“Bridesmaids” Management Lessons

I know, it’s been awhile since I shared with you the many management lessons I learn while at the movies.  Yet as I watched Kristen Wiig dance her good-byes on SNL last Saturday, I remembered all that I gleaned from the deeply thoughtful, multi-layered and dare I say profound movie “Bridesmaids”.  Perhaps not as obtuse as Bergman, but this was her first screenplay after all.  I am sure this hasn’t been covered by Harvard Business Review because they are still debating the finer points of the movie.  So, I will offer them up first because I need not discuss this with anybody before I publish it…

1.  Just because you hand-pick some people to be part of your team, until they achieve a consistent rhythm of accomplishment through collaboration, they are merely a group.  It’s best to engage (ha – no pun intended) people with different personalities and strengths, for the synergy will be heightened.  So do the odds of potential discord – your challenge involves keeping everyone on track and focused on the goal.  If a group is left on their own too soon,  they may go out for tainted food and spend the afternoon in the bathroom.  Not a very productive outcome.

2.  Drinking is not a productive bonding activity.  As someone who used to conduct seminars on an employer’s commitment to equal employment opportunities and sexual harassment prevention, many of the examples provided involved social/work situations and alcohol.  When you’re with the team and when they’re with each other, everyone is on the company clock.  As inconvenient as that may be, it’s also the reality of the workplace.  Maybe you should consider bowling?

3.  Don’t accept medication from people you don’t really get along with.

4.  Realize that trust is an earned emotion and do whatever you can to make sure that it is never compromised.  I’ve often said that it is the foundation of every successful relationship – professional or personal.  It is also indicative of behavior that is consistent, reliable, informed and well-intended.  Most critically though – it is fragile – and difficult to restore when broken.

5.  Friends don’t let friends wallow.  Neither do really good supervisors.  Before you write-off a well-established employee, make sure you know whether a decline in performance is a result of a recent change in circumstances.  If you can help him/her – do so.  Performance does not sustain on a consistently positive trajectory – life gets in the way, bad days gets in the way, tragedy gets in the way.  We have to move past the perception that everyone’s performance gets better and better and better every day, month, year.  It’s just not true.

One last thought,  unless you’re Melissa McCarthy I don’t recommend trying to pick up a U.S. Marshall when traveling on business.

What you do on your own time, is entirely up to you.

Next movie moment?  Not sure – I’m thinking  “Star Wars” or “Snakes On A Plane”…More movie and management reviews to come…

Will Your Way Through Wednesday

Three days of rainy, humid, grey makes the appeal of pulling my covers over my head very seductive.  I need to find my ’embrace the moment’ spirit … sigh, maybe after coffee.  The good news is – we made it to Hump Day and I feel it is my duty to at least start your day with a smile.  And if you don’t feel like smiling – try – it makes your endorphins happy (and if you’ve never seen a happy endorphin, you’re really missing something)..