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Channeling ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ in the workplace

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Angela Marie K. Miravite

The View From Taft

Channeling ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ in the workplace

“Bohemian Rhapsody” dominated the airwaves and the movie theaters for several months. My curiosity prompted me to watch the biopic movie of the Queen’s legendary frontman. The music, the lights, especially Rami Malek’s portrayal of Freddie Mercury, made me listen to their music for months. Rami’s portrayal was so real and authentic! He truly deserves his Golden Globe Best Actor Award.

Perhaps Queen’s staying power can be associated with how they shaped their art, similar to the way they coined “Bohemian Rhapsody.” After all, they were bohemians — socially unconventional persons, especially involved in the arts. The ecstatic feeling and unrelenting enthusiasm of these unconventional artists allowed the group to enjoy fame and adulation that are only reserved for the greatest of artists.

After watching the film, I kept humming and listening to “Bohemian Rhapsody.” It helped me shake away stress at work and cope with seemingly snail-pace traffic. Then, as I repeatedly went through the music and the lyrics, it suddenly dawned on me — the song’s message can captivate not only casual listeners, but also business managers as well. I was inspired that the song can be related to workplace success.

Bohemians are risk takers, the go-getters — those can both apply and break the disciplines of creativity and imagination.

The workplace also needs its employees to work in rhapsody, an ecstatic expression of feeling or enthusiasm, to succeed. Enthusiastic employees tend to be more productive since they work with passion and determination, and strive for excellence. They demonstrate a positive attitude in the office. They are able to build healthy relationships which promote collaboration and cooperation. Freddie Mercury was very passionate about his craft, that is why he became very successful and was able to overcome all of life’s hardships.

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In music, a rhapsody is a one-movement work that is episodic yet integrated, free-flowing in structure, featuring a range of highly contrasted moods, color, and tonality. Rhapsody means embracing diversity and working together to achieve a common goal. Contrasted moods, color and tonality may symbolize disagreements and conflict in the workplace, and like Queen, team members may clash and arguments may arise. Freddie Mercury left the band to further nurture his personal career. After failed collaborations with other musicians, he realized that his band mates complemented his talent and brought out the best in him. Mending the relationship was not easy, but in the end, they realized they had a common goal of creating great music and making an impact in the industry. They were able to reunite, continue their rhapsody, and came back stronger.

Furthermore, as they continued their musical journey, they eventually realized that their music was not just about earning money and being famous; it was also about using their talent to take part in nation-building and to uplift the marginalized sectors of society. Queen’s performance during Live Aid was Freddie Mercury’s legacy that is forever etched in the hearts and minds of fans and the people they helped. In business, this translates to corporate social responsibility since the traditional concept of organizations as solely profit-making machines has been replaced by the need to also consider social and environmental impacts.

Finally, a rhapsody in music is also referred to as an air of spontaneous inspiration and a sense of improvisation. Musical improvization is the creative activity of an “in the moment” musical composition. This represents flexibility and adaptability in the workplace. To perfectly harmonize, one must be sensitive and attentive to the emotions and musical direction of their fellow musicians as improvization uses no music sheets, standards or patterns. In organizations, teams must be sensitive to the feelings, opinions and perspectives of all members to achieve harmony and cooperation. It should also be able to easily adapt and be flexible to the external environment; as in improvisation where the next note to be played is unknown; no one can predict with certainty the behavior of the market.

Freddie Mercury and Queen are legends as their life story and songs present many learnings and realizations inside and outside the music industry. As the lyrics Freddie sang, “carry on, carry on,” it is up to us, those who continuously appreciate their music and sing their songs, to live out these learnings and make sure that the legacy of Freddie and Queen would live on.

 

Angela Marie K. Miravite is a Master in Business Administration student at De La Salle University. She works for a global Quick Service Restaurant brand under its Business Development Group.

angela_marie_miravite@dlsu.edu.ph