Lights, Camera, Convention!
There is much controversy over the idea of whether or not the national political conventions should be considered a political informative convention or rather a production for TV. There is no doubt that the pomp and circumstance play a big role in modern American politics so it is only appropriate that the Washington Center invite convention producer Ricky Kirshner to speak to the students.
The production aspect of putting on a national political convention is often overlooked. In order to have national press coverage of such an event, crews are setting up weeks before to transform an ordinary arena into a masterpiece of lights, cameras and television screens. Even if watching the setup for an hour or two, the progress of transformation is significant. Coming from a stage production background, I could appreciate the technical nature of Kirshner’s job.
Kirshner shared some very valuable insight on how he has run his production process which we can carry into all other job and leadership opportunities in the future. Kirshner shared that a leader in a production company has to pick good workers whom he trusts, then “allow them to do their job.” He illustrated this concept by sharing an instance during a Super Bowl halftime show he had worked on in which the lighting technician hadn’t checked in over the headset. Trusting in his worker, he did not go searching for him, but instead went on with the show. As it turns out, that worker had been doing his job, and had gone above and beyond to hold two cables together in the pouring rain to make sure that the show went off smoothly. In this case, as in life, sometimes it is best to just let others do their job.