Thursday, January 25, 2007

I Do My Own Stunts

I’ve been thinking about this little phrase over the past couple of days.

Occasionally we’ll hear the really macho actors brag that they do their own stunts. I think they want us to appreciate how tough they are, and how they don’t look to someone else to do their dirty work.

Should we admire those who do their own stunts? Or, rather, should we marvel at their stupidity? I don’t think many A list actors do their own stunts. Is it because they are chicken or lazy? Or is it because they realize that by doing their own stunts they jeopardize their most prized assets? George Clooney can’t make the big bucks with a smashed face or paralyzed legs. An A lister needs to be careful not to get too scuffed up.

I get the feeling that President Bush does many of his own stunts, and I wonder if that is part of his PR problem. He is leading in such a way that he doesn’t have anyone else to blame. It could even be that he’s so scuffed up and rattled that he can’t do a great job as “communicator in chief.” It seems that some of his predecessors, especially the more eloquent communicators that are in our recent memory like Regan and even Clinton, made sure that others were doing the stunts.

I think I’m a do-my-won-stunts-kind-of-guy. I’ve also been a stuntman from time to time; it comes with the territory of being in supporting roles, especially when those roles include marketing manager, ad guy, ghost writer, and problem fixer. Sometimes I wonder if doing my own stunts is an asset or a flaw. Does this approach to life and work hobble me?

I don’t think I’ll be making any changes along these lines; I can’t even conceive how I would make that change. Besides, when I think about the kind of leader I want to continue to be, I identify the specific leaders that I want to emulate… and they all seem to be do-their-own-stunts people.

Maybe the one’s we should admire the most are those who do their own stunts but are never heard bragging about it.

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