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Why We Love The Haters

A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood hit theatres this month with Tom Hanks as beloved children’s TV icon Fred Rogers. (I gave the film an A+.)

Did you know that Mister Rogers hated television?

Mister Rogers hated that kids were being negatively influenced by violent content and commercials. He created Mister Rogers Neighborhood as a “commercial” for acceptance and love.

John Belushi also hated television. He was wary of joining Saturday Night Live and Lorne Michaels had to promise Belushi huge creative latitude before he would agree to do the show.

These innovators could have stood around complaining, but instead they did something to improve things. What do you find yourself complaining about in television or radio today?

There is an old saying in the Navy; “A bitching sailor is a happy sailor.” If a sailor is complaining, they are invested in the success of the mission. They care. When sailors stop complaining, the ship is as good as sunk.

If you find yourself complaining about something in our broadcast medium, consider turning hate into positive action with this four-question process from self-help guru Dale Carnegie:

  1. What is the exact problem?
  2. What is the cause of the problem?
  3. What are all possible solutions to the problem?
  4. What is the solution that you recommend?

Notice that the process begins by defining the issue before you tackle it. Then you ask lots of questions, assuming that you don’t, in fact, know it all. Finally, you put your money where your mouth is and take action.

Consider what you don’t like about industry and how you might make even a small improvement. Who knows? They might call you a brave innovator one day.