It is no secret how much I love TED Talks and recently I came across a great one that I’m sure we can all relate to. Creator of films like Supersize Me, A Day in the Life, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, and so on, Morgan Spurlock gives an insightful and hilarious TED Talk about embracing transparency.
In this 2011 talk, we enter into Spurlock’s brilliantly insane idea of creating “a documentary about branding, advertising and product placement that is financed and made possible by brands, advertising and product placement.” He even sold the naming rights of his TED Talk for $7,100, giving some lucky company the chance to put their name in huge letters in front of the title of his talk.
Throughout his twenty-minute lecture, we see the idea behind The Greatest Movie Ever Sold and the importance of branding. The talk itself was hysterical and extremely eye opening into the world of branding. It raised questions of whom we are and what we want the world to see us as. I think this concept can be easily applied to our companies. All companies have a brand, right? What we want the world to see us as, what we stand for, and so forth. The idea now is that we keep ourselves completely transparent.
In today’s socially driven world, you can no longer hide behind multiple personas.
In my generation, you could hide separately behind a work persona and a personal persona. But today’s social media transparency and mobile access to the World Wide Web has made it extremely difficult to separate those personas. Ultimately, you are who you are and you can’t fake it all the time.
With this notion of transparency, we can now lead less stressful lives trying to keep up appearances. This gives you more time to be prepared for when opportunities arise. I liked what Spurlock had to say about this, “If you take chances, if you take risks, that in those risks will come opportunities.”
My personal work philosophy is that success is when opportunity meets preparedness. Most people are not prepared when opportunities knock because they are too busy dealing with their multiple personas; but you have to be prepared at all times. This is where transparency becomes most useful.
I’ll leave you with one last quote from Spurlock’s TED Talk:
We need to encourage people to not be afraid of opportunities that may scare them. We have to embrace fear.”