This morning. My bedroom. Getting ready for the day. Pausing in front of the TV to watch a CBS Early Show segment on how losing sleep makes us gain weight.
When it happened.
Gayle King had just asked clinical psychologist and sleep medicine specialist Michael Breus a question. Mr. Brus opened his mouth, began to answer—
(kid you not, click the link, happens at the 1:15 mark)
Gayle made a joke of it, asked what girl was calling him. Even told the audience, “It was a 516 area code. Hey, he’s busy right now.”
A sheepish Charlie snatched his phone and hit the button to silence it. He shook his head, clearly embarrassed at breaking the cardinal rule for anyone on set: silence your phone.
I froze in front of the TV. It felt like watching a tornado touch down on a perfectly sunny day. What was I seeing? What journalist is more seasoned for long-runtime, on-air appearances than Charlie Rose? He’s been doing this for decades. In an age of slapstick humor on set and anchors who can read tele-prompters but not discuss the content on their screens, he’s one of the most professional journalists remaining in broadcast news! And HE left his cell phone on, at full volume, sitting on the desk?
I returned to my morning routine, listening with one ear to the broadcast and thinking over what I’d witnessed.
If Charlie Rose can make such a basic mistake in front of millions, then maybe I should stop thinking I have to get it perfectly right all the time or else I don’t deserve to stay in this role. Perhaps a rookie mistake made long after the rookie years have ended doesn’t mean I’m completely unqualified to do this project, hold this title, [insert your thing here]. How many others mess up and I just don’t know it because it doesn’t happen live, on-air? Why do I think no one in leadership makes a little, dumb mistake now and then besides me?
Why is being imperfect not a catalyst for community in business since we all share the characteristic?
Good stuff to consider. Thanks, Charlie.