February 10, 2019

The truth about ‘Despicable Me’

I try hard not to enjoy it; pretending I don’t see the layers of messages carefully threaded throughout.
As with other Pixar films, most of those messages are, of course, designed for us adults.

But, every now and again, I find myself standing in the middle of our lounge “Just passing through”
…and realise I’ve been standing there for 10 minutes, smiling at the screen.

However, it wasn’t until last year, as I started writing my current book, that I realised why I find the messages in this particular film so very funny.

The truth is, ‘Despicable Me’ is the perfect depiction of many small businesses.

– There’s the Genius with the craziest, scariest of ideas;
– What’s craziest is that the Genius has the capacity to achieve those ‘crazy, scary’ (wouldn’t the world would be a much duller place without them?);
– All they need is a team of helpers – Little Minions – to carry out their ‘crazy, scary’;
– That is, they recruit people – very bright people – who become ‘functions’ in the fulfilment of their brilliant ideas;
– They certainly don’t want those Little Minions to become Great Minds or Decision Makers;
– For goodness sake! That’s the Genius’s role!

And that’s where the funny story stops being funny.

Because, Little Minions – even highly qualified and well paid – will give you their backs.
They’ll do a good job in the 40 hours they’re with you.

But they’ll never give you the passion of their hearts.
Nor the creative miracle of the best of their minds.

They’ll never create what is Truly Great – for you, your clients, or for anyone else.

So you – The Genius – your clients, and the world around you…
Well, they’re all smaller – emotionally and spiritually poorer – as a result.

If you’re going to recruit people…
If  you’re going to have (seemingly) little people in your life…
Recruit them with the intention to build and nurture them into people who are, ultimately, at least as amazing as you.

Everybody wins. Starting with you.
And your influence for good multiplies and magnifies. Even in the smallest of businesses.

Ask Felonious Gru, of ‘Despicable Me’ fame.
He finally got it.
He put the interests of the children first.

He’s never been happier.