This week we lost one of my favorite singers and songwriters. Scott Weiland was the front man for such remarkable bands as Stone Temple Pilots, Velvet Revolver, and most recently, the Wildabouts. Scott had a distinct sound that matched his style and stage presence.
To commemorative a man who soundtracked large chunks of my life, I read a few of Scott’s interviews. One in particular caught my eye for the leaders among us. Scott was asked whether he finds it more difficult to work as a solo artist versus with a band. He said,
I don’t know. Tom Petty and I had a long conversation about this—The Wildabouts and the Heartbreakers—and after that conversation I woke up the next morning and came to the conclusion that unless you’re writing songs for other people to play, then collaborating is the only way to go.
There are plenty of opportunities in the business world to find success as a solo artist. However, if you are (or aspiring to be) a leader, then you must rely on the power of collaboration. Is it easier to make decisions on your own? Of course, but involving other people is a staple of leadership. Without it, you are not leading, you’re dictating.
With all of Scott’s success and name recognition, he continued to form bands and make incredible music. Scott did not need the bands to sell records; he chose to surround himself with other noteworthy musicians because he knew that this was how he created his best work.
If you want to see your best work come to fruition, find talented people that you trust and combine forces. And when your band tries to help you on the occasional instances that you aren’t trying to help yourself, I hope you listen.