Friday, 15 January 2016

Ch-ch-ch-changes: 3 Ways David Bowie Continues To Impact Us

M'Ch- ch-ch-changes...ohh look out out your rock'n rollers some days soon you are going to grow older...' So sang David Bowie. So much has been written about him since his passing was announced last Monday. So much I have read on newspapers and magazines, quotes from celebrities, fans, ordinary people. A beautiful piece I highly recommend you to read is this here http://www.mamamia.com.au/the-dignity-of-bowie-and-rickman/ . 

But I also have something to say about the great artist. Maybe because I grew up with his songs. Maybe because he was a true artist, always ahead of his time and proving a huge influence on people and society, managing to shake it from its core.  

Three things In particular resonate with me but also, I am certain, with many others:

#1 - Change, always and everywhere

Bowie understood with clarity that the only constant in life is change. He was a master at reinventing himself, pushing the boundary, raising the bar. Bowie not only appreciated that change is inevitable, in my opinion he actually felt the urgency behind it. As an artist David relied on change to stay relevant, to surprise and feel alive. As business people, leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators we must do the same: to truly drive change not just embrace it in a rather reactive fashion. Unless you drive the way change is going to go you are merely following change, not leading it.

#2 - Space Oddity

David's sexually ambiguous characters forced society to look beyond black-and-white. Not just a stereotypical woman or a man, David's personae brought on stage many more nuances that society was ever used to. In so doing he began to build greater awareness around diversity, about facing the strange, about the need to accept 'space oddities' . These themes are just as relevant today, but discussing them has become rather more acceptable than it was then. As a woman, I feel I ought to recognise that David Bowie contributed through his music to open up the conversation. 

#3 - Master story-teller

David's told stories of real and fictional characters. His music and his performances were based on lead characters that would engage the audiences with their stories. From the man who sold the world to the one who fell on earth, David understood the power of story telling versus singing a song or even a collection of them. Ultimately life and business are about people and their stories and you must capture them to create a loyal following of fans and, why not?, clients. 

R.I.P. David Bowie 1947-2016


Alessandra is an experienced mentor, business coach, consultant and strategist. She supports individuals - especially women - and organisations in achieveing their potential through customised, outcome driven interventions . You can find out more about Alessandra here and contact her by email here.  

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