I recently took a trip to Nashville, Tennessee to attend an entertainment industry conference. I came away impressed by several things:
- Nashville as a city has done a great job in maintaining history while embracing the future, and they have really stepped up their game to attract business and leisure travelers with a hub of entertainment and convention destinations;
- The people of Nashville are great examples of southern hospitality, led by many who are truly good people;
- The entertainment industry (agents, promoters, managers) is made up of a crazy cast of characters – ok you probably guessed that anyway, but what truly impressed me is that so many of them are truly good people.
I should probably tell you my definition of “good.” I mean people who have positive intentions when they deal with others; who assume positive intent in others; who look for win-win situations; who don’t take things personally or hold grudges; who don’t worry about who gets credit for success and willingly take blame for failures people who do the best in any situation taking into account the impact on as many stakeholders as possible.
The good people of Nashville and the good people of the entertainment industry converge in Nashville, not just at a conference but all year; and in many cases they are the same people. Of course I saw my share of “snakes” and “leeches” and mean-spirited people and inhospitable people, it is a natural law of large numbers with any group. But all week I noticed the good people kept winning. We tended to “gang up” and congregate together; we didn’t get sucked into the drama of situations; we didn’t indulge the bad people by acknowledging their harmful ways.
It got me thinking optimistically about our own entertainment division at MGM Resorts, where we have to deal with all of the people in the entertainment industry, good and bad; and all the people in the resort industry, good and bad; and all the people in our primary community Las Vegas. We have important and difficult challenges ahead to ensure success of big projects like a new 20,000 seat arena in Las Vegas, two festival venues, and new theaters in Las Vegas and Maryland. We are going to need all the help, support, relationships, and partnership we can get to be successful.
I am now more conscious than ever that we need to align ourselves with the good people in all these endeavors. We have been thrilled with the support of the new arena shown by several resort companies, for example, and we need to do even more to work with those folks to find win-win situations for all of us. There are great local media and other influencers who are rooting for us to succeed, and we need to give them reasons to cheer for us even more, and make them part of “our team.” And even within our company and our own team we can do even more to stand up for each other, and find support to do things even we didn’t think were possible. We certainly don’t have time to “change” the bad people we come across, and we don’t even have time to indulge in their drama – it’s time to find the good people and be open and clear about how we can help each other.
And that is just our little “world” – is it possible that the good people could get together to figure out more important problems? The good people need to double their efforts to link up and put aside petty differences to access the qualities we share that I mentioned earlier. We need to ensure the good people succeed in their businesses, in their charities, in their governments,, in their relationships. If we do, I think we can make big things happen.