Hollywood Coaching • Career Coach Los Angeles, Life Coach, Executive Business Coach

The New Hollywood Leader

My Mission, And I've Decided To Accept It

by David Brownstein

I wrote a really long great article this month on the plane to Sundance.

However, I’m just going to send you the last part of it because I know your attention span is challenged. (As are all of ours these days.)

I may post the rest later but for now… lets all just create community. Shall we?


On Community And Mission…

I had a gathering of a small number of friends, colleagues and clients recently.

Because I had the presence of mind to get help with the party food and preparations I was able to have the time to think, actually. And be relaxed in the hours before people arrived.

And I thought about saying a few words when people were gathered there, but I didn’t, because it didn’t seem necessary at the time, but because the thank you I got was that they had all shown up, in my life, as well as my practice.

What I Realized Was This

I actually had a mission for my business and my coaching practice that I’d never articulated.

Here It Is

My mission for Hollywood Coaching is to create a Hollywood that is Healthy, Rewarding, and Enlightening.

And I can only do that when people show up in my life who’re hungry for that as well. (And  I’m not just talking about coaching clients.)

Just Showing Up

When people with a positive outlook show up at a networking event or a gathering or a meeting it allows me to bring and share my positive outlook and thoughts.

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Hollywood Future Strike Watch: Carol Lombardi of AMPTP

by David Brownstein

Interesting interview in the LA Times with Carol Lomdardi who is the new chief negotiator of the AMPTP (representing the major studios and networks.) She's already shifting the dynamic. That's good news.

Nick Counter was known as a pugnacious negotiator. Will you adopt a similar approach?

I'm a good listener at the bargaining table. I try to be. I'm still a representative of management. I represent major studios, each of whom has different businesses and in some cases different interests. All of that is the same as it was for Nick. The one area where we may really differ a lot is getting out in front of negotiations. Having regular communications with the guilds and unions, so that we can share perceptions or disagree about what the world looks like, is very important. I've already had discussions with representatives of the Writers Guild and the Screen Actors Guild about doing that.

In fact, during the writers strike, it seemed that you were practically speaking different languages.

I think increased dialogue between the parties would have helped on some issues, particularly in new media, where the companies felt it was too early to negotiate a deal, and the Writers Guild felt they were going be left in the dust and have this whole market develop around them and not be part of it. It may not have prevented a strike, but having discussions about that at an earlier stage might have been very helpful. We really didn't have a functioning relationship.

And you have one now?

We're working on it. I've made efforts to reach out to the WGA leadership to change that dynamic.

Looking ahead to 2011, when contracts for actors, writers and directors all expire, conditions would seem ripe for another showdown between studios and talent.

I hope not. Everybody endured some battle scars from the last round. The economy in L.A. and elsewhere suffered tremendously as a result of the last strike. A lot of people lost their jobs. Nobody really wants to revisit those consequences, so I'm optimistic that people will say, "Let's find a way to get this done."

Read the full article HERE

Thanks to Jonathan Handel for pointing to the article

7 Things Jon Heder Needs To Know To Run His TV Show

by David Brownstein

Another Funny Man Steps Into the Big Leagues

I read in the NY Times about Jon Heder  (Napoleon Dynamite, etc.) getting a contract to develop 100 episodes of a TV series for Comedy Central. (Starting with 10 episodes, of course.)

I've never met him and don't know any of the parties involved, but what I do know is this:

He has no idea what he's in for.

How Do I Know?

In the NY Times article Jon said: "They kept asking me "Are you you ready for this?" I said, "I'm like, 'Should I be?' I haven't thought this through."

This heart-warming exchange demonstrates a common and dangerous dynamic in Hollywood.

First: A team of smart executives recognize a major talent and make a deal for the talent to take an ambitious and smart next step.

Then: While they actually do know the traps, obstacles and banana peels that will likely challenge this creative genius, they are unwilling or more likely unable to articulate, prepare or arm their bold adventurer for his or her journey.

Into The Woods

I'm not saying the creative genius isn't ready or shouldn't embark on this journey into the deep dark woods of TV production. And I'm not faulting the execs for their vision, their deal or their last minute warning/trepidation.

This dynamic is happening all over Hollywood whether it's Burbank, Studio City, Culver City, Television City or Manhattan Beach.

Keep Reading…

My Question For WGA President Patric Verrone (And His Answer)

by David Brownstein

I had the pleasure of doing a web-radio interview last week on one of my favorite topics: Hollywood Leadership and the Writer’s Guild Strike. Hosted by Coach Tom Floyd, guests were Patric Verrone, President of the WGA, Jonathan Handel, attorney at TroyGould, Coach (and friend) Sherry Ziff Lester and me.

The Leadership Learning?

Of course I’m always listening for the leadership opportunities and ways we can do things differently in Hollywood. In the beginning of our conversation Patric was explaining the events and months preceding the vote and decision to strike. Obviously lots of frustrating time passed that led to the lengthy strike.

But Here Was My Question To Him

Patric, obviously, it was a successful strike and you got great things. With what you learned by the end of the strike —if you could go back in time now—what might have worked differently in July that you discovered in January?

Well, I think the key thing was the involvement of the CEOs. When we were bargaining from July through October, we were bargaining with what Tom referred to as the AMPTP (The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers).

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Coaching And Therapy

by David Brownstein

At the ICF conference in November, I had a great conversation the Dr. Carol Kaufman, a therapist, coach and Ass’t Professor at Harvard about a whole bunch of stuff, but I was moved by this articulate statement about the differences between coaching and therapy.

“The role of therapy is decreasing depression, the role of coaching is increasing well being.

Therapy follows the trail of tears with the goal of healing.

Coaching follows the trail of dreams with the goal of optimal living.

In Coaching, healing is a side effect. in therapy that’s your goal.”

Very poetic, clear and honoring of the tools and intentions of both paradigms.

What do you think?

David Milch - The Idea of the Writer

by David Brownstein

This just in. David Milch, writer and creator of NYPD BLUE and my fave from last year, JOHN FROM CINCINATTI, did three days of talking about writers and writing back in December. I caught the 3rd day and left inspired. I think Milch has many great leadership qualities and I plan to write about what observed in him soon. (Actually I’ve already written it, but will post it soon.)

Anyhow. Here’s the link to watch these online. Warning. It’s not a very linear talk, but he accesses and shares his genius with generosity and love.

A New Word for Leadership?

by David Brownstein

I think we need a new word for leadership.

Except for coaches, "regular people" are both sick of the word and clueless about it. I keep hearing people say the word leadership is “overused,” “tired” and “jargon.” Maybe they’re sick of it because we coaches (being both leadership students and aficionados) haven’t articulated it yet, or made it actually interesting or profound or clear.

And there are so many “powerful icon’s of business” who’re clueless (IMHO) about the forward thinking views of leadership who, because they’re rich and powerful, are constantly asked about leadership, and write books about their “leadership” are giving the “new leadership” modalities a bad name.

These new modalities tend to include coaching skills and coaching approaches. Things like, oh. . . listening, collaborating, having a vision, working to accentuate people’s strengths, being clear about accountability, etc.

Maybe a new word IS needed. Maybe I’ll call my book “A New Word for Leadership.”

HRTS Network Chiefs Luncheon – The Lessons of Bad Leadership

by David Brownstein

Just returned from the Network Chiefs Luncheon at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. On the panel was Stephen McPherson of ABC, Dawn Ostroff of CW, Kevin Reilly of Fox, Ben Silverman of NBC, and Nina Tassler of CBS.

This annual event brings together the top creative executives of each of the broadcast networks and is truly has the potential to hear smart, creative, opinionated leaders discussing what’s happening in Television at this particular moment.

Unfortunately, the moderator of this event was Barry Sonnenfeld, film director and exec producer of “Pushing Daisies.” Here are my brief comments on the event.

1) Barry Sonnenfeld: Worst moderator ever. Here he was sitting in front of 1000 people moderating a discussion with among most powerful TV execs in Hollywood and he could barely get out a question. He talked primarily about himself, was not very knowledgeable about the business, and worst of all, barely gave the panel a chance to talk. Except for the occasional wisecrack or quip.

A journalist at my table said, half joking: “I love Pushing Daisies but now I almost want the show to fail.” I know what she means.

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LEADERSHIP SALON: An Open Discussion about Leadership.

by David Brownstein
  • Who are the most effective leaders in Hollywood Right now?
  • What leaders at which companies seem to be the most leadership challenged?
  • What do we mean by Leadership anyway?

The Hollywood Coaching Leadership Salon is a facilitated conversation among Entertainment industry professionals.

We’re dedicated to growing the mystical and misunderstood art of leadership in Hollywood to a fine, masterful art.

We’ll do this by beginning a conversation about Leadership that will challenge you to think, wonder, pontificate, act and become more aware of the concept, role and power of great leadership in Hollywood.

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The Inner Game of Hollywood: How to Navigate Your Goals, Fears, Dreams, Strategies and Blackberry.

by David Brownstein

Ok. So first of all I don’t have a blackberry, yet, but many of my clients do. I see it sometimes propel them to new levels of distraction, hyperventilation, bad grammar and hastily typed shorter emails.

Which is fine, but I don’t have one and can’t say I recommend them, although I must confess that I’m tempted, and quite possibly by the time you read this I will have one. (Or maybe an iPhone.)

But here’s why. Multi-tasking is the enemy. I’ve come to truly believe this. It’s the enemy of depth, completion, focus and inner wisdom. It’s not just a multi-generational thing, or a male-female thing. It’s a cultural thing.

Wait, Where Was I?

Now, perhaps the concept of “multi-tasking” is relative. Of course it is. As I sit here writing, I’m listening to a mix of songs I created on my iTunes playlist from “Nightmares on Wax” (down tempo groove, with no vocals, although occasional vocal samples, which I’ll now terminate.)

Right I’m back. Where was I? Right. Distractions and stuff. Staying focused. Yeah, not multi-tasking, going deep, blackberry, good or bad, please discuss amongst yourselves.

So here’s the real thing. I read in a some metaphysical writing that it’s important to shut down the many distractions we have and voices talking to us, whether inside or outside our head, so that we can hear our own inner voice. This is important, the author states, because our inner voice waits till it’s quiet because the inner voice NEVER INTERRUPTS.

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Master How To Win Over The Most Intimidating VIP

by David Brownstein

(I was interviewed recently for this article below. Only one major factual error but basically this is what i said. See below for my comments/correction.)

BY MOREY STETTNER INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY Sometimes it’s hard enough to convince your best friend. Yet winning over a haughty VIP can prove far tougher. While some bigwigs are perfectly polite, others can bully and bluster their way through a meeting. They may skip the niceties and strike a stern, disapproving attitude from the moment you enter the room. “They’re thinking, ‘Now amaze me and make it quick,’ “ said David Brownstein, president of Hollywood Coaching in Los Angeles.

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The Three Mistakes Leaders Make

by David Brownstein

If you’re a leader, in any industry, the chances are your effectiveness could be improved by bringing awareness to these three essential areas.

How are you doing in these areas? Here are the three mistakes most leaders make in leading a team.

One: Not Clarifying Expectations, Assumptions/Vision and How to Win/Succeed.

  • What’s the big picture vision? Why does it matter? How will group success be measured? How will individual success be measured? What obstacles can we expect? How will we handle unexpected obstacles? How will we work together? How will we work individually? How will we communicate changes in the plan? What if the vision/end goal changes? What will happen if someone screws up? Can I have a life outside of work?

Two: Not Establishing Trust and Open Communication.

  • Are you really open to the input of others? Do you want a team or a group of soldiers? Are you willing to be vulnerable? Are you able to listen at multiple levels at once? Can you handle the truth? Can you hear other people’s ideas and suggestions without feeling obligated to execute them? Do you know how to get the best from each member of your team? Are you willing to take chances to inspire magic?

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Communication Breakdown and "The Break-Up"

by David Brownstein

Really enjoyed “The Break-Up” this weekend, and so did the Saturday Night Marina Del Rey crowd I saw it with. I was primed knowing that it was less of a “Wedding Crasher” and more of a Relationship Drama with some funny parts, but really enjoyed it, and here’s what’s “important” about this movie.

“The Break-Up” really shows how bad communications can destroy a relationship (or a business for that matter.) When Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn’s character’s “Break-Up” it was really just an argument that got out of hand and spun out of control. Neither one actually wanted to break up, but in the heat of the moment, one character says, essentially, “Fine, that’s it, we’re through” and then the other character says, essentially, “well if that’s how you feel about it, then fine!”

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