I went to see Bohemian Rhapsody this week, the new movie about Queen. Yes it was amazing, yes you need to go and see it, and yes, I cried.
The film tells the story of how the band came to do be, gives some insight into the life and genius of Freddie Mercury and the meteoric rise of the band. It mainly sticks to the “true story”, with a few detours, presumably for better story telling.
Why am I talking about this here? Stay with me friends!
I was struck by the portrayal of the relationship between all the members of the band. They were an incredible team. They are all completely different, (Freddie says “we’re four misfits who don’t belong together, we’re playing for the other misfits”.) And it is because of this difference coming together, that they produce something that had never been seen before.
They also seem to have been extremely supportive of each other. So supportive in fact, that the writers included a story line (spoiler alert) about the band breaking up and coming back together for LiveAid. In real life though the band never broke up and had actually been touring before LiveAid. I guess having a group of people working well together doesn’t make for good movie drama.
It is a common workplace drama though. And it is one of reasons business leaders come to see me in my consulting practice. They need help building high performance teams, without the drama.
And Queen (as portrayed in the movie) share some valuable lessons about building a highly productive, functional and creative team. Here is what I noticed:
1. They all have the broader skill set in common (playing and writing music) but each has honed a specialist skill set within that niche.
2. Everyone knows their role on the team and plays that role.
3. Everyone is working toward a common, agreed vision.
4. The band members challenge each other, they push each other to do to more, to do better, to be better. They call each other out on their bullshit.
5. They understand that the creative process includes conflict, and can move through the conflict to produce a better outcome for the band.
6. Freddie is the band leader- that is clear. And he relies on his team to give him feedback. He listens to that feedback.
7. In fact all of the band members seek feedback from each other. And feedback is given very clearly and openly.
So there you have it. Queen- a rock star band and a rock star team. Go see the movie and see what you notice about the band dynamics. Let me know what you think. Also, think about your team. How does it function?
Freddie sums it up so beautifully in the movie. He says:
“We believe in each other… that’s everything. We are going to do great things”.
Until next week,