If you’re on the lookout for an easy laugh and a good time on television these days, you can certainly do much worse than Lip Sync Battle on Spike. If you haven’t seen it yet or run across the clips on YouTube, you really need to check it out.
Here’s the setup—each episode pits two celebrities against each other in an audience-judged contest. The celebrities will lip sync two songs apiece. The first is just the celebrity but, for the second song, the show gives them access to just about any prop, professional dancers, or any other bells and whistles they could possibly want.
Most of the time, it’s rip-roaring funny. Really, who can’t laugh at Channing Tatum all done up like Beyonce? Or John Krasinski frenetically miming Tina Turner in “Proud Mary?” To top it all off, LL Cool J hosts the show and his reactions alone are often worth your time.
At the end of the day, though, it’s all make believe.
That brings us around to your style of management—are you singing your own song or are you mimicking someone else? As someone who deals with managers and human resources professionals every day, I often encounter the fear that there’s a “right way” to handle employees, and that too often this “right way” is something that a manager isn’t comfortable with. What to do?
First of all, relax. To be sure, there are some “right” things to do. For instance, we have the obvious legal proscriptions—you must pay non-exempt employees time-and-a-half for all hours worked over 40, you must not discriminate based on prohibited characteristics or activities, you must grant Family and Medical Leave Act leave when an employee is eligible, and has a qualifying reason, and so on and so forth.
The employment laws, however, do give you plenty of room to bring your personality and style to management. Do you have a good sense of humor? By all means, bring it when appropriate. Are you most comfortable with a well-oiled machine, strict rules, and timetables? Go for it, and don’t feel like you have to cut up with the gang to earn respect.
What I am getting at here is authenticity. The most effective managers I know are comfortable in their own skin and they don’t try to be someone they’re not. Your people need to know who you are and how to approach you. If they know you’re buttoned up, they’re going to be more comfortable with the real you than if you try to foster some awkward camaraderie.
Lip Sync Battle is a great show, but never forget that it’s celebrities pretending to be folks they are not. That’s fun for a show, but they will be their real selves the following day. So should you.