Before she became the woman responsible for providing the world with “addictive entertainment,” Cindy Holland was a competitive water skier.
In a recent interview with Adam Bryant of the New York Times, Holland, now the vice president for original content at Netflix, said she competed for a year after college, and worked at a ski school, teaching students and driving a boat, in her spare time.
“It’s such an all-consuming sport,” she told Bryant. “You have to be completely focused on your body mechanics and what you’re doing. It’s almost like the outside world doesn’t exist for those moments. It also teaches you not to panic if things are going wrong — either personally or professionally — and to really just take stock of the situation and act pretty quickly.”
These lessons have helped her get to where she is today.
Holland said when she first started managing people, she realised that “dictating the answer or micromanaging not only is not welcome, it’s just not helpful.”
Once she figured that out, she said she was able to use what she “learned from coaching water skiers — you have to figure out how to best help someone do something because you can’t go out to the end of the rope and do it for them.”
She added: “It’s a little bit of psychology. How do they need to hear the input to get the best results out of them? In management, it’s about understanding how the person thinks and even figuring out the right choice of words that will help unlock their creativity and desire to do something. I didn’t know that I would enjoy that part of the job so much, but I do.”
Click here to read the full New York Times interview.
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