Published on: January 21, 2016
This commentary is available as both text and video; enjoy both or either ... they are similar, but not exactly the same. To see past FaceTime commentaries, go to the MNB Channel on YouTube.
Hi, Kevin Coupe here, and this is FaceTime with the Content Guy.
A couple of weeks ago, I did my FaceTime commentary from the campus of the University of Florida in Gainesville, where I'd just finished teaching an honors class in which the book that Michael Sansolo and I wrote, "The Big Picture: Essential Business lessons from the Movies," is the semester's textbook.
I was thrilled to be there, and totally jazzed about the class, and not just because they're using our book. I like the idea that the university is pushing the students to take classes that challenge the way they think about the world, and take them outside their comfort zones. If we get to be part of that, even better.
What I didn't mention at the time was that I'd given the students a homework assignment to get them in the mood. I asked them to write a short essay on the following subject: Who would play you in a movie of your life, and why?
I've done this a lot with groups over the years. It's fun, and it is designed to get people to think of themselves in terms of image vs. reality. If you think of yourself one way, want to be thought of another way (as idealized by an actor or actress), but realize that others perceive you differently, what does that tell you about your work life and management style?
Dr. Allen Wysocki was kind of enough to share the essays with me, and I'd like to share a few of them with you.
One young woman said Anne Hathaway, and referred to The Devil Wears Prada, in which Hathaway's character discovers by the end of the movie that a work-life balance is important. Seems to me that this is an important thing to know about yourself as you start your career; you may not want to work for Amazon, where CEO Jeff Bezos famously said that if you are worried about work-life balance, you must not like your work very much.
One fellow said Matt Damon, because in many of his film roles he plays someone who a) likes adventure and b) likes solving new and complex problems. I totally get that ... for me, Matt Damon is one of those actors who always seems to be thinking onscreen. Again, if you like new situations and new problems, that's a good thing to know about yourself.
Another said Amy Poehler, because her character on "Parks & Recreation" is so passionate, optimistic, lovable and even overly dramatic sometimes.
From another - Tina Fey, who is both "chipper and sarcastic," but uses humor to deal with situations and to bring people together. Fey also is a self-proclaimed "nerd" who has embraced that image, which seems to give comfort to this particular students.
There were lots of others, all excellent ... but you get my point. Answering the question, "who would play me in the movie of my life," allows us to think of ourselves in idealized ways, but also face the reality of who we are and how we act.
Here's one of the lessons I learned: some of the actors written about were people I'd never heard of. Like Bethany Joy Lenz. Who knew? But the thing is, I have to understand as someone who is older and could be her manager that a young person's cultural frames of reference are going to be different from mine. If you know it, you can deal with it. if you ignore it, the result may be miscommunication.
So thanks to the students at University of Florida for giving me an education. I hope you're enjoying the book and the class, and I'm hoping to get back down to see you again before the semester is over.
That's what is on my mind this Thursday morning. as always, I want to hear what is on your mind.
- KC's View: