You As a Person

A few weeks ago I said something in a meeting and afterwards, I was talking about it with The Executive. He asked me “Did you have a reason for saying that other than proving you knew more than [name]?” The honest answer was that I didn’t. I’m normally pretty good with stuff like that. It wasn’t so much a strategic problem as much as it said something I didn’t like about me as a person.

You don’t want to be the person that has no control over how they act. You certainly don’t want to be the person that isn’t even aware of the fact that they’re not in control. Sitting in meetings in Hollywood, you can see that most people are horribly guilty of this. That’s why they name drop, make ridiculous predictions, and scream at their assistants. They just get away with it because they only deal with their own kind.

Hollywood’s biggest problem isn’t structural or economic, it’s cultural. People are sickeningly oblivious and insecure and just generally awful. The emails I’ve been cc’d on make me want apologize on other’s behalf. And it’s not that they’re evil or malicious, they’re just insulated. It was always a seller’s market. But it’s not anymore and the internet has permanently shifted that power. It’s over.

So more than anything, I’m trying to to figure out what my actions say about me as a person. They either match who I want to be or I shouldn’t be doing them. That involves asking a couple questions – always Why? What for? and What Happens if I Don’t?

It’s not just that it ineffective. There is a reason that things are getting worse daily. The final question is that if it were effective – if there monetary incentives for being an asshole and for being uninformed – would it be worth it?

Written by Ryan Holiday
Ryan Holiday is the bestselling author of Trust Me, I’m Lying, The Obstacle Is The Way, Ego Is The Enemy, and other books about marketing, culture, and the human condition. His work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared everywhere from the Columbia Journalism Review to Fast Company. His company, Brass Check, has advised companies such as Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as Grammy Award winning musicians and some of the biggest authors in the world. He lives in Austin, Texas.