David Bowie’s untimely passing earlier this year provoked an outpouring of emotion, tributes and critical analysis from many people. The musical tributes at the Grammys and the Brits demonstrated the impact and breadth of appeal he had achieved.
It wasn’t just music professionals, his friends and peers that joined in, but also those over different generations who had been touched and often inspired by the man and his music.
I’m old enough to remember the original acclaim he received, although slightly too young to really understand the impact of what he was doing at the time.
Bowie’s instincts were to challenge convention, but not just for the sake of it or to gain attention. It was more about connecting with more people, encouraging self-expression and a push for change (for the better). David helped make “being different” an acceptable way to approach life.
He was initially seen as a bit of a rebel (although the song came some time later), a little off-the-wall and perhaps a little too challenging for the establishment. He was sometimes categorised as a fashion-icon, the implication being that he might only have a short-lived career.
However, David Bowie’s career stood the test of time and his ability to adapt and stay current, reflects the quality of his approach to his music and life in general. He was seen as “cool” in the 70s as well as in the 3 decades that followed.
Looking back now I can see that his creativity and his desire to challenge the status quo, were valuable qualities that can be used by all of us in many different ways and in many different vocations.
Whatever we do, surely challenging the status quo and seeking improvements is likely to be both interesting and rewarding? This of course assumes you agree with the view that any organisation not focused on driving improvements and efficiency gains has a high risk of failure?
This may not be a natural approach for many, but the point is, we should seek out those who display these qualities and embrace them, involve them, recruit them or at least work with them.
You might view this scenario as “Life on Mars”, but if you’re willing to challenge convention, be a “Rebel”, then perhaps “We all could be Heroes” ... and for more than one day.
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