I watched in anticipation Sunday night as the of the best movie of the year was about to be revealed. l was pulling for Fences or Lion so I knew they would not win.
And, then Bonnie and Clyde, also known as Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty, announced the movie of the year. Beatty looked confused, knowing something was wrong. He showed the card to Dunaway, who blurted out La La Land.
The winning team went on stage and happily accepted the award. But there was background noise. And, soon, the reason became clear.
Not all was la la in La La Land. A mistake had been made. The real winner was announced: Moonlight.
Now, we are not dealing with an amateur production. We are dealing with the Academy Awards. And, a big mistake was made on the biggest award on the biggest night in Hollywood.
1. The Academy immediately corrected the mistake.
2. The La La Land team graciously announced the Moonlight winners.
3. The Moonlight winners graciously talked about sharing the stage with the La La Team
Our work lives are not choreographed like the Academy awards. We must respond “in the moment” without cue cards or rehearsals.
And, yes, we make mistakes, too. Most importantly, that includes those who work with us but, in their eyes, for us.
Some delighted in the Academy’s mistake. I delighted in the honesty and grace by which it was handled.
You might want to think about that the next time an employee makes a good faith mistake. Their mistake is a test of your grace.