4 Life Lessons According to Dave Grohl

Earlier this month Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters fell off a stage and made headlines for finishing the show. I was struck by the fact that there was a lesson smack dab in the middle of that story. I believe in the power and astonishing benefits of lifelong learning. It doesn’t matter if you are 5 or 55. Here’s the deal: you can learn anywhere at anytime from anyone.

I am a fan of Grohl. He is known as a rock legend (whether he wants to be or not) and an all around nice guy. I thought I knew about him, following his career since his drumming days with Nirvana. After digging into some research I realised I could learn some valuable life lessons from him.

Take Care of Your Fans (Customers, Members…Whoever)


Hardcore customer service lesson coming in 3… 2… 1…

On June 11, two songs into a set for a concert in Sweden, Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters fell off the stage and broke his leg. In fear of disappointing the fans and not wanting to ruin a beautiful evening, he was patched up by on site medical staff (let’s acknowledge the EMT that sat with him and held his leg in place, with a hefty honorable mention), Grohl then proceeded to be carried back out on stage, set in a chair, propped up the broken leg and still gave a rockin’ performance. Two and half hours later, fans left satisfied and rocked to the bone, knowing they witnessed a historic moment and what Grohl called “the most bizarre Foo Fighters concert in the 20 year history of the band”

No doubt, this astonishing story will be told an infinite number of times over the next 20 years.

This isn’t the first time that Grohl has gone to extreme lengths to ensure a quality show for his fans. At the iTunes Festival back in 2011 he spotted someone fighting in the crowd. He brought the show to a dead halt and kicked the fan out of the theater with a monumental splash of expletives. The slightly stunned crowd started in with chants of “Dave. Dave. Dave.” Grohl was unfazed. He said fans come to our show to dance and have a good time not to fight and he wasn’t going to put up with an outbreak that might ruin the experience for anyone else.

The long and the short of it, take care of those who support you. Whether it be your customers or fans or whoever. While you hopefully need not go to Grohl’s extremes, there are other example of ways not as extreme to execute good quality care and be remembered.


Be Humble….Treat Others With Respect.


Grohl is widely known as “one of the nicest dudes in rock”; a joke that writers are under contract to include that in every article written about the musician. He has been known to leave generous tips, or invite fans for a unique experience (without cameras rolling to document it). He is the first to say “don’t call me a rock star”. He gets up early every morning, packs lunches for his girls and drives them to school in his van, car seats and all.

Grohl fills in for sick friends too. It wasn’t that long ago, not wanting fans to be disappointed, he jumped in to play drums for a Cage the Elephant show in Utah after drummer Jared Champion’s appendix burst. Additionally, Grohl supports several charities and is a huge fan of other’s successes. Back in May he admitted to being a “Swiftie”, Grohl loves Taylor Swift and isn’t afraid to admit it. “I’m officially obsessed,” he said. “She might want to get a restraining order”.

If you want to be thought of as a great leader or an amazing manager, show your respect. One out of six employees think this is a vital key to a successful working relationship. External relationships are important too. A healthy dose of respect or even admiration for your competitors can go a long way.



Take a look at Grohl’s career. Don’t give up. Success can be yours over and over again. Grohl stepped out of his comfort zone many times, finally achieving success on mega level as the drummer of Nirvana. After the devastating death of Kurt Cobain in 1994 Grohl retreated, not sure what to do with himself. He worked through a series of small steps to eventually become the front man for the Foos who are today celebrating 20 years of success. Also, because of his limitless contributions to the music world, he is thought to be one of the most influential rock musicians in the past 20 years.

Seriously, don’t give up. Perseverance is the ability and drive to start and continue on whatever path takes you closer to your goals and dreams. It can be the determining factor between failure or world domination. Consider it a top personal value, using it to push your mental toughness and improve your emotional intelligence, giving you the opportunity to strengthen your character while you focus on your goals.


Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously


It doesn’t take much digging on YouTube to find that Dave Grohl knows how to break down and be a little crazy, not taking himself too seriously. Watch him sing Leather & Lace, a beautiful duet with Will Ferrell, or play a demon in a Tenacious D video. Honestly, you don’t even have to dig that deep. Just pull up some of their videos starting with Learn to Fly.

Even if he is supposedly not taking himself too seriously, he still has advanced forward and persevered, propelled his success to new heights. Back in 2012, it was estimated that he is the third wealthiest drummer in the world, pipped at the post by Ringo Starr and Phil Collins. Also, because of his limitless contributions to the music world, he is thought to be one of the most influential rock musicians in the past 20 years.

In the end, just be yourself. Grohl may have given some his best advice during a keynote speech he delivered during the 2013 SXSW Festival. He emphasised the importance of each individual’s voice, regardless of who the individual is, declaring: “there is no right or wrong—there is only your voice … What matters most is that it’s your voice. Cherish it. Respect it. Nurture it. Challenge it. Respect it.”

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