Moments of Conception 191: The Judges Scene in Rounders

All creativity begins with the moment of conception.

That little piece of kindling that gets the fire going. That initial source of inspiration that takes on a life of its own. That single note from which the entire symphony grows. That single spark of life that signals an idea’s movement value, almost screaming to us, something wants to be built here.

Based on my books in The Prolific Series, I’m going to be deconstructing my favorite moments of conception from popular movies. Each post will contain a video clip from a different film, along with a series of lessons we can learn from the characters.

Today’s clip comes from the judges scene from Rounders:

Score when it matters. Mike
knows the summer internship for a second year law student is crucial. Landing
that clerkship could result in a job offer after graduation and help him hone
the relevant skills to be successful in the long term. And so, he creates a stiletto moment. He takes advantage of
an opportunity to concentrate his portfolio of talents into a tight little
package that demonstrates the full firepower of his creative arsenal. Mike’s performance
showcases his ability to negotiate a deal, take calculated risks, make a case
for himself, monitor and leverage emotional information, entertain an audience,
influence behavior and communicate clearly. All in less than five minutes. And
as a result, he ingratiates himself to the judges, making himself a more
attractive, likeable and memorable candidate for the internship. Jackpot. I’m reminded of a conversation
I had with my mentor. We were watching a playoff hockey game, when the
defenseman from our team scored a goal with thirty seconds left on the clock.
Which was an exhilarating moment, but the only problem was, our team was
already down by five goals. Winning was statistically impossible at that point.
That’s when my mentor looked over at me and said, you have to score when it
matters. In sports, in business, in
life, timing isn’t everything, it’s the only thing. If you want the world to say yes to you, you have to sing
the song that is natural for you to sing, in the way that is natural for you to
sing it, in front of the fans who most naturally need to hear it. How will you bridge the gap that exists between you
and your potential audience?

Up the emotional and psychological ante. From a physical
standpoint, I’m not interested in risk. I have zero need for speed. I don’t
play extreme sports. I’ve never been in a fight. And I walk away from even the
slightest hint of violence. But when it comes to emotional, psychological risk,
I’m quite the daredevil. Relocating to a city with no job and no friends?
Starting a business with no money and experience? Delivering a speech in front
of four thousand foreigners? Walking into an office building and straight up
asking the president for a job? Sign me up. That’s the kind of risk I can get
behind. If betting on yourself is wrong, I don’t want to be right. As my favoritegambleronce said, winning, losing, it’s all the same after a
while, it’s the risk that keeps you going. Mike lives by this principle. As a
lawyer, he’s constantly trusting his spontaneous instinctual abilities. And as
a rounder, he’s constantly honing his emotional willingness to open himself to
new possibilities. Even if that means looking ridiculous in front of his
elders. And so, he bets on himself. Even in this casual, consequence free
setting. Because he knows it keeps his risk muscle sharp. And because the minute
he stops taking the creative risks that made him successful in the first place,
he’s finished.How often are you tearing
yourself away from the safe harbor of certainty?

Side window, not front door.When I relocated to a new city without a single business
contact, the first thing I did was google around to find the coolest companies
in the area. I spent a few hours each morning researching and locating a target
list of companies that I felt represented the culture and energy I wanted to
align myself with. Next, I emailed every single employee of these organizations
and requested an interview with the president. But not as a potential employee,
rather, as a professional journalist. After all, I had authored a dozen books,
published a popular blog and wrote regular columns for dozens of publications.
Why not leverage those assets to position myself in a completely different way?
What’s amazing is, almost every company wrote back to me. More than seventy
percent of them agreed to the interview. And half of them extended an open
invitation to stop by their office anytime. This approach completely changed
the dynamic of my introduction to the organization. It shifted my context from
a needy job seeker into a friendly resource. And that presale position allowed
me to connect with and engage the organization in a unique, personal and
memorable way. Proving, that you can’t demand someone’s attention, you can only
attract it by breaking their patterns. Carlin was right. When you enter through
the side window instead of the front door, coming from direction they’re not
expecting, you engage their imagination.Why do your competitors get more attention that you?


What did you learn from this movie clip?


For a copy of the list called, “11 Ways to Out Market the Competition,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2015-2016.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!


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