Every year I seem to find myself in front of the TV on Oscar night. I don’t know why, because I always walk away with the same set of emotions: frustration, and apathy. I like neither of these feelings. Here’s why the Oscars should be canceled:
Hypocritical – can you imagine the Hollywood uproar if Wall Street got together once a year and televised their award ceremony? It just seems a little hypocritical to me. Sometimes we are blind to hypocrisy, but leaders should always be on the lookout to make certain they are consistent in their words and actions.
Smugness – Oscar night is about actors telling other actors how wonderful they are. And they all believe one another. The Oscars are seen as the granddaddy of all award ceremonies precisely because the academy is the only voting body. They have no other feedback mechanism they trust more. Leaders need a variety of feedback sources–those the agree with and those they don’t. Leaders need to hear how well they are doing, but more significant is where they need to change. Criticism is difficult to handle but can be a leaders best friend if they hear with the right ears.
Arrogance – Hollywood loves to stand at the Oscar podium and rail against political and social issues with the same faith and convictions they slam Christians for having. It’s wrought with arrogance. Arrogant leaders act so not because of confidence but because of insecurity. Arrogant leaders sail without a compass because their only guide is the acceptance of those who congratulate them. That’s poor leadership.
Boring – I don’t know 95% of the people who step up to receive a reward. I haven’t seen them in a movie. I haven’t rooted for them as the hero or against them as the villain. At best they are a name flashed across the screen for less than five seconds. I’m not connected to them. What’s worse, I don’t know any of the names they start rattling off when they win. Again, it’s self-congratulatory, and boring. Boring should be a crime for leaders. Inspire those around you. Encourage them to reach beyond themselves. Invite them into projects bigger than they are. But don’t bore them.
Unending – Why is this show so long? It’s length has become a caricature. They make fun of themselves, but don’t respond. Leaders have to know when to begin, and– just as important–when to end. Leaders have to know when enough is enough and it’s time to move on. The problem is that poor leaders realize about an hour too late–just like the Oscars.
When leaders choose to lead with these traits, the result is frustration and apathy. Those being led will live with silent but tangible frustration of your leadership while becoming apathetic in their own responsibilities. That’s a dangerous place from which to lead.
Incidentally, I love that Hollywood makes movies. I think stories are one of the best ways to lead. We all connect to stories, and within any story we identify with a character. If you want to take your leadership to the next level, start telling stories.
That’s my opinion. What’s yours? How are the Oscars leading well?