Your values are crucial, what you do matters
A couple of months ago, I was geeking out with my 28 year-old son: He and his friends were hosting a regional Star Trek convention. His Binghamton, New York chapter is named the USS Serling for that city’s native son, Rod Serling.
It was such a joy to listen to Serling’s daughter, Anne, speak at the convention! Of course, I had already memorized too many Twilight Zone and Night Gallery episodes to name. And was in awe of his writing for Requiem for a Heavyweight, A Town Has Turned to Dust, and more.
But that day, from Anne Serling, I learned so much more about Rod Serling, the man.
As I studied The Future of Work this past year, among many others, here are at least three direct links between Serling the man, and what’s required of all of us in the future of work.
Whatever Matters: Take a Passionate Stand. Never Relent
Serling often said “The ultimate obscenity is not caring, not doing something about what you feel, not feeling!” He fought for his passions. A Town Has Turned to Dust was an outcry against prejudice. His script found a whole town to blame when a young Mexican boy is lynched. Time and again, he fought to shine a light on difficult truths. He was often called an angry young man for his clashes with TV execs and sponsors to ensure that censorship, racism and war were discussed frankly and openly. Whatever matters to you, the future depends on you passionately taking a stand. Be more than a good worker, manager or leader. Be a passionate, activist person.
Teach, Share, Mentor
Serling continuously returned to Antioch College, Ithaca College and Sherwood Oaks Experimental College to mentor the next generation. The future of work lies in hands that are younger than yours. Make sure you pay it forward. Mentor those who will be tomorrow’s most passionate voices.
Be the Greatest You That You Can Be. Humbly
Serling did so much to shape the future of television and ignite our hearts and minds. During his life and posthumously, he received many honors for his work and his activism. But as Anne Serling closed her talk, she said that he just wanted to be known as a good writer — that hopefully he had written something that was good in his lifetime. The future of work depends on each of us giving our all to our craft, whatever that may be. And not letting it go to our head. Exit humbly, turning the future over to the next generation.