Jul 25, 2008

Sometimes, being good just isn't enough

I am comforting my wife who is lamenting the loss of Will on "So You Think You Can Dance." The general sentiment is that Will was the best dancer of the lot, and many (including the judges, I believe) expected him to win the competition.

Yet tonight, he was kicked off the show. His talent, his grace, and his good looks did not save him.

Personally, I think it's a shame because I thought he was much better than Mark. But that's just me. Evidently, I was the minority. Plus, I didn't vote.

The results of the show are a mirror of what occurs in a number of situations in real life:
  • the most competent person is not necessarily the one that gets the promotion;
  • the one with the toughest job doesn't have the highest salary;
  • the one with the most talent doesn't have the most recognition.
It's just part of life. But when it happens to us, we become angry, we become upset, we blame other people, we carry a grudge, and so on. The result hurts us and affects the people around us also. The solution? A change of attitude. Instead of blaming and getting upset, focus on what you can control.

At one my son's recent soccer games, we were saddled with an incompetent referee. He made many bad calls and, surprise, surprise, the calls went against my son's team. At some point, the parents became loud and began yelling and cursing at the referee. He had to interrupt the game to let us know: "If you keep yelling, I will stop the game."

We had no control over what was happening on the field. We had to make a choice: if we kept complaining, the kids' game would be stopped and the coach would be fined. If we shut up, the situation would probably not change but the kids would be able to play their game and the coach would be off the hook. We shut up.

To some, such an attitude is a sign of weakness. To some, we should have continued to voice our disapproval because "the ref was wrong."

This response shows that the wrong criteria are used to evaluate the parents' reaction. The right criteria is: what is best for the kids?

You may have heard this before: you can be happy or you can be right. Too often, our ego gets in the way and we try to be right just for the sake of being right. Sometimes, it's worth the battle but sometimes it's just a waste of energy.

In business, the person who gets the promotion is judged on criteria tat may have nothing to do with their current job. The person who has the highest salary is probably bringing more value to the company, even if the job may not seem as hard. The person with the most talent probably doesn't have the best marketing vehicle.

In "So You Think You Can Dance" the votes didn't go toward the most talented dancer, probably because the criteria used to vote was something other than "best dancer," however you define it.

Some people have decided to stop watching the show because they disagree with the voting. Meh. I'll still watch it when I can, because I enjoy dancing and I think the kids on the show dance very well.

Plus, I gotta see it this is going to end up being a train wreck.

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