Although many are claiming this years Oscar’s was a dull affair, it was not without its share of controversial moments, many of which surrounded Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s big win for Best Picture. Social media went ablaze after Sean Penn’s green card quip, heck even the President of Mexico Enrique Pena Nieto fired back at comments made by the Oscar-winning director about the Mexican government, responding that the Mexican government was working to improve opportunities for Mexicans. We say, if you take a look at the speech there are some life lessons to be gleaned. Here are our top four.
4. Give Credit Where Credit Is Due
Moments before the big win; Michael Keaton had just lost for Best Actor for the very same film. Keaton was bummed, many in the audience were bummed, and those watching at home were bummed. Because in many respects it was Keaton who carried the film that just won Best Picture. In a classy move Iñárritu acknowledged it and let Keaton have his moment and say a few words.
The Lesson – It often takes teamwork to accomplish great things. Don’t forget the members of your team when you do.
3. Embrace Your Flaws
English is not Iñárritu’s first language. He speaks it with an accent, and may not be as well spoken as others, but it doesn’t mean he lacks intelligence or sentiment. At the beginning of his acceptance speech, rather than fake it he owned up immediately and made light of it, thus making it a non-issue.
The Lesson – No one is perfect, we all have our flaws, perceived or real. Sure it’s ok to work on self-improvement, but it’s also okay some times to simply embrace them because they are in part what make you the person you are.
2. Never Forget Where You Came From
Iñárritu thanked his creative colleagues Alfonso Cuaron and Guillermo Del Toro, who in part helped pave the way for his success. He even dedicated the award to all those in his native Mexico. The ode to his colleagues and cultural roots were reflective of a man who knows and respects where he comes from.
The Lesson – If you don’t know where you come from you don’t know where you’re going.
1. Use the Platform for Greater Good
Is there any bigger platform than being at the podium accepting the Academy Award for Best Picture? Iñárritu used the opportunity to shine a light on the hot button social issue of immigration reform. He closed his speech by saying “I pray that we can build a government that we deserve. And that the ones living in this country who are part of the latest generation of immigrants in this country. I just pray that they can be treated with the same dignity and respect of the ones who came before and built this incredible immigration nation.”
The Lesson – If you are fortunate in your career or in life, you have an opportunity to make an impact far beyond what you could have imagined. If you do, use it for the greater good.