You Career May Need a Publicity Tour
So… The Academy Awards came and went, and we had a mix bag of results (I know this is my third blog about the Oscars, I promise it’s the last one… sheeeesh!). Green Book won it all, Olivia Coleman was an adorable surprise (sorry Glen Close) and one of my favorites, A Star is Born, had to content itself with Gaga taking the best song award.
So why am I talking about the Oscars again???? Well, I think that the results that A Star is Born achieved were impacted by the way they went about navigating the award season and that this could be a lesson for all of us in our careers.
You see, for years winning the Academy Awards has not been just about being the best movie, or the greatest piece of art, or the biggest achievement in cinematography. There have been a lot of years in which campaigning made a big impact in the results. The most infamous of them would be the campaign for Shakespeare in Love in 1999 that ended up landing them a best picture Oscar instead of Saving Private Ryan. Miramax, led by Harvey Weinstein (yes, THAT Harvey Weinstein) spent an enormous amount of time, energy and money getting in front of Oscar voters to say how great the movie was, showing how charming the cast was, and getting as many people to see their accomplishments as possible.
Bradley Cooper and A Star is Born took a different approach at this year’s Oscars. It has been known for a while that Cooper is not a fan of press junkets, defending his movies, or exalting his work. He believes that his accomplishments should speak for themselves. So that is what he did. The movie came out in October and it wasn’t until early January that we saw him going on talk shows, going to a Gaga concert to perform, and speaking earnestly about his experience. It was all too little too late. By that point A Star is Born was out of people’s minds and eventually lost steam. The heartbreaking part of it is that Cooper admitted to Oprah that he felt embarrassed for not being nominated for best director, that he felt like he did not do his job (he clearly did!!).
Unfortunately, we live in a world in which merit alone is not enough to give us the accolades we deserve. There is so much going on all the time that it is easy for our hard work to get overlooked or overshadowed by shinier and noisier things. Is it fair? Of course not. However, it doesn’t change the fact that it is the reality in which we live in. If Bradley Cooper had done a little more tooting of his own horn, and showcasing the amazing piece of art he created, maybe the outcome would have been different.
I see similar situations like this happen all the time at work. I see people give their all, bust their butts, and not get the recognition they deserve. As much as we want to put the blame on the people around them, the truth is that many of us are uncomfortable showcasing what a great job we have done. Or how truly indispensable we are.
Most of us have the expectation that if you work hard you will get the raise. That you will get the promotion. The truth is that the excellent work we do is just the price of admission. In order for us to ensure that we get the results and recognition we are searching for we need to do some campaigning. We need to kiss some babies. Shake some hands. We need to get in front of people and make them see how great we truly are.
Now I am not advocating for you to strong arm people like Mr. Weinstein did (PLEASE DON’T), but I think that we would all be better served if we sung our praises more. We should make sure that everyone is aware of our work, the effort we put in, and why we matter. If we leave it in the hands of other people to do that, then we can’t be disappointed when the Shakespeare in Love of our office goes home with the statue.
Andre Mello is a Business and Leadership Coach and is not afraid to toot his own horn. He has been in Marketing and Leadership for over 17 years. If you would like to connect with him, please visit www.wysecoaching.com.