Excerpt: Wendy Walker's 'The Producer'


When you lose your temper and freak out, that behavior negatively impacts others and can throw them off their game. Clearly, we all need to learn from our mistakes, and that includes reviewing the things that did not work, but it doesn't make sense to upset the apple cart when you're standing in the middle of it. You can't stop in the midst of a situation to figure out what happened in the past, because you have to be present and look forward. Once it's over, you can take the time to figure out what went wrong so it won't happen again. But screaming and freaking out will only take you further away from your goal of working things out. Losing it will intimidate people and push them away, which is counterproductive to what you are trying to achieve. The truth is that no one wants to work with a screamer, and that kind of negative energy never does any good for anyone.

When you take some time to get in touch with your feelings and you can hear yourself think, consider both the short-term and the long-term repercussions of any decision you might make. Ask yourself, What will this decision mean to me tomorrow, five days from now, five weeks from now, or five years from now? No matter the nature of the decision you need to make, go with your intuition. If it feels right, go with it. If it doesn't, walk away.

I once knew a woman who had five psychics at the ready whenever she needed advice. If the first one didn't tell her what she wanted to hear, she called the second one, and so on. At the end, she was still confused and she had no ability to make her own decisions.

Not that you should be isolated and never check with anyone else. Sometimes after you make a decision that feels right, you might want to clarify by checking with a smart friend who really knows you, understands your situation, and absolutely will tell you the truth. For the most part, however, when you go inside and trust yourself, you'll be amazed at how much easier deci-sions become. When you stay calm and take all the elements into consideration, a confusing situation will generally turn out a lot better than you might expect!

This is an excerpt from "PRODUCER: Lessons Shared from 30 Years in Television" by Wendy Walker. Copyright (c) 2010 by Wendy Walker. Reprinted by permission of Center Street, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

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