Change it Up

Jat Thompson
Horizon Performance
2 min readApr 26


On one episode of the Joe Rogan Experience, Rick Rubin, an iconic record producer and founder of Def Jam Recordings (now known simply as Def Jam), discussed his work with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Rubin noted that after the Chili Peppers recorded their first albums in a studio, he suggested they rent a mansion and record their next album there. The band took his advice, and the new environment created energy and a new vibe for the band.

Now, if you’re an artist recording your first album, working in a studio environment will be novel to you — and will produce excitement and energy. However, when you’ve already made four records in a studio, recording your fifth album in that setting will likely not have the same effect.

It becomes time to change it up.

Rick went on to say that his job as a producer is like that of a coach. He’s tasked with helping artists perform at their best. This involves making any suggestion that would benefit the task at hand, talking about the material to make sure it is strong enough and discussing how it can be better, and creating an environment where the team is excited to do whatever it is that they need to do.

As leaders, we need to learn from a record producer’s approach, where we can increase the energy without reducing the fidelity of what we trying to achieve. It is our responsibility to identify routines that are draining energy from our team and then find ways to change it up.