By now, everyone has heard that the Best Picture winner at the Academy Awards was initially announced incorrectly, awarding the highest honor to the wrong film before the ensuing chaos and correction. Presenter Warren Beatty was handed the wrong card, and he knew it. But instead of calling a “time out” and asking for clarification, he just showed it to his co-presenter Faye Dunaway and she called out the film that was listed on the card, incorrectly referring to the film of the Best Actress winner instead of the Best Picture recipient.

Beatty is like so many people — who realize that something is amiss, but proceed anyway. The pressures of time, not “wanting to look stupid” or hesitation as you second guess yourself all work to allow mistakes to happen.

And so errors trickle down the line. Someone handed Beatty the wrong card and didn’t catch it. Beatty knew it seemed odd but passed it to Dunaway. Only after she publicly read the wrong name did the chain stop.

Think of how you can create a culture in your organization where people have the time — and the courage — to question things down the line. It’s one thing to speak up in a problem-solving meeting or brainstorming session, but another thing entirely to voice a problem discovered at a product launch or board gathering.

Reward your employees for following the TSA mantra: “If you see something, say something.” Even if it’s on international television while the drumroll is playing in the background.

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

One comment

  1. Very timely, I was speaking to my wife about this very observation last evening. She asked me why I thought Warren Beatty did not say something when he admitted being confused and knowing something was not right. I explained that he was understandably surprised by the situation, and did not feel in that that short moment in time that he had the confidence or support to throw a hurdle into the program. What we ultimately learned this occurred anyway.

    Like

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