That’s My Job

by Ben Perreira

This morning I heard an interview with British record producer Steve Lillywhite on KROQ in LA. He was talking about his method of getting the best product out of artists when he said something to the effect of:

Some producers will say, “fire the drummer!” or “let’s change this guy!” But it isn’t about my ego and who I want in the band. My job is to come in and help the current band create a great album. Other producers may have success in firing people but that’s not my way of doing it.

This quandary is far from exclusive to music production. It’s easy to get caught up in how to use one’s power within an organization or industry to propel one’s own career. In almost all cases (by the definition of “unique”), this way of thinking is what social psychologists would call “false uniqueness” – thinking we are comparatively better at something than we actually are.

Are ego-driven decisions good for the company? And for those less concerned with that, are they good for one’s own career in the long run? One must doubt it.