YES, it was exactly a year ago that many of us were speaking in half-sentences: “Did you see…?”, “Can you believe…?” , “What the heck …?”, “How…?”
On live TV, in front of millions world wide, the absolutely unthinkable happened: the wrong winner was read for Hollywood’s top honor, Oscar for Best Picture of the Year.
The stage filled with cast members, jubilantly hoisting statuettes, hugging while the producers were taking turns giving acceptance speeches. But gradually you noticed the fluttering behind the speakers. Guys with headsets and worried looks were pulling people aside. Then….BOOM!
I’ve watched the tape of that moment several times this past year, and thought about it a few times more. Always come away thinking ‘wow’.
Collectively, hundreds and hundreds of years of show biz experience on that stage, stunned and shuffling about. It was 36 year old producer Jordan Horowitz who stepped up, looked in the camera, said there was a mistake, then called the rightful winners up on stage.
While I’ve never had that kind of pressure on me, lessons reinforced: difficult things, important things are usually best said sooner rather than later; directly, and without editorial. Also, leading doesn’t have to be overbearing or confrontational.
Sometimes the hardest part of leadership can just be the one taking those first steps, showing others the way they know they need to go.