And the Oscar for Best Picture goes to… ? It seems just impossible that this kind of mistake could have happened on one of the world’s biggest stages. But at the climax of the show, when the final Oscar for Best Picture was being announced by Hollywood legends Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty, the wrong movie was declared the winner. This is the first time, in the history of the Oscars, this has happened.
And the Oscar for Best Picture goes to… ?
Beatty looked at the card and froze, knowing that the wrong card was put in the envelope. It said: Best Actress – Emma Stone. Warren stuttered and paused so awkwardly that the audience thought he was hamming it up and began laughing. When Dunaway said, “You’re awful,” he handed her the card and she announced that the winner was “La La Land.”
All of the cast and crew of “La La Land” jubilantly came on stage. Some of its people even had time to make a few short speeches before the mistake was corrected. After some murmuring with the people on stage, the producer of “La La Land” began producing. He humbly took center stage and announced the mistake and declared “Moonlight” the winner. As you can imagine, the room was shocked.
Two winner’s cards were placed in the envelope by mistake and Beatty and Dunaway read the wrong card.
So what can we learn from this that might make our world and business run a little better?
#1 – Don’t panic when things go wrong.
Warren Beatty is no newcomer. When he saw the wrong card, he should have immediately dealt with the mistake and saved a great deal of embarrassment. He just did nothing and then stood their smiling throughout the mismanagement.
#2 – Don’t jump the gun just to make people in the tense room feel better.
We all hate it when the room gets anxious, when silence is deafening and nervous laughter is trying to fill the glaringly empty space. But just don’t jump the gun. Wait for clarity. Dunaway just wanted to put an end to the tension.
#3 – Find the person really responsible and deal with the problem appropriately.
Whoever it was who printed the extra card and somehow got it in the envelope with the right card needs to be dealt with appropriately. Get clear insight on how it happened, who was responsible and then make an unemotional, wise decision regarding future development or even firing.
La La Land’s producer, Jordan Horowitz, was the hero of the debacle. With grace and class he took control and declared the winner. That kind of response is what you want to have when things go wrong in your world or your business.
Author: Rich Stevenson
Rich Stevenson leads a network of young leaders investing in church planting and missions around the globe (www.malachinetwork.org). He has authored 5 books, including Secrets of the Spiritual Life and A Voice from Home. For more information visit: www.richstevenson.org.