With the end of 30 Rock today there’s a lot of words being spilled online about what Liz Lemon meant for women or what Tina Fey’s female-lead show means for women in show business, etc. Maybe some of it is true, I think that’s something we’ll only know in hindsight. I do really admire Tina Fey’s general approach to her work and to her fellowship with other women.
One of the more interesting parts of watching 30 Rock for me was that while Liz Lemon was so scarily like me in enough respects that I would get emails from people on Fridays asking if I was SURE I wasn’t sleep-being-Tina Fey (but so did every late-30’s single professional women), it was Jack Donaghy who was the real teacher of valuable lessons. Whether Liz Lemon was really a thoughtful, if kind of insane, depiction of single professional women, the depiction of her work world was often painfully, dysfunctionally, true to my own and many others I’ve seen.
But the more I’ve thought about it the more I think… I’m not really the Liz in these professional relationships. I’m… the Jack! Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you never to go with a hippie to a second location because I trust that you wouldn’t even be around a hippie in the first location to begin with, right?
Some of Jack’s best business lessons:
Ambition is the willingness to kill the things you love and eat them in order to stay alive. Haven’t you ever read my throw pillow?
Jack maybe (probably… definitely) meant that literally but it’s true in a metaphorical way. Sometimes you fall in love with your own ideas or plans and they get in the way of forward progress – of meeting other ambitions. So you have to kill them and you have to eat them to move on or up.
There are no bad ideas Lemon, only great ideas that go horribly wrong.
Every idea is a great idea! At least to start out with. That’s why brainstorming and allowing yourself to at least entertain these thoughts is important. Don’t censor until you have to, which is really about the execution of your ideas not just the idea itself.
Working with creative clients, I guess I do often feel more the Jack to someone else’s Liz, than as Liz herself. As Jack said:
I’m not a creative type like you, with your work sneakers and left-handedness.
And when you need a pick me up, you could do a lot worse than this self-motivational speech: