Watching Legacy: lesson-learnt from living legends in music, movies and TV series.
Updated: Jun 1, 2019
There are three pop-culture events I have been waiting for in this first semester of 2019, as they speaks thousand words about building legacy. When you experience these events, you'll get what 'building legacy' is without having to attend a lecture about it. The fun thing is, the lessons I will talk about is told through music, movie and TV series event (yes, I am probably too-nerdy, that I ended up writing article out of pop-culture event!). Let me talk about these events first, and then summarize its insights for takeaways.
Salute 2019 Concert
The first one is "Konser Salute 2019", which was performed last night. I watched it live, and it was beyond magnanimous as the concert made all the audience gave standing ovation. I can't believe that the concert is ending, I didn't want to leave the hall with hundreds of other audience. Not only because all the songs and overture was played heavenly, it was the story behind the concert that made it become one of the most-memorable musical event of 2019. It was a tribute concert, dedicated to three living legends of songwriters whose works are in song's playlist of most Indonesians: Melly Goeslaw, Dewiq, and Dee Lestari. Melly, for example, have written 200+ songs, and no Indonesian who doesn't like at least one of her songs. Dewiq and Dee also has colored the world of most Indonesians life, in which listening to songs is an everyday habit: as simple as to help make weekdays' commuting bearable due to heavy traffic to work. In this story, legacy makers are all the three songwriters, and Erwin Gutawa who has initiated 'Konser Salute' that made all of us step back and reaffirm how unique, grandeur and full of legacies Indonesian music landscape is.
The second one is the "Avengers: Endgame" movie event, coming this April. It is a culmination of Marvel Cinematics Universe (MCU) journey started back in 2008 with "Iron Man" movie. It has rippled the cinematic world since, as it creates thousands (if not millions) of fans, despite that most of them probably haven't read Marvel comics beforehand. After ten years, the whole MCU stories will come to its biggest milestone, that has been waited by many moviegoers. The legacy makers here is Stan Lee, the man behind Marvel whose imagination about 'all-too-human' superheroes loved by everyone. There is even lesson learnt on different leadership styles in the movies that is useful for HR practitioner: I myself took Avengers as representation of DISC personalities in my workshops, to help audience understand the model easily. Another legacy-maker here is Kevin Feige, who sticks with MCU world as producer and faithfully working on it for the last ten years and make Marvel's world comes to live marvelously.
Game of Thrones
Third, is the final season of "Game of Thrones", also coming in April. Despite controversies on the series (due to it's parental advisory nature), no one doubted that the series has created disruption in TV series world. I was once said to a friend that why I think George Martin is genius, because 'he can create a narrative where all type of fictional characters are there, and somehow, audience is made to believe that they belong to the same universe, and its all made logical: be it medieval kingdoms, dragons, zombies, giants as characters, or all elements of drama either it's about actions, politics, friendship and love'. Not to mention its plot that twisted here and there, that make you attached to the life of Westerosi and its surrounding. Legacy maker here is definitely George himself as writer, and duet of David Benioff and D.B. Weiss who has casted different Directors and talented actors/actress to make sure they translated the "A Song of Ice and Fire" story into the right quality they wanted, scene by scene.
Three stories above are the stories of living legends whose works had, and will make, lasting legacies in the pop-culture world of music, movies and TV series this year.
Here are the takeaways on lesson learnt behind their work:
1. It was all started with Purpose. We can read a lot of references on Stan Lee or George Martin on their Purpose, and how they believed in it through difficult times until they become successful. Listened to the stories of Melly, Dewiq and Dee who received tribute from the concert last night, they told the same lifeline-story that they find what their Purpose are and bring it to live through hardship. Question for you: have you find your Purpose, and are you willing to invest time and energy to make that Purpose come to live?.
You don't have to be entrepreneur to realize your Purpose, as many people think. As being entrepreneur seems gives you freedom of doing whatever you wanted to.
Think the opposite: many leaders bring their Purpose comes to live by leveraging organisations where he/she is being part of. They are Purposeful in roles they do, and makes legacies in their own way to their team, organisation, clients/customers, or consumers. As most of us work in organisation as a part of a team, start small and let your Purpose comes to live in your circle of influence, first. The higher you are in the organisation, the bigger the impact of your Purpose could potentially make.
2. It is a process of harvesting from years of hard work, not an instant. All these legacy-makers were starting their work since decades ago, and consistently do their stuff. Just like a huge monument that was built bricks-by-bricks. All the three stories validate the truth that legends and legacies in arts are built through song-by-song, scenes-by-scenes, episodes-by-episodes. There is no shortcuts, or they will vanish just like most the 'one-hit wonders': group of potential artists that never being heard of anymore. The risk of current 'instant' culture where consumers or users can be spoiled by the ease of technology might tempted most of us to think (by default) that all these works happens 'just like that': like a Thanos snap. And we sometime tempted to think (with a bit of jealousy) and says: "Look at him/her, getting so much fans and money just by singing, or acting in movies!". What audience didn't see was the process behind it: rehearsals, instrument by instrument, song by song (such as in last night concert), or script-by-script, scene-cuts by scene-cuts (in movies). If you have any figure you admire beyond the world of music and movies, you will find the same story: that there is no shortcuts. Even Thanos must fight the whole universe to finally do his snap, didn't he?
Key message for you: if you are in the middle of developing and growing yourselves to be expert in your field, or leaders you want to be, enjoy it. Don't rush and be intimidated with peer pressure, you have your own timeline as long as you are loyal to your Purpose. And when the time it comes, let the world see you shine. One joke I remembered, told by my lecturer in Philosophy, was in 17th century Enlightenment era, there was so many aspired young philosophers who try to publish a canonical book, and surprisingly, it was Immanuel Kant who published his "Critique of Pure Reason" in 1781 that made legacies. When he published his work at the age of 57, Kant's work become canonical, because he took time to let himself harvest the thought and hardwork. Of course, age standards could be different with information era and technology these days, but the point is that let you mature -- let your team members mature. And as HR business partner, spread the messages of the importance of taking time in building expertise and maturity.
3. Collaborate. Find people who has the same Purpose and believe in the 'school of thought of Harvesting'. Just like how Marvel Cinematic Universe can only be made possible because of Kevin Feige, so do "A Song of Ice and Fire" can become 'Game of Thrones' TV-series because of David Benioff and D.B Weiss. Stan Lee, by himself, or George Martin, by himself, will not be able to make it legends. Find yourself an ally, who also believe in Purpose and have faith on the importance on harvesting success after hard work (no shortcuts).
Purpose. Hardwork. Collaborate.
These are three lessons from the living legends of three pop-culture event that is happening until April this year. If you are also fans, enjoy the event when it comes, and remember the lessons.