We’re all just human


I don’t watch the Oscars. Never have. I enjoy the movies, but every time I decide to go to one I have to search what’s playing and watch the trailers – rarely, if ever, do I say “I’m dying to see that.” To boot, celebrities and their lives bore me to tears. I’ve lived in NYC for 18 years, and I’ve had a celebrity sighting exactly once, when I spotted Ann Curry in SoHo. All others have been spotted by someone I’ve been with, and more often than not, I’m not even sure who the person is. I once pitched and won the Us Weekly account and had to develop their advertising campaign. That was the only time in my life I knew who was who, and only because my job depended on it.

So, no Oscars for me on Sunday night, but man was that more than just a big, flashy, as-far-from-real-life-as-you-can-get movie celebrity awards show. In fact, it was almost the opposite. It was humanity unfolding right before our very eyes. And despite the discomfort felt by everyone, television audience included, it was a great reminder. A reminder that we are all human. Most shocking moment ever, you say? Quite the contrary, actually. Warren Beatty, the cast from Moonlight, the cast from La La Land, the big, successful businessmen from PWC who were apparently at the root of the issue: all human.

We are all human is a reminder I give to my children every day when they make a mistake and get frustrated. It’s a reminder I give to friends when a friend or family member has hurt them in some way. But I don’t think it’s a reminder we give to ourselves often enough, either in retrospect or in planning an approach to any given challenge, the latter of which is particularly helpful advice… if you let yourself take it.

Your boss is only human. Your CEO is only human. The Chairman of the Board is only human. And chances are they know that. And presumably, they’ve hired you because they respect you, want to hear your point of view and believe your contributions will help the business grow. So present your argument with confidence, defend your position respectfully but with conviction, let yourself be influenced but not trampled on. And then expect your relationship with them to get stronger. If it backfires, consider whether you’re at the right place.

Easy to say, less easy to do. But think about how you would have reacted to seeing Warren Beatty on the street last week – likely tongue-tied and awe-struck. Think about how you’d react to seeing him now – “Hey, Warren, what’s up?” The only thing that changed between then and now is his having announced the wrong Best Picture winner in front of millions of people. (Okay, that’s a big change, but you get my point.) He’s still Warren Beatty, but we were just reminded he’s only human; remind yourself often that everyone is.


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