely makes it off the wall of the lobby and into people’s hearts and minds. Building trust around a common purpose is also vital to bring out the best in people through their daily working relationships. All of this – when working well – has the ability to enhance engagement and empowering performance. Which of course every organisation is aiming for.
However, how do you truly inspire people in the first place? And how do you keep them performing at their best day after day, on a world stage, which for some, is the corporate equivalent of a great sporting occasion like the World Cup? Or perhaps opening night for a professional musician?
Engagement Beyond Expectation
A few years ago we led the keynote at Cisco’s IT conference in California. Our theme was Orchestrating High Performance and we created a unique experience for 550 senior leaders from around the globe. This was accompanied by a live band, a flash mob, and a professional recording. This experience led them to a place of unity and engagement in a common purpose that stuck and we received this feedback –
Ben and his team are AMAZING! Their ability to quickly understand, simplify and orchestrate a 500 person team toward a common cultural mission was beyond my expectations! In 90 minutes, they took us out of our comfort zone and the outcome was a mindset of a FASTER, SIMPLER and TOGETHER Cisco IT – with a recording that I can¹t get out of my head. Thank you Ben and Team!!
Chief Information Officer, Guillermo Diaz
Inspiring Renewed Passion
All sorts of challenges can arise in the midst of a hard-working team for whom there is a high expectation of a consistently high performance. It can lead to unrealistic demands, stressful working relationships, and a harsh critical environment, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
We’ve found that music can unlock hidden potential and inspire transformation. This translates back to the workplace with energy and renewed passion for a common purpose, empowering and sustaining a team for high-performance.