Lessons in Teamwork and Diversity from the movie Bohemian Rhapsody
I finally saw the movie Bohemian Rhapsody last weekend. I know this movie has been picked apart and criticized for a less than accurate portrayal of Freddie Mercury’s life, but I have to admit, I still enjoyed it; even though I recognized some of the inaccuracies while I was watching the movie.
One of my favorite scenes occurs after the band breaks up. (Okay, I know that didn’t actually happen!) In the movie, Freddy realizes he wants to get the band back together again and delivers a sincere apology to his former bandmates. He then admits that he was better when he worked with them because they pushed each other. He tells the other members of Queen that when he was trying to record a solo album, the band did exactly what he told them to do, and it was awful. He was better, and the music was better, when he got pushback from his bandmates.
Recognizing that diverse opinions make a stronger team is one of the best teamwork skills any leader can have. Being part of a team doesn’t mean that everyone should think alike. Being part of a team does mean that opinions are discussed respectfully and honestly and that everyone works towards a common goal. When every member of the team has the team’s best interests at heart, disagreement results in a better final result. In fact, research shows that diverse teams are smarter and more likely to have returns above their industry norm.
As humans, most of us are naturally drawn to people who act and think like we do. However, these biases aren’t as helpful when trying to solve complex problems as they were when we were fighting wild beasts back in caveman days. Most leaders, especially entrepreneurial leaders, are used to trusting their instincts and always “being right.” However, if you want to grow your business from a small business into a larger one, it is important to bring in people who think differently than you do. Diversity makes a more effective team and as the expression goes, “Teamwork makes the dream work.”
The next time you’re wondering if the conflict in your office is healthy or not, think about the results of the discussion. Did you team develop a better solution than the one that would have been developed without the conflict? If the answer to that question is yes, then perhaps you are having your own Freddie Mercruy Moment.