Reality Isn’t Just TV

American Idol

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You might watch one reality competition or another. There are lots of them and I’m sure there’s one to appeal to some interest of yours – singing (Idol), dancing (Stars), Golf (Big Break), Cooking (Top Chef, etc.), business (The Apprentice) – they’re all out there.
No laughing, but I was an Idol fan. I say “was” because I’m done with it now after last week. A contestant who clearly should have been in the top 5, if not won it all, was eliminated. Lots of folks blamed lazy voters. I don’t – and there’s a business point in there too.
Is it the new voting sytem which can be more easily gamed?  Was it folks like me who feel the real talent on the show is obvious and, therefore, don’t realy need to vote?  Nope.  I blame the judges. You might be aware that Simon Cowell, the acerbic but insightful judge left the show and none of the current judges seem to want to step up and be anything other than nice. From what little I’ve seen of some other judged shows, that’s a common failing.  In the case of these shows where voting is determining the outcome, the judges need to be clear that someone is better.  They’re experts – they hear nuances live that we may not hear at home.  They can more easily judge presence.  Frankly, most of us can’t tell how good a performer is as long as we think they hit the notes – our ears aren’t that good.  Which is the business point.
When someone gives a bad performance it’s your job as a supervisor to let them know. That means being direct, constructive and honest.  It means explaining what specifically was wrong and how it can be fixed.  It means criticizing the performance and not the performer (just because you can’t deliver a powerpoint it doesn’t make you a bad person!).

As a boss, your business ear is highly trained as well.  The only way for your team to imporve overall is for you to be brutally honest.  You then need to be supportive, instructive, and patient while progress is made.  Tough love might be the answer.


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1 Comment

Filed under Helpful Hints, Reality checks

One response to “Reality Isn’t Just TV

  1. Dear Keith:

    Another home run! What great business advice!


    Mike Coyne

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