How can anyone ignore a presentation titled “Stop Sucking and Be Awesome Instead”?
Yeah, I don’t know, either. This presentation is for the code-conversant among us, but there are so many great points raised that the discipline is less relevant than the message.
1. Embrace the suck.
2. Do it in public.
3. Pick stuff that matters.
You are never too young/old to admit that there are things that don’t come easy to you…I can think of several that pertain to me just off the top of my head (anxious; highly distract-able; subject to verbal diarrhea; all come to mind), and the folks who work with me likely have a whole other list of ways in which I should Get My Act Together.
I get it. I’m not, and may never be, a finished product. And that’s ok. I strive to be open about my shortcomings… I don’t have a carefully crafted public persona… and I choose to spend my time helping folks and an art form that, frankly, I feel honored to support.
(I subscribe to the maxims above, obviously.)
But I think it’s telling that, in her May 2012 address to the Harvard Business School, Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook’s COO) talks about knowing – and addressing – those things that she struggles with:
One trick I’ve discovered is that I try to speak really openly about the things I’m bad at, because that gives people permission to agree with me, which is a lot easier than pointing it out in the first place. To take one of many possible examples, when things are unresolved I can get a tad anxious. Really, when anything’s unresolved, I get anxious. I’m quite certain no one has accused me of being too calm. So I speak about it openly and that gives people permission to tell me when it’s happening. But if I never said anything, would anyone who works at Facebook walk up to me and say, “Hey Sheryl, calm down. You’re driving us all nuts!” I don’t think so.
Transparency… Self-knowledge… Broaching the tough subject… the elephant in the room… These are all things that we deal with as artists on a daily, consistent basis.