Tag Archives: The American President

Aaron Sorkin Reminds Us To Keep Our Focus

Folks, a lot of people got killed last night. Let’s try to keep our eyes on the ball, okay?
(Fictional President Andrew Shepherd, The American President, after the press corps wants to know more about his private life than about the international incident that prompted the press conference).

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Aaron Sorkin -- could somebody please talk him into writing a business book!

If Aaron Sorkin wrote a business book, I would immediately buy it, consume it, and then most certainly put it at the top of any list I compiled as the best business book ever.  Not because he knows much about business (I don’t know if he does or not), but because I am addicted to anything/everything he writes and puts on the screen.  Take your pick:  The West Wing, A Few Good Men, The American President, Charlie Wilson’s War, and of course the greatest program in the history of television that never found enough of its audience, Sports Night.  (and this is not all).

I realize this is a business book and business issues blog.  And I’m quoting from an article by Sorkin written about quite a controversy regarding a Newsweek contributor’s opinion regarding a gay actor playing straight — definitely not on subject for this blog.

But…  the article is Now That You Mention It, Rock Hudson Did Seem Gay, written for the Huffington Post. And, here’s the paragraph:

When I need the audience to know that a piece of information they’re about to hear is important, I can use words, a close-up, a push-in, music… when the authors of the no-longer-private-lives “A” story want the audience to know that something’s important, it shows up on our Yahoo homepage. (The third story on my homepage yesterday was that Britain, our closest ally, has a new Prime Minister. The first story was about Justin Bieber. Unless the new Prime Minister is Justin Bieber, something’s obviously gone wrong.)

And here’s the lesson.  It is an old lesson.  A society that becomes consumed with trivia is a society that really does need to pay attention to the right issues.  And Sorkin rather passionately makes that argument in this article.

And for business people, the lesson is this:  focus on the right things, and do not, ever, get bogged down on the wrong things.  Your moments are incredibly precious.  Do not waste any of them on inconsequential trivia.  You’ve got important matters to think about and plan and implement.  Stay focused and get to it!

Let’s try to keep our eyes on the ball, okay?