Adele is a transcendent talent, but what I find most fascinating is how beautifully she sings instead of showing off.
Admission – I don’t know Adele’s story, who helped her or who her mentors are. My focus is simply on where she is now, as an artist.
Bob Dylan wrote the song, “Make You Feel My Love” back in 1997. Many performers, from Billy Joel to Garth Brooks, have covered it. It’s a beautiful song that is stuck in my soul because of Adele’s version.
I often sing along in full throat along with Adele, and as I do, I often draw out the words and ham them up. It made me wonder why Adele didn’t let loose, too. With her voice, she could do anything she wanted to make her version more memorable… yet she held back and respected the song.
Then it hit me – I remembered the words of my great writing coach, New York Times best-selling author Lesley Kagen. Whenever I would go overboard and try to show readers how clever I was, Lesley would shake her head (and sometimes her fist) and say, “Stop showing off. If it’s good, less is better.”
And that’s what Adele does – Dylan’s writing is good, and she makes it better.
Brands often do the same thing. In trying to stand out, they scream or try to say too much. It’s my turn to coach, “Less is better. Keep on point and the quality will flow through.”
Adele has done pretty well. It’s something to think about.
If you want help coaching up your brand, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.