The Oscar Academy Award Shuffle / Find the Lady / Bait & Switch routine this year #Oscars #BestPicture #Moonlight #lalaland will surely become a favourite training film in years to come.

It was compelling to watch such confusion; a crowd of beautiful yet bewildered people, radiating ‘so what’s going on’ vibes, milling aimlessly around a (strangely confined) stage area in the very capital of slick, polished, perfect presentation.  (The blame and rumour mongering began instantly, of course.  Can Twitter ever melt down?)

But some real ‘what to do’ or ‘how to be’ advice for any of us in business was acted out right there.

Oscar tip 1: Pause. You could see Warren Beatty becoming aware of a signal from – somewhere – that as yet didn’t make sense to him. But he doesn’t give himself enough time. An extra breath, an extra second before folding to Fay Dunaway might have made all the difference.

Oscar tip 2: Instinct- listen to it. It really looked as if an internal struggle was raging inside the lost Mr Beatty. The signal that he couldn’t quite decode (see tip 1) was at the same time beginning to hiss ‘something’s wrong!’. Should have trusted it.

Oscar tip 3: Tune out the noise. It’s not just innocent noise, it’s the hum of external reference points that distort and mislead. You can see the conflict within Mr Beatty: a dawning sense, that has not yet become a realisation, fights against the force exerted by the surroundings, the occasion, the power of the ceremony. And to end the discomfort, the card is thrust towards Ms Dunaway. Responsibility avoided.

A brilliant Business Coach once gave this advice, during a leadership talk:

‘If someone’s pressurising you, remind yourself to take charge of what you think and of what you’re going to do. Mutter under your breath to yourself if you have to. La la la will do.’


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