I watched the Oscars last night. I normally don’t and normally really don’t care about them, but somehow ended up watching them and was really surprised by the whole affair. It didn’t seem like a whole lot of glitz with no substance this time. It actually seemed like real people getting honored for real achievement.

I really am wondering how this came about. Who is the mastermind behind turning the Oscars into an event that is somewhat worth caring about? Who was smart enough to turn it into a bit of an intimate affair about real people? Where did all the ridiculous dresses with plunging necklines and rising hemlines go? Did someone send out a memo to everyone and tell them to come looking like real people to this event?

Here are some brief points:

  • Steve and Alec were awesome and so funny in such a simple, understated way.
  • The show took the time at each step to answer the question “why should I care?”
    • why should I care about the award for short films? – answered!
    • why should I care about the award for sound engineering? – answered!
    • why should I care which star wins an award? – answered!
  • Sandra Bullock was so gracious! Actually, I used to be really “meh” about her, but since “The Blind Side” and associated behind the scenes stuff on that movie, I see that she’s a real person with real gratitude. It seems so rare and so marvelous in Hollywood.

What can you learn from this?

You need to answer the question – “why should I care” for the people around you. Then you will be interesting. You will be able to lead. You will be able to close deals. You will be able to make new contacts.

Now for business people, go look at your website and marketing materials. How well have you answered the question “why should I care?” Make sure it’s a human answer because people really only truly care for and about people in the end.