Five Lessons You Can Learn From Jimmy Fallon To Become Irresistible
As a person who is pursuing a lifestyle of success, you know it’s vital to consume great content that helps you achieve your goals. But another surprising source of learning and inspiration is entertainers. Those at the top of their game have spent decades developing their networks and honing their craft. One of the most notable people in show business today is Jimmy Fallon, host of The Tonight Show. Today, I’m going to share with you five lessons to become irresistible like Jimmy Fallon.
On February 17, 2014, Jimmy Fallon took the reins of The Tonight Show–a show that has been an American tradition since 1954.
In two short months, he has doubled the ratings expected and is leading his seasoned competitors, David Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel. Even with all the history and prestige behind The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon has exceeded all expectations by simply being himself. He imported some of his signature bits from the Late Night show, which included segments such as Thank You Notes, Superlatives, Hashtag and Ew.
Actually, Jimmy Fallon is a great host of The Tonight Show for the very same reasons he would be a great boss: his leadership qualities.
No matter the guest, they’re the “absolute best” on the “absolute best” TV show or film. Isn’t it amazing that every. single. night… Jimmy’s favorite person is on the show… and we believe him? I believe him. I follow him. All the way to the desk where he is absolutely enthralled by the special guest. Completely engaged. Through Jimmy’s excitement & passion, I find myself involved. I never knew that I could become such a fan of some random C-list celebrity, but seeing Jimmy as such a fanatic about this person, here I am. Participating.
Everybody loves Jimmy Fallon. He’s awesome. Clever. Hilarious.
Jimmy Fallon is well-known for his musical ability, celebrity impersonations, and youthful energy. But look past the entertainment factor and you’ll find there is a lot to learn from his commitment to personal success. Even if you’re not half as funny as the Tonight Show host, you can learn a few lessons from Jimmy Fallon.
Lesson #1: Be Authentic
Jimmy looks like he actually enjoys doing the show–he’s genuinely laughing and means what he says when he’s interacting with each guest. As far as we can tell, his (onscreen) life matches what the show describes. This is attractive to more than just TV audiences. When you’re really authentic, you don’t have to convince someone that you are in fact, authentic.
No one would ever say that they can’t stand Fallon because he’s full of himself.
One of the most charming things about Jimmy Fallon is that he’s sincere. He’s open, he’s emotional, he screws up, and yes, sometimes he’s a little awkward. In the end, he just doesn’t come off as a stuck up celebrity. He comes off as a genuinely nice guy because he’s not trying to be someone he’s not (unless, of course, he’s impersonating one of his favorite comedians!). Sincerity is a key trait of great leaders. When you are trying too hard to impress people by pretending to be someone you’re not, people can sense it. If you’re giving off insincere vibes, why would anyone trust you with their network?
Jimmy Fallon’s style is low key, funny and conversational.
He seems more like someone you’d have fun hanging out with than a comedian you watch from the audience. The audience gets to see what appears to be the real deal. It would have been easy for Jimmy Fallon to feel he had to conform to how it has always been done. Rather than begin by asking, What does everyone expect me to do, or, How can I fit in here, approach it based on your strengths and talents and ask yourself, What special gifts can I bring to this situation? This mindset changes your frame of reference and brings your best chance of success. It’s hard to be successful and something you’re not at the same time and, at a minimum, it’s exhausting!
Some people don’t feel they know who they are. Sometimes we also don’t feel comfortable being ourselves in front of others.
Essentially we hide our personalities because we’re fearful of others mocking us for it. But the thing is, that doesn’t have to stop you from feeling good about who you are. if you’re constantly thinking about how others are perceiving who you are, you may end up feeling insecure. If you feel you need to make changes about yourself, make those changes. If you don’t, then don’t worry with what others think. One of the tricks to doubting less is to stop comparing yourself to others. Own who you are in all the uniqueness of your personality and characters. Projecting confidence about what you do and how you act can make others around you see you as confident too.
It’s easy to show off the good parts of ourselves. But to be yourself, you have to be your whole self.
That means being willing to be vulnerable. If you’re wondering “How can I be myself?,” the answer is to step into your pain and face your fears head on. Be open and honest with your partner and your friends. Tell them how you really feel. Share your deepest fears. You might be surprised how it strengthens your relationships. Realize that you can change your opinions and preferences while still fundamentally knowing how to be yourself. To be yourself, you must actually allow yourself to change.
Lesson #2: Don't Take Yourself Too Seriously
I have never heard anyone say anything about his ego, his pride, or his arrogance. Yet, he’s one of the biggest stars in the world. He’s self-deprecating. He knows his strengths; he knows his weaknesses. He doesn’t take himself too seriously. He’s quick to laugh at himself. That’s endearing. I like being around people like that, don’t you? With his ratings up 27% in the households & up 40% in the 18-49 demographic. Yes. You do. We do.
Jimmy Fallon may be a great actor, but he comes off as relaxed and enjoying his guests.
He laughs with his guests, involves them in the fun and let’s everyone in on the joke. For him, this has to be one of the most demanding and exciting times of his career. Yet, in key times, we can be tense, afraid and worried about what will happen if it doesn’t go well. When I look back, there were important times in my career when I could have enjoyed the moment more and worried less about doing everything right. It feels like Fallon has decided he’s going to do it his way and enjoy realizing a goal I’m sure he has always wanted.
Jimmy embraces laughter. Admittedly, this is a layup when talking about a comedian.
But what makes Jimmy Fallon stand out from other comics is not just that he tells he jokes; it’s the way he genuinely laughs with his guests and at himself. He takes his work seriously, but he doesn’t take himself seriously. Jimmy Fallon almost always appears to be incredibly happy, no matter who he’s with or what he’s doing. He’s always smiling, laughing, and saying positive things. No one wants to talk to a Debbie Downer – having a positive attitude not only makes you more approachable, but it also makes you more memorable.
If you’re in a leadership position or hope to be so one day and you don’t have a sense of humor then I’d say you are out of luck.
I believe part of a leader’s responsibility is to create a workplace that’s well disciplined, functional, effective and a fun place to work. Just because you display a sense of humor doesn’t mean you’re not serious about your work or have lost your discipline. It means at any given moment you know how to inject humor to lighten up the joint. Working in a place of business without a sense of humor is like working in a room with the lights off. Humor turns the lights on and adds an un-measurable element to the organization.
The number one skill that helps you to live a merry life is to learn the art of self-banter i.e. learn how to make fun of yourself.
People who take life seriously always think they are different. They think they are cooler, smarter, better-looking, or whatever that separates them from the rest. C’mon it’s just life. Don’t be so pretentious. And if you’re pretentious, you can’t make fun of yourself. We’re collectively obsessed with our self-image. It’s ridiculous how vain most people are. I’m also talking about myself. Now, I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. However, it’s bad if vanity means EVERYTHING to you. Get over your bravado, ego, pretentions, and understand that you’re only human.
Lesson #3: Show Up Consistently
Producing any type of content on a regular schedule is hard work, much more so for an hour-long talk show five nights a week. Everyone knows that every show won’t be a home run. But half of the battle is showing up consistently and swinging for the fences. The sheer volume of effort required by Fallon and his staff (and anyone producing a daily show) is amazing.
A huge part of success is just showing up and doing the work.
If you put in the time consistently, you’ll begin to produce a large body of work. That will dramatically increase your chances of being more successful. To be consistent means to fully dedicate yourself completely to a task, activity or goal. It means to fully stay engaged without distraction. To be consistent requires a commitment on your part. It requires that you commit yourself to a sustained effort of action over the long-term. What this essentially means is that you keep your word to yourself and others that you will follow through with what you set out to do consistently over a period of time up until the moment your objectives are achieved. As such, consistency is all about your ability to be dependable, reliable and responsible for all your choices, decisions and actions.
By the way, Jimmy Fallon is consistent, but nimble enough to try new things.
If you consider continuous changes to The Tonight Show, they haven’t been seismic: the show still has a monologue, an A-guest, a B-guest and a musician. But he is constantly experimenting with the formula to keep it fresh by adding things like celebrity lip sync competitions, having Kevin Bacon revive his Footloose role and getting none other than Barbra Streisand to make her first Tonight Show appearance in 50 years! A good leader has a structured framework with enough wiggle room to be nimble. By pursuing excellence, you’re able to remove distractions and pave the way for being heard in a way that makes people want to talk about it the next day…and hopefully, for the rest of their lives.
There is a saying that goes ‘80% of success in life is just showing up’. Showing up can lead to success by enabling you to reach your fullest potential.
Being in the right place at the right time is also key to success. When you show up consistently in small ways, you create more chances that you’re in the right place when opportunities appear. Whether you keep looking for the right job or finding clients for your new business, showing up will drive you to find the opportunity you want. Make showing up the attitude of your life. When you take the first step towards achieving an important goal, the rest of your journey won’t seem as daunting. You’ll feel more confident and go after the things in life that will bring you joy.
Consistency gives you a steady stream of value to share, it demonstrates your expertise, and it shows that you truly care about people, thus building a trustworthy brand.
Maybe you’ve taken on a little too much, and you’re a bit overwhelmed, or perhaps you just not in the mood. This is when you need to remember your purpose, your reason why. You’re showing up for the people you help — always keep them in mind. You’re ‘why’ is the core of your brand and should be at the center of everything you do.
Lesson #4: Stay Focus on Your Goal
Jimmy Fallon was a young comic with zero acting credits when he tried to convince talent manager Randi Siegel to help him get on Saturday Night Live. She knew Fallon’s dream was a long shot. Your dream may be a long shot, but we live in a time where almost anything is possible. Stay focused on what you want to achieve, set high but realistic goals, and find others who can help make your dreams a reality.
It is incredibly important to have a target when it comes to investment or something in life.
It gives you something to aim for, because else you’re more or less walking in a directionless direction. Jimmy was laser-focused on his dream of making Saturday Night Live and worked tirelessly to refine his art so that when he actually got a second chance to test, he could nail it and stop the errors he made for the first time. All the weekend gigs held up and the many years of involvement in the improvisational collective he joined were worth it to play a part on Saturday Night Live.
Besides, Jimmy has the ability to see past, present and future.
In his opening monologue on his very first show, he was careful to give praise to the hosts who held his chair before him and promised to take good care of the show. By the same token he has put his stamp on the show by keeping it fresh. Leaders learn lessons from the past, live in the present, with an eye on the future. Those that fail to succeed simply have taken their eyes off the ball. They did not keep the finish line ahead of them and real enough to run their race well. They allowed the pain of running and the easy way off the course to shipwreck their race. Never, ever, ever take your eyes off the prize. It’s hard work that pays huge dividends.
Once I’ve set goals for myself, I make sure to keep my eyes on the prize–literally.
I use a day planner that is specially designed for goal-setting and reflection. Using this planner, I take my big annual goals and break them down into monthly and weekly goals. I then go one step further and divide these goals into more manageable and 100% achievable daily tasks to ensure that I do something almost daily to help get me to the finish line. With this level of goal break-down, I know that my goals will remain top-of-mind even when regular life finds a way to derail me for a little while.
Many think that willpower and motivation in their own right determine success.
While both are great and necessary virtues to have to navigate this increasingly difficult world, willpower is largely a short-term solution, while motivation is great to get you started but is also fleeting. Using the willpower approach to stay focused on goals centers on increasing personal efforts to overcome the environment, not on modifying or changing the environment. By taking control of the setup of your environment, you can influence your levels of motivation, enthusiasm, drive, and desire towards the goals you have set.
Lesson #5: Use All Your Talents
Jimmy Fallon doesn’t try to be David Letterman or Jon Stewart. He uses his own personality and team to put together a very personal, entertaining show. By doing that, he’s gained influence, which he’s been able to leverage for social good. Individually and corporately, we all have gifts that are specific to us.
So use what you have: your own story, gifts, and voice.
Yours doesn’t have to be a dramatic story: it just has to be you. You were born with a unique set of skills, preferences, and circumstances that were given to you with purpose. It does no good to sit around wishing you had a different set of talents or skills, or being jealous of someone else. Make the most of the skills you do have and don’t worry about what others are doing. Although Fallon got his start as a stand-up comedian, his talents go far beyond that one area. He can sing, play guitar, do impressions, act, and dance. All of these talents are on display at different times on The Tonight Show.
Allow the best of your talents and don’t think about what people are doing.
It’s not a clever idea to lounge around hoping you had a certain collection of skills or ability, or to be jealous of someone else. That said, in order to be as foolish as Jimmy has to be in front of millions of viewers, you have to be confident. Without confidence, his jokes would be poorly executed and all of his talent would go to waste. The same goes for networking. You could have all the talent in the world, but no one will ever know if you don’t have any confidence in yourself. People invest in people they believe in. If you don’t believe in yourself, why would anyone else?
As a leader, do you fully recognize and own your gifts? How can you leverage what you’re best at if you don’t really know what that it?
Talents are gifts which have been developed. You’re born with gifts. You develop talents. At that point, you have something useful. It’s like a manufacturing process. Gifts are the raw material. Talent is the finished product. The truth is, you have a path and a specific purpose for being here. In the same way, you have a quest–something you are seeking–and innate strengths or abilities that are your own. As you journey through life, you may find yourself drawn to certain activities and things you feel called to do along the way. You begin to resonate with a specialty or calling, and therein lies the keys to identifying your gifts.
Your job is to find out what makes you buzz and begin to perfect it.
Discover your brilliance in life and practice, practice, practice. You must hone your natural abilities to perfect them—concentrate on your strengths, not your weaknesses. Look at the world’s greatest athletes. They practice what they’re naturally good at–and what they love to do–every day. They stick to what they do best and reap astounding rewards because of it. There are only two steps to success: Discover your brilliance and perfect it. Doing this will allow you to receive the wealth you truly deserve. The only waste of human resources is letting them go unused.
Your business may not be a talk show like The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, but there are some things we can learn as it poses a really fascinating example. So whether you are becoming an entrepreneur or beginning a new job with a business that has established traditions, have fun and don’t be afraid to show who you are to others. You can find success by showing the world who you are and what you have to offer. You never know, you could end up on The Tonight Show.
I know your life isn’t a late night talk show.
Yet, I see an interesting example when I watch the new Tonight Show. If you are taking on a new team, job or business with a legacy and traditions, find success your way by being who you are, letting others be part of it and enjoying the moment — even if a duet with Justin Timberlake may be just barely out of reach. When I look back, there were important times in my career when I could have enjoyed the moment more and worried less about doing everything right. It feels like Jimmy Fallon has decided he’s going to do it his way and enjoy realizing a goal I’m sure he has always wanted.
The great thing about being authentically you, is that there’s always someone who can relate to your story. Your voice can make an impact.
The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon is solely focused on entertainment, and far from a seminary course in evangelism training. But wisdom can be found everywhere; hiding out in flat-screens or the coffee shop down the street. As a leader and an influencer, Jimmy Fallon has pointed out countless of lesson which can benefit the people specializing in the same industry as well as the human in the society.
Believe in yourself to understand your utmost desire and potential, then, always keep an eye on changing and challenging yourself to strive for the better you than yesterday.
There’s something about Jimmy Fallon that’s magnetic. He’s just so… LIKEABLE! Why is that? Jimmy Fallon has some great qualities that have no doubt helped him get to where he is today. Want to be like Jimmy? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Digital Dandy. Hacker From Heart. Workaholic. Coding Artist. Self-made.