All posts by g smith

Firsts: Girls Trip’s Tiffany Haddish Hosted SNL Last Night

In my Yahoo feed, I read that Tiffany Haddish hosted SNL last night (no I didn’t watch it first hand). In her monologue, Haddish talks about how the movie she starred in–Girls Trip–made over $100 million at the box office.

That’s a big deal.

Girls Trip made 6x it’s production budget.Which of course, isn’t a first. Hollywood movies do that on occasion.

But Girl’s Trip was produced by black folks (though unless you read the credits, Variety, Hollywood Reporter or any other of the trade rags couldn’t be faulted for thinking “who the h*ll are Will Packer and Malcolm D. Lee?”) aren’t Will Smith or Spike Lee.

And it starred black women: Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Regina Hall, and Tiffany Haddish.

And THAT’S a very big deal.

Because black women aren’t supposed to “open movies.”

But they did.

Which is how Tiffany Haddish (not Queen Latifah or Jada Pickett Smith which is also notable) came host SNL.   Haddish, was Girls Trip’s break-out star. And she’s a black female comedian.

Becoming the first black female comedian SNL host.

A very big deal. Though I think you have to add the caveat” first black female comedian who isn’t/wasn’t also a SNL writer. Because Maya Rudolph hosted SNL. Back in 2012. I looked it up.

Besides being an active female comedian, the choice of Haddish is also notable for another reason: Tiffany Haddish talked like a sista.

Real talk 100.

She riffed on what men should think about before pulling out their “thing-thing.”

Good advice that Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K. and all those other wienies caught up in the wake of “the Harvey Weinstein effect” would have benefited from [not that they would have paid attention before Weinstein caused it all to come tumbling down because, well…powerful men who belong to dominant culture get confused into believing they are “gods” to which nothing bad will ever happen…of course, because for eons that’s what society told them].

She also did a bit on the $4000 Alexander McQueen dress she was wearing. The kind of thing that regular people don’t typically say “out loud.” Whether most folks inside Hollywood or dominant culture “got it” I don’t know.

But funny as h*ll.

Especially the end of the bit about wearing the McQueen dress to “praise dancing.”

Tiffany Haddish and the Alexander McQueen dress. photo credit: ABC News









Diversity Pays Off

The Center for Talent Innovation found that companies with diverse employees are 70 percent more likely to report new or improved market share than companies with nondiverse employee populations. A study by Ronald Burt, a professor at University of Chicago, concluded that any diverse group will surface better, more effective ideas than a group of more homogeneous “top talent.”
found @ s+b How to Unlock the Potential of Diverse Teams


My Big Fat Fabulous Life

Since The Flash wasn’t on, I went hunting for something to watch (DC Legends of Tomorrow which was in Barry and Iris’ time slot wasn’t going to work). So I begin slow scrolling threw xfinity and decide on  “My Big Fat Fabulous Life.”

I’m not a big reality tv watcher but hey, I figure the Universe was trying to tell me something after my “I Am a Fat Pig” post.

[For the record, being a bitch to “Fat Pig” has not been working. I am eating fried samosas and an egg roll. The samosa is spicy and good…even if it isn’t homemade]

This TLC show features Whitney Thore who apparently did a series of “fat girl” dancing videos. I’m watching the belly dancing show. Of course they had to up things up to crazy level by having her balance a sword on her head while belly dancing.

Whitney is pretty good (overall…time will tell how the sword thing works out).

whitney-thore belly dancingjpg.jpg

Then again, she says she’s been dancing her entire life. She’s also charming and pretty.

And has cool ink…

Update: turns out she loses his skirt. Right in front of her parents. On an up note, the sword solo goes very well. Her parents were very supportive. Well the edits showed them being supportive.

What’s Better? Being an Individual Contributor or Manager. Producer or Performer?

A long time ago, I decided to just be an individual contributor. Truth be told, it was pretty much a decision by default.

As a result of what all those 16P and Myers Briggs tests told me about myself combined with a honest tete-a-tete with an executive outplacement counselor once upon a time.

Before that conversation, I had never heard of the term “individual contributor.”

But I did know what managers did. That’s because early on I had a job being one of those (of people). I also remembered that I sucked at it (though I was in denial at the time).

In the company that availed me of those outplacement services, I was mostly a “manager of things.” My job was developing marketing promotions. I was judged on one main metric: my projects coming “in on time and within budget.”

I also worked solidly with the seven member sales team. But since they didn’t directly report to me, any managerial tasks I performed were seen as tangential to my real job.As an aside, I enjoyed the interaction with the sales team but I was also a hard a**.

It’s the “T” in INTP, my Myers-Briggs type.

As a general rule, I don’t like managing people and being accountable for their often inane behaviors.  Even though truth be told, I’m not exempt from behaving inanely at times myself.

As a manager, you are supposed to get results through others and not grab projects or ride colleagues nor direct reports like white on rice when they aren’t producing the results you’re being held accountable for. However, I do love ” managing” when I am working with high functioning, self-directed people or teams.

Okay… who doesn’t love that.

Anyhoo after that conversation along with a hard self-assessment to decide whether I would ever succeed on a managerial track, I opted for finding individual contributor positions.

Which as a marketing-sales-intrapreneur type that insisted on staying in and around education and publishing…and in the Midwest mind you, NOT a publishing mecca like New York…looking through the rear view mirror that wasn’t the smartest career move.

Because I took what are on paper little more than entry-level positions, which acted to peg and box me in. I thought that my strength at figuring out “Here’s what we need to do to capitalize on the trends, beat off the competitors and make some money” ideas and plans that I developed in those positions would be enough to break those boxes and take me on up to a big office on the East Side (read: higher, better paying positions).

I was wrong.

Now on the plus side, I got an insider’s view of every major player in the education-publisher value chain. I understand the value drivers, business models, and can plan out strategy.

These are things I do intuitively.  It’s what’s used to be known as “a calling” or doing what you love even when the money DOESN’T follow.

Despite those times when people at my company look at me like I have two heads because they can’t fathom why I am bringing up such stuff when my job title says I am a X (not a manager nor in this case even part of my individual contributor job duties).

It do these things because I am a producer type.

While my actual job is really about being a performer.

This is the conclusion I come to, anyway, after reading this article on strategy + business that asks whether you are a producer or a performer.

Which also helps me see why so many people in so many companies I’ve worked for look at me like I have two heads. Otherwise known as “you be crazy” as Penelope Trunk explains about how most people look at us INTPs.

Some people are predisposed to being producers: They are skilled at conceiving new ideas and bringing them to market. Others are consummate performers: They know how to optimize the known systems and products of an organization, and how to make the most of existing practices.

from the s+b article: Are You a Producer or Performer?

Of course that doesn’t mean that people won’t look at you like you have two heads anyway…