My partner works hard at her craft. She is talented yes, but I have come to understand that her greatest gift lies is in her ability to listen, breakdown difficult concepts and translate and articulate the vision that is living in a producers or directors head.
She understands that it is her job to provide an end product, that is uniquely her creation, but isn’t steeped with her own ego. Rather it must be integrated with those who rely on her to provide a seamless fit for whatever it is that the story wants to portray. No small task for a creative person. One important task for teams that operate on budgets and deadlines.
There is no better example of needing to leave your ego at the door than in the TV and Movie business. Strange when you think that show business is reputed to be all about ego! Other industries could learn a great deal from the precision and discipline that is found on a set. No room for egos. grandstanding or diversions. Not very much room for idle chatter or distracting behaviours. As an observer of the industry, not a participant, I have nothing but the greatest respect for those who survive and thrive in this unpredictable, high energy, stressful yet exhilarating industry.
Let’s extrapolate. What would it be like in your workplace if egos were left at the door? If focus was honed only on an incredible finished product that was truly the result of seamless collaboration and team work? A place where everyone from the security guard at the gate, the cleaner or receptionist all the way up to heads in head office provide equal value to the creative process. A place where everyone feels as though their contribution is important. Wouldn’t the end result have a positive impact on the bottom line?
One person removed from the chain, chaos and separation ripples throughout, often creating a dysfunctional and potentially toxic work environment. How does your work environment stack up to the cohesion on that movie set? Are you aware of the importance of all those who work along side you towards a common goal? How are your leaders focused? Do they notice that the team is an intregal part of their success? How do you and those around you listen, communicate and respect others through the problem solving and build process? Whatever your role or position, isn’t it up to each of you to support the creation of a workplace that keeps some common rules of engagement central to the work philosophy?
- Respect each and every person.
- Take time to actively listen.
- Over communicate concepts and ideas.
- Use email respectfully-(ie. CC overused and much abused).
- Remember, everyone’s career aspirations are as important as yours.
- Lead by example no matter your position.
- Be open to being wrong and be graceful about it.
- Be proud of your accomplishments and don’t be afraid to share the part you played.
- Proudly acknowledge the part that others played.
- A simple good morning and good night are appreciated and garner respect
- Problems are for solving and learning not for finger pointing and blaming.
These are just basics. You can add to them. Too often we find ourselves in situations where people around work in silos. The “Spy vs Spy” mentality that permeates many work environments in these times of quarter by quarter reckoning and bonus/ stockholder profit pressures, in my experience, have encouraged the creation of a “me first” or “me or you” mentality.
The final impact sadly, is a lack of communication, a true absence of respect and understanding for team approaches and awkward and difficult collaboration on projects. This, at a time when creativity, collaboration and team have never been more important to the success of any company.
So tell me honestly, how do you answer the question, “I accept this award on behalf of……..?”.