Wednesday, 16 May 2012

The Clint Eastwood effect

40-50 years ago, Clint Eastwood was a highly successful actor making classic spaghetti westerns and the classic Dirty Harry series. It was a recipe that worked. It was highly entertaining and highly commercially successful, and made a unique contribution to classic cinematography. But Clint Eastwood is not just a cog in someone else´s machine. He never was. He is a highly creative, innovative individual. Now he is 80, and he has done some of his best work in the last 10 years or so. That is what creative people do. They just get better and better, and work till they die. Think of Million Dollar Baby, Gran Torino, or Hereafter, in my opinion a masterpiece.
 But now think of the mindset of today´s employers. Creativity and innovation have never been more important than they are today, in industry, services and education. But what is the recruitment philosophy of most employers? Do we want creative and innovative people? Are we hiring the people who can deliver that calibre of work? No, we aren´t. We are hiring people who are CHEAP and COMPLIANT. Cheap and compliant is fine if what you are trying to do is sell a mediocre product using first-class marketing. But what we really need to be doing now is delivering first-class products. If Clint Eastwood was a teacher, or a company executive in a corporation, he would have been on the scrapheap for the last TWENTY-FIVE YEARS! Instead, because he is self-motivating and self-regulating, he is now doing the best work of his life. He´s still doing things he has never done before. We could all be doing what he is doing. So why aren´t we?

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