If you're like me, you probably watched only parts of the Academy Awards last night. I was thrilled to see Ennio Morricone win the Lifetime Achievement Award -- and intrigued to watch Clint Eastwood translate him for the audience.
Although born in New York, I also considered Scorsese's Award for Best Director an achievement by a fellow Italian. Both prolific creators, both held in high esteem among their peers.
Seeing all those actors at once got me thinking about how each of them plays many different roles throughout their careers. The best ones do not let anyone typecast them and instead experiment with new characters from movie to movie. Yes, they have a core set of skills, and they draw from their natural talent and personal experiences to bring their roles to life. Acting is hard work, the easier it looks, the harder the work.
I can say that with confidence because in a way we're all actors. Every day we wake up to play various roles in our lives. The most prominent is the one we play at work: marketer, business development guru, communicator, architect of experiences, brand evangelist, etc. To succeed in these roles, we need a good mix of skill sets based on strengths, life experience and role experience.
Do we get typecast? It happens every time someone expects our history to match exactly our future. The history is an indication of what we have been able to accomplish in the past given our context -- and how we acted the screenplay that the company and business provided. There's an important role that the director plays in drawing the best out of us individually (manager) and collectively (leader) to achieve the results we've come to expect from a great story and experience.
Those who help us stretch, those who see the potential for growth, those who inspire us to employ our skills and bring our experience to bear in new ways deserve an award. Be they our managers, colleagues, or customers.
[above: Ennio Morricone; Martin Scorsese during the acceptance speech as Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg look on - courtesy of Epa]