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How Les Grossman from Tropic Thunder Manages Remote Teams With Video...

I'm back.  How was your holiday?  Mine was great - caught up on some reading, spent time with the nuclear family (spousal unit +1.8 kid FTEs), decided I now don't care about football, had a life changing experience related to the value of Patagonia in cold weather, etc.


Oh yeah, another thing I did was watch parts of Tropic Thunder on HBO.  As a recruiter/HR pro/Talent Agent, I'm obviously partial to Ari Gold of Entourage as the classic agent to emulate (the good parts, not the bad parts), but there's an alternative...

That alternative is Les Grossman, the super-agent played by Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder

The walking contradiction of Les Grossman is that he does so many things wrong - while doing so many things right.

Take managing remote teams via video, for example.  The video embed below is a scene where Les patches in from Hollywood to manage a remote team shooting a SE Asia war movie on site.  Take a look at the video below (email subscribers click through for video) and BE WARNED THAT THIS IS TOTALLY NSFW AND NOT RECOMMENDED IF YOU'RE SENSITIVE:

Amazing, right? The movie was released in 2008, so Less was way ahead of his time.  Here's what Less did right in managing remote teams via video, even while he was doing so much wrong:

  1. He had big tech that made it seem like he was there.  Big screen.  He didn't go halfway with him having the need to talk to 25 or more people in the same room.  Broadband pipe was obviously large to get screen image quality up - that's worth paying for.
  2. He had people on the ground to connect him with the larger group in the room.  The guy in the pink button up is his lackey from LA who went to be onsite.  Whether you send someone or not, when you patch in via video as a leader, someone in the room you're connecting to needs to be in charge of making sure your connection is good and dealing with agenda issues and conversations that need to happen locally while the call is going on.
  3. People had assigned roles for what needed to happen.  You need a report on the Finkelstein account.  Less needed his key grip to be ready to punch someone in the face. Tomato/Tomoto.
  4. He thanked people for their work, even when he wasn't sure of who they were. He didn't know who the author of the book was when he spoke.  He didn't miss a beat and thanked him for his service. Of course, he then cursed at him, which you should avoid, right?

If you aren't afraid of language and inappropriate behavior, this clip works for you.  If not, you shouldn't have gone through the warnings.

But you could do worse than the 4 key elements of doing a video call with remote teams displayed by Les Grossman above.

Make 2017 a year of connection.  That's a successories poster right there.


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