So no one likes Coldplay, right? Well if you believed everything you read on Twitter it would seem no one does but I was fortunate enough to be 1 of 20,000 people who on Friday very much liked Coldplay when they performed live at the O2 in London.
Having experienced a gig of that standard there are several posts I could write, amongst them:
- Operational excellence with regard to the production
- The passion and commitment of those performing
- Tribes and how/why they follow people
- Creating complete brand experience for consumers
- Adequacy of resource, clarity of role and task (both for production and performers)
and probably a few more but it was in reflecting on the drive home that I decided to write this post…
In the pre-gig hanging around I did a little light tweeting and in killing time clicked the hashtag #coldplay and was shocked at some of the vitriol that was being expressed – not criticism of anything specific just “I hate Coldplay” and similar. As I stood there I felt this nagging feeling that I regularly used to experience as a kid, that of having put my opinion out there (I like Coldplay) and waiting for someone to disagree or rubbish my opinion. As a kid I was very reluctant to commit to liking/enjoying music, films, books etc for fear of being judged by those I perceived as cool.
I will admit at times dodging this nagging feeling resulted in me subjugating my opinions and preferences to those of others and on a few occasions making poor decisions and acting against my own better judgement not to stand out or be excluded from the cool kids.
As my career began to develop I found the nagging feeling returning, not with respect to music or entertainment but actually with regard to colleagues. Working in Human Resources colleagues would regularly express opinions (both positive and negative) about other colleagues and there I times I can clearly recall I didn’t speak up for what I thought or believed but went with the flow either to not be the odd one out or to avoid confrontation. The cool kids had now been replaced by the powerful kids…
As managers and leaders within organisation I believe it’s incumbent on us to be thorough and objective with respect to the judgements we make. As human resource professionals (as some of you reading may be) I think it’s incumbent not only to be thorough and objective in forming our own judgements but also to actively challenge those around us and those in the business we provide service to not just go with the flow or take the easy route.
I am not for a moment saying that everyone should be given a free pass to do what they want… I suppose what I’m saying is there are very clear structures for forming judgements around both conduct and capability but actually taste and personal preference should have very little to do with this. I still at times struggle to remove my personal opinion of an individual from the process of forming a judgement but I believe I am far better at doing it than I used to be and hopefully ever-increasing awareness and empowering those around me to challenge me on objectivity will see further improvement.
As for Coldplay, both their conduct and capability was impressive and if their music or them as individuals aren’t to your taste then that’s fine and dandy but I will say here that it wasn’t an argument I felt inclined to initiate with anyone on Twitter!
In the spirit of fighting my inclination not to express my tastes I would say doing a radio show that anyone on the internet can listen to is a great leveller but to complete my exorcism here are 5 confessional nuggets that show how ummmm ‘diverse’ my taste can be:
1. The first live gig I ever went to was Gloria Estefan & the Miami Sound Machine
2. I know all the words to “I’ve got a golden ticket” from the film ‘Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory’
3. I own the Greatest Hits CDs of both Barry Manilow and Bananarama
4. The 3rd most listened to track on my iPod is “Shine” by Take That
5. My favourite music to listen to when feeling fragile through hangover is ‘Adiemus’ by Karl Jenkins
Anyone else got anything they would like to confess?