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4 lessons from the Oscars

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Yesterday’s Oscars was an event filled with record-breaking selfies and clumsy actresses (we’re looking at you Jennifer Lawrence).

But behind the glitz and glamour, what leadership lessons can we take away from the entertainment industry’s biggest night?

1. Dreams do come true

“When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you’re from your dreams are valid.”

Often, projects only culminate after months, if not years, of hard work and sacrifice. At this year’s awards, Lupita Nyong’o, who won Best Supporting Actress for her role in 12 Years a Slave, reminded us to keep working on our ambitions, regardless of circumstance.

2. Always have something to look forward to

“My hero is always 10 years away. I’m never gonna be my hero, I’ll never attain that. I know I’m not and that’s just fine with me because that keeps me with somebody to keep on chasing.”

During Matthew McConaughey’s emotional acceptance speech for his Best Actor Oscar for his role in Dallas Buyer’s Club, he firstly thanked his family for inspiring him to be a better version of himself, and then spoke about the importance of always have something to look forward to.

“To any of us, whatever those things are, whatever it is we look up to, whatever it is we look forward to, and whoever it is we’re chasing, to that I say ‘Amen.’ To that I say, ‘Alright, alright, alright.’ And to that I say ‘Just keep living’.”

3. Sometimes the best work goes unrecognised

Despite having starred in multiple blockbuster films, Leonardo DiCaprio (along with the rest of the world) is still waiting for his Oscar. While there are entire websites and fan pages dedicated to how DiCaprio hasn’t yet been bestowed with the coveted golden statue, DiCaprio has mentioned in interviews that he does this job because he loves it, and not for the prizes.

We can’t expect the work we do to always warrant a celebration or a pat on the back, but doing something you’re passionate about is just as valuable and important in producing quality work.

4. Always remember personal branding

When Cate Blanchett took the stage to accept her award for Best Actress for her role in Blue Jasmin, she thanked the film’s director Woody Allen for casting her, wrapping up the acknowledgement with “I truly appreciate it”.

While her intentions may have been genuine, the gesture was received poorly by the audience – Allen was recently in headlines (again) for allegations of sexual molestation by his adopted daughter.

Blanchett’s thank you to Allen would have been customary for any other actor accepting an award, but might it have been wiser for her to distance herself from the controversy surrounding Allen?

Regardless, it’s important to keep in mind – especially on such a global and public level – that your associations affect your personal brand, and that surrounding yourself with those who make you look good is important.

Image source: YouTube

HR Masterclass Series: High-level HR strategy training workshops
with topics ranging from Analytics, to HR Business Partnering, Coaching, Leadership, Agile Talent and more.
Review the 2019 masterclasses here »

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