George Clooney on being yourself in the face of adversity

February 27, 2013 by Joshua
in Blog, Leadership

For my third post on George Clooney’s Inside the Actors Studio interview, here he speaks on being yourself in challenging situations.

I’ve written on the overlap I see between the art and craft of leadership and acting, how both deeply involve being aware of knowing and managing your emotions so you can know and evoke emotions in others. I think the training of leaders can benefit from the more mature field of training actors, and I’ll write more on that later.

What Clooney says about actors I believe applies to leaders as well, since leaders necessarily work where others can judge them. Leaders can’t hide. Leaders have to be present and themselves, so criticism and judgment of their work and their team’s work always has a component that is hard not to take personally.

His work is more public than most of ours, but the personal challenges can be just as hard and the criticism can cut just as deep.

I haven’t worked with him, but I expect that beyond himself as an actor, Clooney probably also leads a team of people — managers, etc — qualifying him as a leader in his own right. Even just considering him as an actor, I think any leader or aspiring leader can learn from him.

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