9 Career Lessons Beyoncé Can Teach You

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed.

It’s an important question faced by anyone at a pivotal moment in their personal or professional life: What Would Bey Do?

Ricardo Moraes / Reuters

Recently, the geniuses at the Harvard Business School asked themselves that question, using the landmark release of Bey’s 2013 self-titled album as the focus of a new case study.

Harvard Business School

Naturally, BuzzFeed read this case study with great interest. Here are nine lessons we learned that could teach any young professional to “Run the World” like Beyoncé.

1. Set clear goals for yourself.

When it came to releasing her self-titled album in 2013, Beyoncé had three specific things she wanted to accomplish: She wanted fans to experience the album at the same time as critics, she wanted every song to have a video, and she didn’t want the album to leak. Try doing the same by setting specific, measurable goals for yourself.

 

Parkwood Entertainment

Parkwood Entertainment

2. Surround yourself with talented people.

As an artist and a businesswoman, Beyoncé surrounds herself with talented people. Her management team is made up of the best people from Sony Music and her father Matthew Knowles’ management firm, Music World, and she writes her album with top songwriters, including major stars like Sia, Justin Timberlake, and Miguel. Beyoncé knows that working with the best only makes you better.

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3. Embrace collaboration.

Once you’ve assembled a team of brilliant thinkers, it’s important that they feel free to speak up. Beyoncé is open to input, and you should be too! The people who work for her insist she’s a “great listener” who encourages her employees to voice their opinions.

Parkwood Entertainment / Via britneyaddiction.tumblr.com

4. Do your homework.

How did Beyoncé prepare for that legendary Super Bowl halftime show? By watching every halftime show in history and taking notes. She set out to replicate what had worked in the past and avoid what hadn’t. Whether you’re performing for millions or presenting for a handful, preparation is important. Always do your research!

Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

 

CBS

5. Always make the ask.

If you want something, ask for it! Team B knew that support from Facebook would help inform fans about the surprise album, so they set up a meeting. Through conversations with Facebook they were able to learn about new tools that would help the release, tools they wouldn’t have had access to otherwise, and all they had to do was ask.

Parkwood Entertainment / Via omisteriodasduasirmas.tumblr.com

6. Find the work environment that works for you.

While Beyoncé has an office in New York, she prefers to do business on the go, talking to members of Team B on a walk or in their offices. Follow her lead! Even if you’re chained to a desk, you can try making small changes to improve productivity. If you work best standing up, do that! If silence helps you focus, get some earplugs. Do what you can do make your workspace work for you.

 

HBO

 

HBO

7. Know your value.

The next time you’re asking for a raise or negotiating a job offer, keep Beyoncé in mind: She knows her value and will only do a deal if it’s beneficial for her. When she signed a deal with Pepsi, the company agreed to promote her Super Bowl halftime show and set aside money for her to use on creative pursuits. When she granted iTunes the exclusive rights to carry her self-titled album, it staged a store takeover. She knows her worth, and you should too!

BeyonceVEVO / Via youtube.com

8. Know that you can’t please everyone.

When it came to releasing her self-titled album on iTunes, Beyoncé and her team knew that the plan might alienate some retailers. However, preventing leaks was more important to them. While Target and Amazon ultimately refused to carry the album, it never leaked. If you have goals, stand your ground! If pleasing everyone means you have to compromise your vision, don’t.

 

NBC

 

NBC

9. Be passionate about what you do.

At the end of the day, Beyoncé cares about her work. She’s willing to take big risks and work long hours because she’s passionate about what she does. You should feel the same. If your job doesn’t excite you, find a new one or focus on an aspect of it that does.

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Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/kelleydunlap/beyonce-career-guide