“We Don’t Talk About Bruno” is a smash hit from Disney’s Encanto.
It’s not the typical Disney power ballad, like say “Let It Go”. So it’s no surprise they didn’t even submit it for Oscar consideration (that nod went to the more traditional “Dos Oruguitas”).
But it took TikTok by storm.
Because fans decided what excited them and it wasn’t what the “suits” predicted, kinda like when you’re building an authority business.
Sometimes the thing you are convinced will be your break-through—the thing you’ve labored over for months or years—just sits there when you release it.
While something else you just tossed off—because you’re a talented practitioner of your craft—literally goes viral.
“We Don’t Talk About Bruno” came out of one of many weekly calls between the Encanto director/music team and Lin-Manuel Miranda—when they brainstormed about an ensemble piece.
As Director Byron Howard told the New York Times: “We could see Lin thinking, and he looked at us and said, ‘It feels like a spooky ghost story, like a spooky montuno,’” referring to a Cuban musical pattern. “And he turns to the piano and plays the first three chords. We literally saw him put it together and compose in that very moment. I’ve never had that happen before.”
That’s what witnessing authority at work can feel like.
When it isn’t your first rodeo, it’s not really surprising when the stars align to produce an insight—or a break-out hit—so fast it almost seems like magic.
The problem is we have a tendency not to trust what comes easily. We don’t release it for our audience’s reaction, but keep tinkering (or overhauling) again and again.
Miranda and the Disney team didn’t say, “Oh, that idea came too fast, let’s not do that.”
The fans of the movie were oblivious to the process—they just cared about what moved them.
Yep, sometimes, we just need to hit SEND and let our audience react.
Even when it feels overwhelmingly risky. Perhaps especially then—because you don’t build genuine authority without taking a few risks.