This Series is the Best 4 Hours You Can Spend on Your Career Today

This Series is the Best 4 Hours You Can Spend on Your Career Today

Source: This article was originally published on CNBC.
Written by: Marguerite Ward, CNBC Make It

Here’s some unconventional career advice: Binge-watch a TV series.

According to best-selling management author and CNBC contributor Suzy Welch, the best career advice to further your professional life right now is to go home to watch HBO’s “The Defiant Ones,” which chronicles the rise of music moguls Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re a music fan or not,” Welch tells CNBC Make It. “Trust me, it’s the best four hours you can spend on your career today.”

The series takes an in-depth look at how the two men changed the music industry and helped launch the careers of mega-stars like Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, U2, Eminem and Lady Gaga.

Welch says she particularly appreciates its “lessons about how you get what so many people dream of when they dream of their careers: huge impact.”


Here are three lessons from the series that Welch says apply to any career:

1. Be obsessed

“To really soar in your career,” Welch says, “you have to be obsessed with your product and the people who create it.”

“The Defiant Ones,” shows how Iovine and Dr. Dre made their way from tough backgrounds — working class Brooklyn and the streets of Compton, Calif., respectively — to Hollywood.

According to stories from Gwen Stefani and Snoop Dogg, just two of the many artists featured in the series, Dr. Dre and Iovine were obsessed with finding the right sounds.

“They worked constantly,” Welch says. “They were always talking, pushing, inventing, experimenting. That’s how success happens.”

2. Take risks

“Dre and Iovine were brave,” Welch says. “They went big over and over again. You have to go big to get big.”

The documentary follows how the duo took bets on artists other producers rejected. They worked on songs others thought wouldn’t succeed.

“Sure, they failed sometimes. But they were resilient and fearless,” she says. “It makes you wonder, are there any risks you could take?”


3. Stay ahead of the curve

Welch highlights a final, crucial lesson from HBO’s series: Always focus on what comes next.

“Always be thinking about the future,” Welch says. “But more than that, run toward it.”

When faced with uncertainties or the onslaught of new technology, such as the change from vinyl to tapes or the rise of streaming services, they worked to stay on the cutting edge. Iovine even asked Apple founder Steve Jobs how he could work with him when the iPod launched.


“For both of them, the next thing was always the best thing,” she says.

Regardless of whether or not you’re a music fan, Welch encourages you to take a look at the series, The Defiant Ones.

“It’s incredible — for the music and the drama and the stories,” she says. “But my advice is watch it for its career advice.”

Suzy Welch is the co-founder of the Jack Welch Management Institute and a noted business journalist, TV commentator, and public speaker. Through its online MBA program, the Jack Welch Management Institute transforms the lives of its students by providing them with the tools to become better leaders, build great teams, and help their organizations win. 

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