Staying true to your values

At last night’s Brit Awards, the British band Mumford and Sons pick up the big prize of the night: Mastercard’s Album of the Year for their debut album Sigh No More.

The show was staged at London’s O2 Arena, with about 25,000 people watching live and 4 million on TV. It started by an extravagant number from the re-unified Take That, and shortly followed up by another big stage show mimed by Rhianna. So far the crowd were getting what they expected – a big show!

Then Mumford and Sons step up. Given that this would have been their largest live show to date (by far) you may have expected them to go for one of their big hits like Little Lion Man. Instead they went for one of their most intimate songs, Timshel.

And they sang it acoustically, huddled around a single microphone, with guitar and banjo. It was brave stuff indeed in a bastian of commercial pop, that this very real band made a statement – they were going to do it their way, that they would stay true to their beliefs “to make music that matters, without taking themselves too seriously.”

Now translate that to the world of work and business. In the commercial environment – in the thrust of success and expectation, how refreshing it is to see some very real, passionate and bold statements of doing things differently, yet with success. Of bucking the trend, and of staying true to your values.

What does that look like for you? Lessons for all of us there me thinks.