Leadership Lessons from 2017 Oscars Best Picture Error

What Great Leaders Do About Mistakes

Leaders, you can learn from 2017 Oscar for Best Picture Mistake“What we have here is failure to communicate.”

~ Captain in the movie “Cool Hand Luke”

Crystal Clear Pre-cap:

  1. Create a culture where people aren’t afraid to admit mistakes.
  2. Have the team discuss together where the task derailed.
  3. Let team determine areas for improvement.
  4. Encourage the team to create alternative plans if Plan A misfires.

Great leaders aren’t interested in making fun of people who have made a mistake.

Learn from it, and move on, smarter than before.

ICYMI, and, I doubt you did, here’s what happened. When Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty were to read the card for Best Picture, Beatty had the wrong card.

His card was for Best Actress. That award had already gone to Emma Stone, for her performance in La La Land.

Confused by the card, Beatty turned the card to Faye Dunaway, who quickly announced La La Land the winner for Best Picture.

The entourage for that film came on stage, gave lovely speeches, and then were told of the mistake.

Confusion abounded, as you might expect.

That’s how it went down.

Now, what are the leadership lessons?

Great leadership lesson #1: Create a culture where people aren’t afraid to admit mistakes. This is tough. Everyone is out to protect her or his job. You’ll need to make it clear that the point is to make the process better next time.

If you’ve created a culture of innovation and never ending improvement, you’ve likely also created an environment where people are quick to admit their mistakes.

This is possible if you are open about your own mistakes and frank about lessons you’ve learned.

Also, if you are quick to help your people understand what they can do better next time, and be kind about their mistakes, you’ll quickly learn about mishaps, and lead your employees to learn from them.

Being an outsider to the film industry, I have no idea what goes on behind the scenes. I’m thinking it can’t be a good day in Oscar-land.

As a consultant for many other kinds of companies, I can tell you from experience what works:

#2 Have the team discuss together where the task derailed.
#3 Let team determine areas for improvement.

Great leaders allow their teams to figure out where the communication disconnected, and what they’d do differently next time.

The leader only needs to step in if the solution doesn’t seem viable. Then the leader can ask more questions to help the team refine their solution.

And leadership lesson #4 Encourage the team to create alternative plans if Plan A misfires.

“Well that went perfectly.” ~ Said no one ever.

Great leaders are open with their people about the fact that no great plan goes from inception to execution without finding out what doesn’t work.
Plan for mistakes.

Great leaders encourage their people to think the process through ahead of time and have alternative plans ready to go when mistakes and the unexpected happens.

And these are just some of the lessons we can learn from the Oscars.

Crystal Jonas writes and speaks about leadership, loves movies, and endeavors to prepare for mishaps and learn from her mistakes.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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