What the MTV Video Music Awards Can Teach Us About Responding Professionally

by Joe Lavelle on September 29, 2009

No Gravatar

kanye taylor

I was catching up on some of my blog reading earlier today and came across an interesting take on a widely covered event.  The blog on the website Grad to Great, which is written by career management coaches Anne Brown and Beth Zefo, shared a perspective on the Taylor Swift vs. Kanye West controversy on the recent MTV Video Music Awards.  While most of the media focus has been on the poor behavior displayed by Kanye West when he interrupted Ms. Swift during her acceptance speech and asserted that her award should have gone to someone else, the writers at Grad to Great argue that Taylor Swift’s reaction also left something to be desired.  They argue that in any other “non-celebrity” occupation, she would have received a poor performance evaluation.

Here is a segment of the blog post:

If a young employee (giving a presentation) is unable to swiftly deal with unexpected rants by more established members of the the company, he or she will not get very far. A thick skin and the ability to respond to naysayers are prerequisites for success in the business world. And in the real world, you don’t have managers and PR people telling you what to say, do, wear, and how to act. You have to think for yourself and react quickly to situations that are always changing.

I believe there is great merit to the argument made by the great post on Grad to Great.  Taylor Swift was on stage receiving an award that set her apart as having the best female video.  She needed to walk on that stage and command the microphone with unwavering confidence in the fact that she had earned the accolades she was now enjoying.  As is true in any profession, people are more likely to believe in you when you have demonstrated that you believe in yourself.

I don’t want to give Taylor Swift a hard time.  She is a young woman who was put in a difficult position.  But, that doesn’t mean that we cannot learn from the moment and think about how the actions and reactions of both participants in that cable TV confrontation can relate to instances in our own careers.

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: