Beyoncé and Lizzo, ‘Two Peas in a Social Change Pod’ Who Aren’t Just About the Brand but Also Being at Their Best and Taking a Stand

Remember when Lizzo melted after finding out that Beyoncé sang happy birthday greetings to her? She didn’t think one of her idols would have her on mind. It’s the kind of thing Beyhive fans knew all along. She tries to look beyond herself just like when she called out public officials in the Breonna Taylor case.

These days it’s almost as if Beyoncé and Lizzo are like two peas in a social change pod. They’re looking at the issues and making it plain. They’re connecting with fans letting them know they feel their pain. Over the past few weeks, they’ve been clear about one thing: it’s time to do our civic duty.

The music biz as with everything else has seen shutdown due to Covid-19. Concerts on pause, album drops have slowed. The usual hype before project releases are low-key. That hasn’t stopped these ladies in their tracks. As artists, they aren’t just about the brand, but about being at their best and taking a stand.

With her latest fashion line statement about to drop, Beyoncé is still turning it out. She’s building on the ‘Ivy Park’ brand she started and teamed-up with Adidas. It’s a kind of throwback to an 80s vibe, while the promo says to find your ‘beast bode.’ It’s as if the subtext could also be to flaunt your ‘beauty streak.’

For Lizzo, she’s brought much attention to being ‘body positive’, or as she prefers to say, ‘body normative’. For the ‘big girls club’, she has become proof positive about feeling good in your skin. But what they both bring beyond fashion statement or plus-size placement is how to find your flow when you:

  • Be Still

The impact of Covid-19 on essential workers has been seen over these past months. They tend to be more out-front and vulnerable. The impact to others has been things coming to a grinding halt. For Beyoncé, “It was the first time in my life I’ve been so still.” Sometimes that’s where your flow starts.       

  • Be Creative

After releasing the first edition of the clothing line, Bey’s looking to make waves with the updated looks. During the downtime of her music she’s been busy in the uptime of her fashion. When you flow your gifts, talents and skills, there’s always room to be creative. You might even surprise yourself sometimes.   

  • Be Ready

During the early stages of her music Lizzo wasn’t sure how she’d incorporate her classic side with her pop side. Her classic side comes with the flute. Her pop side comes with the lyrics. But her creative process flows from musical sound to breakout rhythm in turning out the hits with crossover appeal.  

  • Be Real

They both do their best to keep it real. For Lizzo, her ‘real’ flows from not acting like more than who she is, while being ‘bold & fearless’. For Beyoncé her ‘real’ flows from being even bigger than who we think she is, while showing ‘calm & coolness’.  Flow makes you ‘be real’ and when you’re real you find flow.  

As musical artists they might have different ways in how they flow. But as music stars they’re about being at their best and taking a stand on social issues. Their love for the game is just as strong as their love for their fans. And at their best, they make us fell good about ourselves in doing what it takes to level-up.       

Tip: Find your ‘beast mode’ or at least find your flow when you be still, be creative, be ready and be real.

Talkback: Which is it, ‘bold & fearless’ or ‘calm & coolness’ that brings out your best?

Tracks: Ciara – Level Up – https://youtu.be/Dh-ULbQmmF8

James Brown – I Got You (I Feel Good) – https://youtu.be/Lrv-Morm-c0

Lebron James & Dawn Staley Give us Motivating Lessons on Rising, Winning & Shining at Work, Play and Round-the-Way

There’s more to basketball, than basketball! That’s how Tracee Ellie Ross begins as the narrator of that new TV ad. It gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the challenges that NBA players had to overcome this season. When the first player tested positive for Covid-19, the league decided to shutdown all games.

Then, a few months later, a careful restart was underway with the playoffs. The players would live in a ‘bubble’ on the grounds of the ABC Sports complex. In the case of the WNBA they also went through a similar process, but they’d restart games at another venue with similar restrictions.

Well, they made it through without a virus outbreak and crowned the champions. The Seattle Storm won their 4th trophy while the Los Angeles Lakers won their 17th. Their records say a lot about the ABCs of bringing your A-game, having a B-side to life-balance and proving your value to the C-suite execs.

Lebron James still has some playing days left in him, while former WNBA player Dawn Staley has since left the game and is now a college coach. They give us lessons in rising, winning and shining at work, play and round-the-way. It’s also what the TV ad tries to do without selling their next breakout shoe.

The importance of sports to biz and culture is well known. Whether at a restaurant, bar or hometown playground, folks talk about, study and emulate their fav player. It’s more than just what they do on the court that matters. They know that with preparation, passion and practice you can go the distance with:    

  • Work Ethic

Both James and Staley have played on Olympic teams. They made it there because of talent and work ethic. It’s the things you do that no one has to tell you that you have to do. You might do it for the love of the game. But there’s a need to improve, invest or capitalize on skills because work ethic demands it. 

  • Team Dream       

When pro players started going to the Olympics, they first became known as the “Dream Team.” They were among the best of the best in the game at any level. But what James has been able to do wherever he goes in the league is to have others commit to the team dream. That’s how they step-up their game.

  • Game Changer

When league play was put on hold, James wasn’t gung-ho about playing without fans during the restart. That was a game changer for the rest of the way. Sometimes being a game changer means being comfortable with starting over. That’s what James has done in his career with every team he’s been with.  

  • Street Cred

Staley grew up on the hard side of town. She was often with her brother and his friends at the playground. She wanted to play but wasn’t sure they’d let her. She brought her own ball, which upped her chances of getting picked. In time, her street cred wasn’t just from having the ball, but from “ballin” on the court.     

These days when it comes to sports, it feels like something’s in the water on the West Coast. The Seattle Storm wins the WNBA, the Lakers win the NBA and the NFL Seattle Seahawks are on a hot streak. These players show us that even in tough times, we gotta get up and rise each day to secure the bag.    

Tip: Get your hustle on, or at least bring your A-game so that your street cred as a game changer is in using work ethic to inspire team dream.

Talkback: What’s the off-season gonna be like for the players with social issues on their minds?

Tracks: Steel Pulse – Rize – https://youtu.be/m-bVaqDm7Hs

Ace Hood – Hustle Hard – https://youtu.be/r_dh16HQkqQ