Metallica Used a Coach. For Real.

Sep 8, 2017

Metallica has benefitted from coaching and one could argue was even ahead of its time using a team coaching approach. Very cool. How might team coaching help your team, however you define it?

Metallica's Lars Ulrich And James Hetfield Are in It for the Long Haul

That partnership has not always been easy. In 2004, Metallica produced a documentary, Some Kind of Monster, that exposed deep tensions in the band, especially between Ulrich and Hetfield. "At that point, we had been together for just about 20 years and we had never really had a conversation about how we were feeling," Ulrich says. So they brought in a performance coach ("I think that's the word he prefers," Ulrich says) to help the band work on communication.

"That movie was super therapeutic for all of us," Hetfield says, adding that it helped him view his reactions to conflict with more clarity. And perhaps it shouldn't be surprising to hear two of the best-known rockers in history speak gently about emotion — after all, Hetfield says, "Music is all about emotion."

In that film 12 years ago, rock fans saw Metallica close to imploding. But the band has worked through its issues. "We realize now that there's nothing creatively or nothing practically that's worth damaging that relationship over," Ulrich says. "And — dare I use the word — empathy shows up occasionally in this band now. Like, 'Wait a minute, I wonder how he's feeling about this!'"

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