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Beware the Chair
The King is Dead. Long Live the King!
Thrones are imposing pieces of furniture. To start with, they usually have really intricate craftsmanship. Some are adorned with gold paint that has real gold in it. Most seem to have really nice upholstery. The one from Game of Thrones is made of bones and swords. That’ll make you think twice about mouthing off to the king.
Thrones aren’t just for monarchs. Executives have them as well. Instead of calling their thrones “thrones,” it’s more elegant to call it “the chair.” The chair sits behind a nice desk in a nice office. Perhaps is the office of the President of a Film Studio or the Executive Vice President of a big talent agency or the Senior Viceroy Viscount of Development at a Television Production Company. The plebeians humbly approach the chair with various requests. Please make my movie. Please be my talent agent. Please produce my television pitch. The chair grants its occupant power. Sometimes a great deal of power.
Having a chair can be quite intoxicating, but who makes good decisions when they’re intoxicated? After a time the executive begins to believe that the power they wield emanates from them instead of from the chair. Then, something unexpected happens to separate the exec from their chair. Corporate downsizing or a regime change or perhaps retribution for green lighting a couple of box office bombs? Regardless, the executive has lost their chair. The plebeians that once approached the exec now humbly approach the new occupant of the chair with their requests. The Studio President is dead. Long live the Studio President!
There is nothing wrong with sitting in a prominent chair or desiring to. Play it right and there is tons of dough to be made. But, don’t forget that your power comes from that chair. Do you have a plan if your chair is unceremoniously repossessed? If you do, great! If you do not, beware the chair. In Hollywood, without power, things can get very chilly very fast.