The Grammys were filled with big moments, some good, some bad and a few "What the f*ck was that?" questions in between.
Kendrick Lamar stunned with his emotional and heart-pounding power-to-the-people performance highlighting racial injustice. Justin Bieber followed shortly with an a cappella rendition of a song marked by a guitar slam to the floor.
The only message from that was, "I think I’m amazing and so should you." Chillax Justin, you’re aight.
I can’t even talk about the Lady Gaga channeling David Bowie thing. It was too creepy for words. Thank God I’d racked up a five-minute lag time on my DVR.
After those major fails, Taylor Swift managed to bring us back, tapping into the subconscious of her female fans and finally proclaiming herself as the boss she is.
A boss is a person who takes on a leadership role, whose actions match and propel her mission and who operates under a code of ethics with strength and compassion.
Taylor Swift has given us a roadmap for success. Here are five lessons we can learn on how to be a boss from Taylor’s acceptance speech for album of the year:
1. Never expect to win.
Taylor is famous for her, "What? No. Me? Did I win?" looks when her name is announced at the podium, always looking as shocked for the next award as the last. She looked a little less shocked this time, but her mouth was still agape, and she gave some serious high fives to her co-executive producer, Max Martin.
The key here is to do everything you can to win. Understand and hone your talent and pick the right team. Know that you can win, but don’t expect it.
This will keep you at the top of your game, and will also prevent the feeling of being let down if you don’t. You’ll know you did everything you could possibly do, regardless.
2. Acknowledge your peers.
Before Taylor made her way to the stage, she hugged Kendrick Lamar. Being a super talent, she knows a super star when she sees one. Kendrick’s 11 Grammy nominations and his earth-shattering performance raised the bar for the Grammy stage.
Taylor personally acknowledged Kendrick, which was her way of saying, "I won this time, but I know the field that we’re on and even though the award is in my hands, I know you’re a winner too." A boss knows who the real players are, and taps into their energy to keep reaching higher.
3. Know who butters your bread.
Taylor always thanks her fans first. Her huge fan base equates support, money and industry power. Taylor is an expert at engagement. Her fans hang onto her every word, and she rewards them with a window into her life and sometimes even her home a la the “1989” listening party for a hand-selected group.
A boss knows where her bread is buttered, and does everything necessary to keep that butter coming. Know your source. Who’s going to pay you or get you whatever it is you want?
4. Thank your team.
Taylor thanked her collaborators and her co-executive producer, making it clear that she’s a team player and that she recognizes the power of having the right people around her.
She highlighted Max Martin, noting that he should have been on the Grammy stage long ago, giving him credit where credit was due, not only for her win, but also for all the wins he's never had. A boss knows how to make her team shine.
5. Claim your power and share the message.
Taylor didn’t mince words when she said that she’s the first woman to win album of the year at the Grammys twice. Boom! She closed the door on that one, no comments required.
She claimed her position of power. She went on to address the young women out there, transitioning to the message that “people will try to undercut your success and take credit for your accomplishments … but if you focus on the work, you’ll know that it was you and the people who love you who put you there.”
A boss is not afraid to claim her win. She wins with heart and owns it like an NFL player on the goal line, slamming that ball to the ground to make a mark. She has her way of saying, "Yes, I put in the work and I’m here, exactly where I’m supposed to be."
If she’s really special — and Taylor is — she takes what she’s learned and she shares that with others so they, too, can work toward the same success. Bosses don’t fear the up and comers. They bring them on board and push them forward.
A real boss will cheer you on and even hold your hand as you step onto the stage, happy and grateful that they had the opportunity to provide an assist, and happy that they could use their strength to empower yours. So, go out there and be a real boss like Taylor.
The road is clear and the map is there for you to follow. See you on the stage!