Creative Leadership

Social Intelligence: The Social Aspect of Success

Brilliant people fail everyday because they aren’t good at being social.  No matter how great your idea is, if you can’t communicate it to people who can help make it happen, then you’re heading toward failure.  Social skills matter – especially in today’s digital, connected world.  I see it in Hollywood everyday.  Even in the entertainment industry, where it sometimes seems being a jerk is mandatory, movie stars, celebrities, producers and directors, and more fail because they’re unable to relate to the very people who can help them the most.

At the Biola Media Conference recently, when I interviewed Mark Zoradi, the President of the Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Group, I was reminded of how important social connections are today.  Mark is a great conversationalist, he’s humble, and he’s a man of his word.  He’s easy to talk to, and knows how to express his ideas well.  People throughout the industry – even his competitors – simply like Mark.  That combination has resulted in a 29 year career at the Walt Disney Company.

Learn to get along with people.  Learn to express your ideas with passion and grace.  Those social connections will ramp up your success far more quickly than simply relying on the power of your ideas alone.

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  1. LOVED listening to Mark Zoradi at the BMC! And you did a great job interviewing him. Still wondering when I’m going to “come down” from the conference high!
    Kim Fertig

  2. Thank you for this IMPORTANT remainder. I am passionate about this topic. I am reading a book called Reduce me to Love, by Joyce Meyer. It is awesome and relates to this.

    Love ya! 

  3. A follow-up story on how to better get along with people, express your ideas with
    passion and grace and ramp up success would be helpful. Thanks for this reminder!

  4. "Learn to get along with people. Learn to express your ideas with passion and grace."

    I agree with this in theory and try to practice it… but… if you are paddling upstream and everyone is cruising downstream and believe you are going the wrong direction. And you’re passionate that they should change direction and paddle upstream too… it gets to what I have heard called ‘vigorous fellowship’. I call it pain. Others paddling upstream call it pain too.

    Disney is an extremely good media company so it doesn’t surprise me Zoradi is a good communicator. But it’s not innovative. Try Pixar for that. Microsoft is probably the most used OS on the planet [no, I use a mac] but it’s no longer innovative. Try Google for that.

    I don’t know how well Pixar and Disney relate, but I see sparks between Microsoft and Google. Google is different – it allows its staff time to create outside the box.

    Sixteen years ago when I was playing around with the early Internet, and created a vast online language reference database [I forget how many html pages, but it ran to hundreds of thousands] Microsoft didn’t even have a browser and Windows wouldn’t connect to the Internet. Oh and I got into trouble with my bossfor doing it. It was too new and too different, even though it wowed the audience at the presentation.

    I read a comment from someone at the BBC Research I think it was [can no longer find the link] who was saying that within a decade or two we would be accessing our TV on ‘Google Media’. Having worked at the BBC years ago I’m pretty sure that passionate message would not have been received with grace! 

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