April 9, 2016 at 10:53 am #3077
“No one ever breaks new ground by playing it safe. We should all be in a battle with mediocrity. We should all be willing to break the boundaries. Because if there is one thing that overlaps business and art, it’s that in the end, it’s the risk-takers who are rewarded.”
These are the words of actor Kevin Spacey, at the most recent World Business Forum in Lincoln Center in NYC, where I was in attendance and ExecuNet exclusively reported on the event for the host, WOBI. Spacey has demonstrated his business acumen by disrupting the television industry with his Emmy award-winning series House of Cards. The series changed the face of television and broke the established rules by releasing entire seasons at once on Netflix’s online streaming platform, meeting society’s desire to binge watch favorite shows. By giving audiences exactly what they want, in the way they want it, and at a reasonable price, they turned the television industry on its head and showed they learned what the music industry did not.
Taking the path less traveled is nothing new for Spacey. For more than a decade he’s been working to revitalize the Old Vic, one of London’s Oldest theaters. He took a production of Shakespeare around the world and even appeared in a video game. Despite being one of the generation’s most talented actors, he’s built his career on a willingness to take risks and identifying opportunities in the unconventional.
One of the biggest lessons Spacey learned from his mentor, the great Jack Lemmon, was that “no matter how successful you are, always send the elevator back down.” This is a philosophy that applies in all walks of life. In this spirit, he founded the Kevin Spacey Foundation which aims to train, support and mentor emerging artists in the performing arts and film. “I believe the tools of artists, theatre and film can be enormously powerful in helping young people develop collaborative skills, add to their confidence, and give them experiences they will need to succeed in any field,” said Spacey.
What risks are you taking?
Are you truly open to new ideas? Are you looking at where other industries failed to provide what consumers desire and seeing how it can apply to your business, or are you stuck in the status quo, simply trying to make it through another quarter?
What about the next generation? Are you sending the elevator back down? Take a look at your organization and evaluate your management training programs. Are you making legitimate opportunities for talented people in your company to acquire new skills and contribute in ways you haven’t yet envisioned?
Check out our executive summary of the most recent World Business Forum for business and leadership insights that will revitalize your career, business and life.
To your next success!
ExecuNet President Mark Anderson Mark Anderson
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