Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Quo Vadimus

Before The West Wing and after A Few Good Men Aaron Sorkin wrote Sports Night. This was a show about a show about sports.
There's a scene from when the (real) show was pushing toward cancellation where this VC guy is talking to the Executive Producer.
He says
"Dana, I'm what the world considers to be a phenomenally successful man. And I've failed much more than I've succeeded. And each time I fail, I get my people together, and I say, "Where are we going?" And it starts to get better."
I love that.
In the last few days I managed to piss of my wife, mess up my engine, screw up a meeting with a friend, and marginally a flub a project of national scope that I can't talk more about (but will someday--it's fascinating).
We get pretty excited about success. Head to Amazon and count books within "Winning" in the title.
I'm not so sure success begets success. I think that on a spiritual level the call of Christ was "come and die with me" but even on a management level I'm pretty sure we do best when we evaluate based on process best practice, and line incentives up to encourage risk taking. For risk taking to be anything more than a bull-crap poster on the wall it means we have to be cool with the occasional failure.
And I hate that.
That's why the little Sports Night quote speaks to me.
Good Night Moon is calling.


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