How to Be a Successful Bossypants

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This presentation utilizes Tina Fey's memoir Bossypants (2011) as a framework for developing a leadership theory of practice. The presentation applies Fey's own thoughts on managing individuals in a workplace to visual narratives from 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live.

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  • Pull up 30 Rock episodePull up Kotex Classic commercial paraody
  • How to Be a Successful Bossypants

    1. 1. How to be a successful bossypants<br />Corey Alderdice<br />EDLD 730<br />
    2. 2. Fey, T. (2011). Bossypants. New York, NY: Reagan Arthur Books.<br />Contrary to what I believed as a little girl, being the boss almost never involves marching around, waving your arms, and chanting, “I am the boss! I am the boss!” (Kindle location 36).<br />
    3. 3. Cold Open<br />Leadership as Folklore<br />The Rules of Improv that Will Change Your Life and Reduce Belly Fat*<br />Things I Learned from Lorne Michaels<br />Writing Against Culture<br />30 Rock, Season One, Episode 14<br />Discussion<br />Understanding Gender in the Workplace<br />
    4. 4. Leadership Narratives and Folklore<br />Dell Hymes (1975) describes folklore as<br />Concern with the aesthetic and expressive aspects of culture; concern with traditions and traditional life of one’s own society; enjoyment of, and caring for, what one studies; often, craftsman-like participation in the tradition studied; concern for accuracy and objectivity, insight and explanation, that manages by and large not to contort what one studies with procrustean methodology, or to conceal it behind a mask of theoretics. (p. 345)<br />Hymes, D. (1975). A folklore’s nature and the sun’s myth.Journal of American Folklore, 88, 346-369.<br />
    5. 5. The Rules of Improv That Will Change Your Life and Reduce Belly Fat*<br />
    6. 6. When All Fails… Improvise<br />Improvisation as a way of working made sense to me. I love the idea of two actors on stage with nothing—no costumes, no sets, no dialogue—who make up something together that is then completely real to everyone in the room. The rules of improvisation appealed to me not only as a way of creating comedy, but as a worldview. (Kindle Locations 866-870)<br />
    7. 7. Rule 1: Agree<br />As an improviser, I always find it jarring when I meet someone in real life whose first answer is no. “No, we can’t do that.” “No, that’s not in the budget.” “No, I will not hold your hand for a dollar.” What kind of way is that to live? (Kindle Locations 897-898)<br />
    8. 8. Rule 2: Yes, And<br />To me YES, AND means don’t be afraid to contribute. It’s your responsibility to contribute. Always make sure you’re adding something to the discussion. Your initiations are worthwhile. (Kindle Locations 904-906)<br />
    9. 9. Rule 3: Make Statements<br />Whatever the problem, be part of the solution. Don’t just sit around raising questions and pointing out obstacles.We’ve all worked with that person. That person is a drag. It’s usually the same person around the office who says things like “There’s no calories in it if you eat it standing up!” (Kindle Locations 909-911) <br />
    10. 10. Rule 4: There Are No Mistakes<br />In improv there are no mistakes, only beautiful happy accidents.And many of the world’s greatest discoveries have been by accident. I mean, look at the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, or Botox. (Kindle Locations 920-921)<br />
    11. 11. Things I Learned from Lorne Michaels<br />
    12. 12. Discourage Creativity<br />Producing is about discouraging creativity.You would think that as a producer, your job would be to churn up creativity, but mostly your job is to police enthusiasm. (Kindle Locations 1318-1319).<br />
    13. 13. It Goes On<br />The show doesn’t go on because it’s ready; it goes on because it’s 11:30. No matter how badly an improv set goes, you will still be physically alive when it’s over. What I learned about bombing as a writer at Saturday Night is that you can’t be too worried about your “permanent record.” Yes, you’re going to write some sketches that you love and are proud of forever—your golden nuggets. But you’re also going to write some real shit nuggets. (Kindle Locations 1340-1342).<br />
    14. 14. When Hiring<br />When hiring, mix Harvard Nerds with Chicago Improvisers and stir.Harvard Boys and Improv People think differently because their comedy upbringing is so different. If you’re at the Harvard Lampoon (…)you can perfect a piece of writing to be exactly what you want and you can avoid the feeling of red-hot flop sweat. But when you’re improvising eight shows a week in front of drunk meat-eating Chicagoans, you will experience highs and lows. You will be heckled, or, worse, you will hear your own heartbeat over the audience’s silence. (Kindle Locations 1356-1360) <br />
    15. 15. At War<br />Harvard is classical military theory, improv is Vietnam.The Harvard guys check the logic and construction of every joke, and the Improvisers teach them how to be human. It’s Spock and Kirk. (Kindle Locations 1367-1368)<br />
    16. 16. Crazy People<br />Never tell a crazy person she’s crazy. The point is, Lorne did not do what I would have done, which is to say, “You’re being crazy. Get back in here. Everyone else is here. Do you think you’re more important than everybody else?” He also didn’t coddle me, which is what I would have done if I were trying to overcompensate for my natural sternness. “Are you okay? If you need to take a couple days off, I’m sure we can manage, blah, blah, blah.” (Kindle Locations 1430-1433)<br />
    17. 17. At War<br />Harvard is classical miliatry theory, improv is Vietnam.The Harvard guys check the logic and construction of every joke, and the Improvisers teach them how to be human. It’s Spock and Kirk. (Kindle Locations 1367-1368)<br />
    18. 18. 30 Rock, Season One: Episode 14, The “C” Word<br />Being the boss isn't all it's cracked up to be when Liz overhears the writers discussing her management style and Jack tries impress CEO Don Geiss at a charity golf tournament by bringing Tracy along.<br />
    19. 19. Writing Against Culture<br />Henry Glassie (1982) describes folklore as<br />I am concerned less with the structure of society than with the quality of social life, less with the economic system than with the nature of work, less with genres of literature than with the meaning in texts. I ask not how people fit into the plots of others but how they form their own lives, not what people do once in a while but what they do all the time. My task was not to write another ethnography, but to write accurately and usefully about the workaday reality of other people. I wanted to know how people who share my world make it despite boredom and terror. (p.15)<br />Glassie, H. (1982). Passing the time in Ballymenone: Culture and history of an Ulster community. Philadelphia, PA: University of Philadelphia Press.<br />
    20. 20. Why Folklore and Organization(s)?<br />Michael Owens (1991) how folklore itself finds a place within organizational systems of leadership<br />Part of the appeal of myth, culture, and related concepts to organizational researchers was that they directed attention to the interactive, recreative, and affective qualities of organizations. These were long known to exist, but the dominance of mechanistic models of organization and the engineering approach to organizational design and administration discouraged attempts to examine the symbolic or appreciate its significance. (p. 29)<br />Owens, M. (1991). Why folklore and organization(s)? Western Folklore, 50(1), pp. 29-40.<br />
    21. 21. How does the episode relate to class concepts?<br />
    22. 22. Kotex Classic: Understanding Gender in the Workplace<br />
    23. 23. Kotex Classic<br />It was the moment I realized that there was no “institutionalized sexism” at that place. Sometimes they just literally didn’t know what we were talking about. Just as I was not familiar with the completely normal custom of pissing in jars, they had never been handed a fifteen-year-old Kotex product by the school nurse. (Kindle Locations 1530-1533)<br />
    24. 24. Weekend Update<br />Understanding your past and present are essential to framing your own theory of practice in leadership.<br />Even when you don’t have a plan, be open to the possibilities and wing it knowing you’re not alone.<br />Never underestimate the value of a good mentor who will tell you that you’re crazy when you need to hear it.<br />Workplaces are messy, complicated, and (hopefully) hilarious. It’s important to find the opportunities in that mess to learn something.<br />Do not cross a Sugarbaker woman.<br />Sometimes you have to realize there is a difference before you can even begin to bridge those differences.<br />
    25. 25. Corey Alderdice, Western Kentucky University<br />CONTACT<br />Email: corey.alderdice@wku.edu Phone: 270.705.3632<br />Facebook: facebook.com/corey.alderdice Twitter: twitter.com/alderdice<br />Download a copy of this presentation at http://db.tt/m381ZAi.<br />
    26. 26. Fey, T. (2011). Bossypants. New York, NY: Reagan Arthur Books.<br />Contrary to what I believed as a little girl, being the boss almost never involves marching around, waving your arms, and chanting, “I am the boss! I am the boss!” (Kindle location 36)<br />

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