What We Can Learn From Chris Rock

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

Entertainers know a lot about how to grab an audience’s attention, hold it, and get invited back. The great comedian, Chris Rock, has some good advice for those of us who want to get our ideas across, and get invited back.

“When. . . you don’t do well, you”re basically hearing ‘No.’ How are you going to approach this ‘no?’ Are you going to respect it, put the blame on yourself and improve who you are, or are you going to blame the audience like an idiot?” He goes on to say, “It’s never their fault. No matter how late it is, no matter how much they did or didn’t drink, no matter what the sound system is like, no matter how hot the building is or how cold the building is, it ain’t the crowd’s fault.” (New York Times 12/28/07)

As we enter this New Year filled with grand plans, we are certain to meet resistance to our brilliant ideas somewhere along the way. As Chris Rock suggests, we’ve got a choice: we can blame them or we can take responsibility for things going wrong. Since we are the ones who want something, taking responsibility for how things are going is a great starting point. It gives us a better chance of doing it better next time. It could be timing, how we presented the idea, the wrong audience for our appeal, it could even be a bad idea! Whatever. Blaming others will only give us that self-righteous glow for just so long, and then we’re left with a idea lying dead on the floor.

On the cheery note, “Happy New Year.”