(Read Time: 2 minutes)
Gene Wilder will be missed. He spent decades making us laugh and helped us remember the wonder of childhood.
Response to his death was immediate and vocal. Movie theaters hosted Gene Wilder film festivals, Hollywood paid tribute and Coldplay remembered the actor with a rendition of ‘Pure Imagination’ during the Today Show (Coldplay on Today).
What we will remember is not
the number of films he made, the plays he performed
or the books he wrote, but
how his work made us feel
Gene Wilder spoke infrequently about his philosophy on work and acting. What he did reveal translates well to conversations around creating environments that encourage connection.
“What do actors really want?… I think to be believed.”
Productivity increases in settings where staff believes that management supports both their work and personal development
- Meet individually with staff. Help them establish their personal professional development goals
- Create action plans and a timeline to move toward those goals
- Act as an advisor, rather than boss, during one-on-one meetings
- Be clear about organizational goals and realistic when integrating staff goals with larger business goals/timelines
- Set and articulate expectations of staff performance early
- Determine what you will do to support your staff- with management, peers, HR, etc. Put these actions in writing. Review quarterly.
- Monthly self check in: Am I walking my talk?
Why it Matters: Creating trust decreases expensive staff turnover
“Don’t try to make it funny; try to make it real.”
Connect organizational goals with staff ability
- Spend time out of the office thinking dispassionately about the capability of your staff against organizational goals
- Create a team goals and activities timeline – 30, 60, 90-days, 6 months, 1 year
- Talk with staff about what is needed to achieve the goals
- Do an experiment: Offer (don’t assign) 1-2 projects to the entire group. Observe how working groups form and perform. Make adjustments to future work assignments based on team behavior.
- Offer incentives. (Yes, we respond to a feeling, but also respond to reward)
Why it Matters: Setting expectations early and understanding team dynamics creates team focus and decreases competition
“If I can make my wife laugh, I’m on the right track”
Find someone you trust – a mentor or advisor, who is willing to act as counsel and a sounding board
- Great advisors can be hard to find. Understand what you want out of the relationship before ‘interviewing’ potential mentors
- Create a mentor job description to crystallize your thoughts
- Don’t treat conversations with your mentor as complain-a-thons. Come to the meeting with an agenda
- Offer possible solutions. Don’t rely on your mentor to do all the work
- Be patient and work through issues thoroughly
- Say thank you often
Why it Matters: Drawing on the experience of others helps explore issues from multiple vantage points
To Mr. Wilder
Thank you for creating a body of work that brings joy and will be revisited many, many times
Please Use and Feel Free to Share
Drop a line and let me know if these ideas helpful
New this fall – Career Express
You bring: One Challenge
You Get: 3-Hour, one-on-one coaching
You Leave With: Practical and Actionable Strategies and Tactics
Targeted solutions for overcoming career and professional development challenges
Developing Executive Presence