Claire Celeste Carnes
WCL Strategic Marketing Director
My friend loaned me a copy of the Hunger Games earlier this year and, after reading the series, I went to see the movie as well. While much has been made of the heroine Katniss, a young woman who can take care of herself (especially as compared with the heroine of the Twilight novels ), I think there are some take-aways we can apply to work. Really! Let’s take a look at a few.
1. Choose your allies wisely. Even when you’re in the game to fight to the death, it helps to have a friend looking out for you. In the story, the heroine finds camaraderie with another tribute who demonstrates integrity and who shares her values. No one fights to the death at work, but the best allies are those that fit with your ideals and help you be your best self.
2. Control only what you can control. Our heroine didn’t want to compete in the games and, let’s face it, the set-up is not exactly fair. But instead of worrying about the unfairness or speaking out against the whole system, to make change work long-term, you may have to get into the game and focus on what you can control. Katniss’ goal was to survive; her fellow tribute’s goal was to not let the games change who he was as a person. Both focused on what was in their power to manage, rather than worrying about the multitude of things that were not. Sometimes, you just have to play the game.
3. Play to your strengths. We all can focus on shoring up our weaknesses, but we need to let ourselves do what we do best. Katniss wasn’t the strongest or fastest competitor, but she was at home in the woods and handy with a bow and arrow. Instead of working on her hand-to-hand combat, she headed for the woods when the games began, where she was at her best.
4. Some days, surviving is winning. Who hasn’t been challenged with projects where things don’t go right or you’re tripped up by surprises? Most days are not full of recognition or expressions of gratitude from customers or management. Give yourself credit for doing your best job.
5. You are stronger than you think. Hey, you will figure out this latest challenge. You always do!
So, there’s my list of lessons, all found in the battles of the Hunger Games. Any workplace lessons you noticed that we should add to the list?