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4 HR Lessons from the Oscars


HR Awards

Hollywood’s ultra-glamorous night is over, and the academy’s deserving artists celebrate their achievements with the most recognized trophy in the world. I can’t help but relate that stardom journey to our own endeavors in the world of work. What new lessons can the Oscars teach employees, HR and enterprise leaders about motivation and performance? Consider these four lessons from Sunday’s ceremony.

Rock stars are not born overnight

Jackson Maine, the character played by Bradley Cooper in the iconic remake of A Star is Born captivated viewers with his charismatic on-screen portrayal of a country music star. But Cooper’s seemingly natural musical talent was no overnight accomplishment . He spent six months learning to sing, play the piano and guitar, even training his voice to be deeper to get in character.

After several years as a Hollywood actor, Cooper debuted as a writer, producer,  and director for this film. He was insatiably curious about his craft . “I would always spend time, as much as I could, in editing rooms and shadowing directors and asking crew members questions and learning about the lens and so on” said Bradley.

Triumphant actors are great teachers in reminding us that we should stay curious. We’re the directors of our own growth and career journeys.   Hunger for learning can help us find our true callings. HR and leaders play an essential role in building a work environment that maximizes human potential.

Passion dictates performance

In both Hollywood and corporate life, perseverance is crucial to success. Since 1982, Glenn Close has gathered the most Oscar nominations for best actress and supporting actress without a win. Close has displayed passion in each of the remarkable characters she’s portrayed including her recent performance in the motion picture, The Wife , perhaps her best work ever.

Employees that are connected to their passions are likely to perform their very best despite the occasional nomination without a win. It’s the job of HR and company leaders to reward perseverance and help employees find roles that express their passions.

Meaningful work trumps recognition

Bohemian Rhapsody received five Oscar category nominations and four wins and has earned $800M at the box office to date.  The movie tells the story of the legendary 1970s band, Queen. They were trailblazers defying stereotypes and conventional thinking in music genres. Their song “ Bohemian Rhapsody ” is one of the most iconic tunes in the history of rock. Yet when Queen recorded the track in 1975, they were told that it would never receive radio play because it was too long.

The lesson: Doing great, meaningful work matters more than being recognized for it. Giving employees the ability to contribute to a purpose-filled mission and witness the lasting impact it can have on the customers they serve can be more valuable to them than pay or recognition.

Sometimes it takes a village

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper display remarkable chemistry throughout A Star is Born , especially in their epic performance of the song “ Shallow,” which won the Oscar for best song. Their success has much to do with the strength of their partnership.

This dynamic duo teaches us that we often need a helping hand to be successful. It’s crucial to have the right partners and cultivate true partnerships.

It’s also vital for business leaders to build an environment in which those partnerships can flourish. Creating great employee experiences is a central theme in the world of work. HR and IT must partner to deliver next-generation experience s that allow employees to be their best selves.

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