As a person who grew up in the 90s, I listened to a lot of Britney Spears. Now, you could say her music is a guilty pleasure to me.
What is your guilty pleasure music? Comment below!
What’s most impressive about Britney is not her music or her dance moves but her thought leadership on 20th century work culture.
The only problem is her thought leadership on work is just as outdated as her career (I’m truly sorry, Britney! But seriously, the top Google search term is asking if Britney is still alive…)
Let’s break down Britney’s top 3 quotes on work:
- “I’m addicted to you, don’t you know that you’re toxic”. Here Britney describes her relationship with her toxic boss and how she’s trapped in her role.
- “You drive me crazy, I just can’t sleep”. In this song, Britney describes how 20th century employees were obsessed with their jobs so much that they can’t sleep at night. They worked countless hours to get ahead, please their bosses and be seen as a valuable contributor.
- Britney, it’s 2023. Have you heard of work-life balance? Apparently some hiring managers are still having problems understanding that.
- “You want a Maserati? You better work, b***h”. Rounding out the top 3 is this gem. Clearly, this song harkens back to a simpler time where Boomers could buy houses, have kids and vacations with just one income. Not to mention, actually being able to eventually own a Maserati.
- Sorry Britney, Millennials and Gen Zs can barely afford to pay rent, no matter buying Maseratis.
As much as I love Britney Spears, her thought leadership on work is clearly from the 20th century. We need to update these outdated leadership strategies that rely on command and control, fear and extrinsic rewards. We need to replace them with what great leaders already know, trust, empathy, care, work-life balance, purpose and meaning. Not only does this provide better results (higher profitability, productivity and higher stock returns!) It also makes employees happier and healthier.
Let’s work together to get out of the 20th century mindset and make work better for all of us.
Rob Kalwarowsky | Leadership & High-Performance Coach