Both Sides of Your Brain for Your Business
Diane Ladd (Hunter) and Robert Charles Hunter
Drives My World
(Diane’s perspective): As
a partner and President of the film company Exxcell Entertainment, my
responsibilities include not only producing and writing but also
directing films. When I hire actors, staff and crew, I bring upwards
of 120 individuals together. My challenge is to get the highest
quality work accomplished in the shortest amount of time. Like
everywhere else, the dollar counts.
actors, I want the greatest talents on the planet. But,
cooperation and listening count, not only with me but with fellow
actors as well. I expect at least 100% from an actor, all the time.
I expect forthright
honesty and ethics on my sets. Both
traits are not always easily found in the same person.
I have the choice between two actors of similar abilities but one
appears more cooperative, I’ll most probably opt for cooperation
that saves me time and money. The buck stops with me and I believe in
building the strongest team possible, including my crew. While
experience and a quality resume are critical, I want individuals who
are enthusiastic about the job and the product that we’re
presenting. I want a crew
that exudes integrity and moral values.
film crew, like most teams, becomes a family for the short term and
clearly affects each other. People
have personal lives and I expect that to be their own business. But if
things like affairs, family issues, and health problems affect their
work, those can cause problems in our work family, affecting the
energy on the set and ultimately my own work, not to mention
additional cost. So what’s a person to do?
created a new job on my sets – a Harmonizer. This
is a person whose own energy and abilities are calming, perceptive,
and reflect intellect, all packaged with integrity and trust; someone
who can keep confidences and tempers all they do with wisdom and
compassion. Anyone on my
set who has a problem with anyone else, including me, can go to that
Harmonizer to be heard. Their conversation is confidential. The issue
is the key – how can it be resolved to keep a close and pleasant
work environment? This saves wasted time and aggravation.
example of this was on the set of a movie that I co-produced, wrote,
directed, and co-starred, Mrs. Munck. During
the filming, one of our crew approached my Harmonizer and said that he
was in real trouble and didn’t know what to do or where to turn. The
man shared that he had awakened that morning to find his wife gone and
a note on her pillow.
25 years of marriage she’d run off with his best friend. He
had thought of getting a gun but didn’t know whether to shoot his
friend, his wife, or himself. He
was hurt, confused, and in a lot of pain.
Harmonizer immediately got a psychiatrist to come to the set and talk
to the man privately. This
man never missed a day of work. When our film was over he thanked our
Harmonizer for actually saving his life and helping him to look at
things and start over. No
one knew about this incident, including me. The
Harmonizer helped solve an individual’s problem and avoided
disruption among my crew while saving me time and money.
must include a certain amount of detachment and discernment, but all
business has a human component. We must deal with each person with
integrity and honesty so that we may all achieve the same goal – a
job well done that elicits pride in everyone involved.
Defines My World (Robert’s perspective): Managing
day-to-day operations of a business differs significantly from
managing the talent and creative side of any enterprise. It’s
those differences in style that enable individuals to be effective
while being highly productive. It’s
also style that can cripple an organization and cause constant turmoil
within the ranks.
the film business, my background grew from a family-owned business
with about 100 employees to my responsibilities as CEO of a $4 billion
division of a Fortune 15 company. Obviously,
running a small personal business and a large corporation appear to be
significantly different, but the attributes of success are basic
fundamentals that are exactly the same in both.
my personal management evolution I learned very quickly that I
couldn’t deal with every individual and gain optimum results from
them in the same way. In
any organization there are people that do different things well –
that’s what makes a strong, productive organization. The
challenge is to deal with these people as individuals while remaining
consistent in the application of policy rules and treatment that you
take the leap to the Entertainment Industry where individual
personalities come into play with very creative minds. Here, you may
well sacrifice consistency and discipline to gain the full extent of
an individual’s talent. Basically,
creative people don’t care for organized structure because they feel
it inhibits their essence, whereas people in the day-to-day operations
of an organization know that discipline is the only way that jobs are
done efficiently and accurately.
leader of any organization has the responsibility to make sure “one
size fits all” when it comes to the way the individuals in the
organization, the human resources, are handled. Communications, lines
of authority, and inter-departmental relationships must be consistent
and disciplined to ensure effective workers who enjoy what they do and
look forward to coming to work every day.
concept of Harmonizer is an interesting one. A
Harmonizer is in fact an Ombudsperson that collects
organizational information and processes it within the policies and
guidelines established, yet makes it fit every individual –
something every manager should do, but sometimes forgets.
very easy to build your organization with quality talent and manage
them toward your goals, enlisting their support and contribution every
step of the way. There are three steps to making this work for you:
Choose Well. Selection
of your team is a two-way street. Your choice in an individual
reflects your skills, so insist on the absolute best talent for any
job, then leverage their strength.
Be Consistent. Any
policies, rules, or guidelines should be applicable to all team
members – what works for the janitor, should work for the CEO. If it
doesn’t, make sure you can explain your rationale to everyone that
asks – because they will!
Reward Playing by the
Rules. Promote and reward only
those that play by the rules. If you reward a scofflaw, you just reset
the standards for your organization.
what’s the bottom line? It’s a leader’s responsibility to ensure
the organization has both the people and the structure that enables
success while encouraging individual fulfillment. If you don’t
encourage creativity, you’re liable to end up just another average
company. Be bold in your recognition of talent, support them with the
tools they need, up to and including a Harmonizer or Ombudsperson, and
you’ll see people strive to make your organization the best you can
imagine. Set the rules, be consistent, and get ready to reap the
rewards of a winning enterprise.
about Diane Ladd.
[This article is available at no-cost, on a non-exclusive basis.
Contact PR/PR at 407-299-6128 for details and