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Are You a Michael Clayton?
There are a handful of movies I’ve seen dozens of times, and “Michael Clayton” is one of them.
If you’ve read this blog before, you may have seen me mention the movie previously.
Basically, it’s the story of Michael Clayton, played by George Clooney, who is a big law firm’s “fixer.”
A client is involved in a hit-and-run? The firm sends Clayton. One of the firm’s attorneys has a mental breakdown in court? The firm sends Clayton. There’s a mess and the firm is involved? They send Clayton.
As Clayton reveals in one scene, he’s a janitor in a tie.
Everybody Needs You, Nobody Loves You
The benefit to being a Michael Clayton is that somebody always needs you for something. You are indispensable. Because you fix what others break or do what other can’t, there will never not be a need for you.
The problem is that you are a glorified janitor. You are Mr. Fix-It. You’re the go-to guy when things go wrong.
Here’s what you’re not: a leader. You’re a helpmate. You’re everybody’s wife.
And that means climbing up the ladder is harder, because who can grab the next rung when they’re constantly distracted?
Drop the Mop
Here’s whose fault it is that you are your company’s Michael Clayton: yours. You were hired to do this, or you allowed yourself to be pigeonholed into it, and now you feel like you have to keep mopping the floor or you’ll be let go.
That means the person keeping you as a Michael Clayton is you. Which is great. Because that means the person who can make you into something other than a Michael Clayton is you.
But how do you do that when everyone around you sees you as the person who cleans up their metaphorical toilet overflows?
You stop thinking of yourself as a Michael Clayton. You stop resenting the fact that you’re a Michael Clayton and start taking responsibility for it. You think: If I’m not a Michael Clayton, who am I?
Fake It ‘Til You Make It
I do yoga. I have a love-hate relationship with yoga. Yoga is good for me, but I can’t stand what it asks of me. It asks me to experience things rather than dodge them, to sit with what’s happening instead of discarding it, to tolerate what’s going on in order to find my way to where I want to be.
You can’t think your way out of being a Michael Clayton. You can’t explain to everyone else you’re not their Michael Clayton anymore, because that’s how they view you. You can’t strategize this to death.
You stop being a Michael Clayton when you stop believing you are one. You stop being a Michael Clayton when you start telling people no because you have more important things to focus on than putting the wheels back on their go-cart. You stop being a Michael Clayton when you act like a leader and expect them to believe you are one.
- Posts : 12422
Join date : 2010-12-05
How did you EVER find this? I can't tell whether to laugh or think it clever. Oh well, has to be a woman and looks like she's touting self-worth for a woman. So I'm all for her.
- Posts : 106
Join date : 2011-06-24
IMO Michael Clayton was his finest role and that was the movie that should have gotten him the Oscar.
- Ooh, Mr Clooney!
- Posts : 959
Join date : 2010-12-22
You find the best videos CindiGirl!!!! Luv ya!!!!
- George Clooney fan forever!
- Posts : 19150
Join date : 2010-12-06
Location : George's House
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