Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Basic Premise of Bold, Brash & Brilliant

To expand on the main reason I chose Chaplin, Kelly and Jobs for my research, is that they fit the profile of intense, driven, control freak professionals who did not ask anything more of their team than they asked of themselves.  They pushed everyone around them to the breaking point to get that slight improvement of the end product, whether it be a comedy sketch or feeling in a scene, a dance number that seamlessly blended with the story and was executed with precision and style or a product that just felt right and was perfect for the task.

In Chaplin's case, he would make his team do 200 to 300 takes of a scene to get that perfect look and feel.  For this reason, he kept the same stable of loyal actors and crew who knew his style.  He never had guest stars.  His crew was in awe of his stamina.

Gene Kelly would rehearse himself and his fellow dancers until, as Debbie Reynolds put it, "My feet bled."  He would always say, "Lets just do it one more time."  He would also shoot up to 70 takes on one scene if he didn't feel it was right.

Steve Jobs was not a performer in the traditional sense, but he did put on a show with his keynote addresses to the cheering throngs at the World Wide Developer Conferences.  He would redo the slides for his address over and over again and rehearse until it was perfect.  If there was another CEO about to present, Jobs would yank them from the schedule at the last minute if the presentation was not to his standard.

Jobs product development was in keeping with the same devotion to style and feel.  His team would build prototype after prototype for Steve to review and even change it at the last minute prior to production if he found a flaw or realized something, anything wasn't right.

All three used what I call, Creative Tension, to keep themselves and their team on track and on their toes.  Creative Tension puts a feeling in the air of bubbling creativity, never being satisfied, looking over your shoulder for the other guy and being willing to push boundaries.

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