As a manager I am never surprised by the things that draw my team's attention. Most recently, the death of Anna Nicole Smith.
It seems odd to me that so many people are surprised over the media attention surrounding the death of Anna Nicole Smith. On NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams said (In my own words,rd) many of us found it unusual when all the cable news channels went a frenzy when it was learned that Anna Nicole Smith was pronounced dead. Then he and his staff went on to not only have a live shot from Florida, but a fairly detailed report. Are we all embarrassed to admit our infatuation with celebrities and their lives?
At the news stand the number of celebrity driven magazines has risen to over 35 from only 7 some 10 years ago. Can you honestly say you have never read the National Enquirer while waiting in the line at the store only to put it back either when someone caught you reading or when you truly realized how much you were enjoying the article. Despite the tremendous advances in technology allowing us to play games beyond our childhood comprehensions and over 255 cable channels we still feel like we lead boring lives. Is this perhaps because we are all over medicated and over committed? We look toward celebrities for the bizarre, the macabre, maybe the life we wish we had the nerve to lead. I have found myself thinking about that life on many occasions.
Have you seen the TV show High Maintenance 90210 on E!? This is a reality based program where normal Joe's like you and me get jobs working for celebrities or the social elite in Beverly Hills. I think, how can these people waste this much money on such worthless things. I watched a woman drop $20,000 on a necklace and $1,000 on an ugly sweatshirt. YIKES. It is so easy for all of us to say, if I had that kind of money I would donate it to charity or do something good with it.... would you really? Cause, I would catch myself saying the same thing, but putting actions to those words when $20,000 is in my grubby little hands would be tough. Why is this show a hit? Simple. We "normal folk" like to see how the social elite live. We love to chatter about it at work. We wish the chance to live that life if for just one day.
I guess, the purpose of this entry in my blog is to say that I am not surprised at all over the attention that this story has gotten from the media. Fact is, we are drawn to the "odd" in life. Maybe in some ways, I feel for Anna. So, are there any lessons to be drawn from her death? Considering our national life expectancy is over 67 years, the old adage that you may be gone tomorrow, so live life to its fullest today is a bit over rated?
Since this is a blog on management growth, perhaps my advice is to get in touch with the things of today so we can better relate to our teams that seem to get younger each day. To be honest, Survivor and American Idol are pretty good shows. Other than that, perhaps as managers we need to work to create an environment that makes people feel secure and a part of something bigger. Perhaps then, people will not have to dream so far beyond their cubicle.