How to Manage Like a Great Movie Director

...and not like a kindergarten teacher

Read this script and memorize each line.  You must get into the character and feel his pain, study his emotions. What makes him tick?  Let’s do it again.  Those were the words of the movie director.  It was a far cry from the kindergarten teacher…

How to Manage Like a Great Movie Director

“Now children, we are going to have free time.  Each of you will be able to do whatever you want until class is over” said the teacher.

Business is like that too.

Some rule with a heavy hand where expectations and quality are high.  Adaptability is rampant to suit the client’s wishes/needs.  You do “take after take” and don’t stop until it’s perfect.

Profits soar at these companies.

Others, like the kindergarten class, are much less formal.  Business flows as needed and management is less structured.  And the bosses want to be a “friend” to their subordinates.

I doubt their profits soar…

Any great business must run like a movie set where each employee is an actor with a specific role to play.  They must follow a script – not “scripted” words but scripted actions designed to produce the best product or service.

You must come in when expected, you follow this set of guidelines and you do what’s needed and required.

The director, or senior management, sets the tone for all to follow.  They guide you through your actions, coach you when you stumble and give praise when rewards are due.

You hire the best and are willing to pay top dollar for top talent.  The boardroom is your stage.  If you can’t produce you’re asked to pack your bags…

Straying from the norm will change the product.  But you’re expected to stray from the norm to adapt to the customer’s wishes – as long as it falls within certain acceptable limits.  You must have one goal in mind – to do what’s in the best interest of the customer.

If management rules like the kindergarten teacher can we imagine a much different outcome.

The young school children don’t know what is expected of them when allowed too much “free time”.  What do I do? Do I go here, or there?  Am I allowed to do this, but what about that?  What do I do next?

The children, your employees, expect to have fun.  But to what extent?

The class takes all comers, they need to be inclusive.  No one is left behind or allowed to fail.

You don’t want anyone to feel inferior so there are no defined leadership roles.  Everyone has input and decisions are a team function. You are OK with this even if it leads to delayed implementation and few product improvements.

Focus groups are funded to the dismay of acceptable time constraints.  Deadlines are frequently missed while waiting for the latecomers.  No one can make a decision without committee.

Too much freedom becomes anarchy.  Anarchy becomes complacency.  Complacency becomes apathy.  Apathy creates failed businesses.

Do you run YOUR business like this?

Clear, well defined expectations and a willingness to hold others accountable must be the guide we follow.

Create measurable and attainable goals. Foster amicable competition among employees to allow the best to surface.  Never settle for average.

So, are you a movie director or kindergarten teacher?

Are you still giving out those “participation awards” at your business?  I hope not…

➤Leave a comment below and add to the discussion, thanks.

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Copyright © 2018 Steve DiGioia

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2 thoughts on “How to Manage Like a Great Movie Director

  1. Steve, I believe that many businesses have scripts that they use to keep things running at their best performing ability- but many of those businesses also allow for a bit of ad libbing, as well – just to keep the business interesting! No one likes humdrum all the time-let’s face it. I am not saying we run things like kindergartens, but a bit of fun – for employees and customers every once in awhile – freshens the atmosphere and instills a bit of “what’s new” for everyone. Plus…new happenings or special events can bring more customers in – if done in accordance with a business plan ( new things, new promo ideas!)! Creativity never hurts!

    • Whether scripted or improvised, great service must be measured and allowed to adjust to the needs of the customer. When we allow it to be haphazard we all suffer.

      Thanks Lisa.

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