The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You …

So this post is about Queen.

The band, not her royal highness.

Do I need to call the Samaritans for you now?

Anyway, as many of you know I’m doing a weird, long-term, creative project with a famous Rock band.

As part of that, their management connect me to all manner of weird and wonderful people and recently, they arranged for me to talk to someone who knew Freddie Mercury.

I should point out, him knowing Freddie was not the reason they connected us up, but it soon became the reason for me.

I couldn’t let such an opportunity pass and so after our chat about the task in hand, I told him I was a huge Queen fan and that I’d heard he was a long-time friend of Mr Mercury.

I was over-the-moon when he started telling me some personal anecdotes about Freddie, but there was one thing he mentioned that particularly grabbed my attention.

According to him, part of Freddie’s brilliance was that he was a ‘high class problem’.

He used those exact words.

What he meant by that was Freddie would never allow his issues or ideas to be ignored or fobbed off – by band, management or record company – because they knew if he had a problem, he would not let it pass until it was discussed or dealt with.

The reason I found this fascinating is that we now live in a time where more and more companies value ‘colleague complicity’ above all else. Where anyone who has a different opinion – especially a different opinion to management – is seen as the enemy, even tough in many cases, the motivation behind the challenge is simply a desire to have a better understanding of the viewpoint or wish to help the company achieve at a higher level.

With that in mind, I think it should be the goal of everyone to be a high class problem. It might be hard, it might be met with resistance – but if you are doing it for the right reasons, it’s the right thing to do however, as Mr Mercury’s friend told me, you better have earned the right to be that way or you end up simply being a “dickhead diva“.


21 Comments so far
Leave a comment

So you and Freddie do have something in common.

Comment by Bazza

i guess you mean their fucked fashion tastes.

Comment by andy@cynic

How hard did you try to make sure that man liked you?

Comment by Bazza

Oh you have no idea … hahahaha.

Comment by Rob

Great post Rob. Reminds me of the one where you talked about the importance of stubbornness.

Collaboration has many benefits but only if everyone recognises the talent of those around them, shares a common goal in execution and standards and understands when to contribute and when to stay silent. Sadly those considerations aren’t shared by many who talk about collaboration, which is why so much of it ends up producing averageness, in-fighting or office politics.

I can’t imagine Bohemian Rhapsody would have ended up as it were with the sort of collaborative approach most companies value and encourage.

Comment by Pete

Too many people think collaboration is when you have lots of other people all doing what you say. The other misunderstanding is when people think collaboration is when lots of other people/companies are all working on the same project, even if they are openly blocking each other’s ability to do their job.

Comment by George

Well said Peter.

Comment by Lee Hill

I agree with you and George.

The word collaboration – like others, including diversity and revolutionary – have been totally diluted to allow mediocrity to thrive when their very essence was to aspire to something special and powerful.

Comment by Rob

collaboration is overfuckingrated.

Comment by andy@cynic

Arguably, the only way to earn the right to diva status is to have achieved something extraordinary on your own or with a small group of co-conspirators. Which means it is easier to achieve in a band than as a wallpaper salesman in Pasadena.

Comment by George

Fair point … but not everyone has to write Bohemian Rhapsody to be recognised as doing something extraordinary.

Comment by Rob

Isn’t that assuming Bohemian Rhapsody is extraordinary?

Just trolling. But wish I could have seen your face when you read it.

Comment by Bazza

Other people might call this entitlement.

Comment by John

i cant fucking believe im defending campbell and buckteeth mercury but at least the warbling fuck did something to earn being an asshole. most of the fucks these days act like mercury and havent even successfully made a fucking sandwich.

Comment by andy@cynic

That’s my point.

I should have made it more clearly and saved you from the existential pain of defending campbell. I apologise.

Comment by John

Andy … are you ill?

Comment by Rob

If he starts saying nice things about planners I’m calling in the doctors.

Comment by DH

Just popped in to inform you all that peopöe are commending the comments section of this post. You have been warned.

Comment by Marcus

Nothing really matters.

Comment by John

Well said Marcus.

Comment by DH

Consensus > compromise.

Sorry, no snarky in-joke insult to you today.

Comment by Paul Macfarlane




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