“Damn! We’re in a tight spot!” is line repeated over and over by Ulysses Everett McGill played by George Clooney in the 2000 Coen brothers film “Oh Brother Where Art Though”. This line is very funny, largely due to Clooney’s delivery! The way he says it, his body language, the look on his face… In one particular scene, he and his two traveling companions (prison escapees actually) have spent the night in a barn and have been surrounded by police. First, they hear the police outside “Damn! We’re in a tight spot!” says Clooney. Next, they look out of the barn window and the police start shooting at them! The situation has escalated… “Damn! We’re in a tight spot!” remarks Clooney again. Finally, they see the police pouring petrol all over the barn and getting ready to light the very floor they are standing on on fire! The situation has once again escalated and is about to get infinitely worse! And… you guessed it, Clooney says, “Damn! We’re in a tight spot”. In this scene, Clooney certainly has a growing realisation that, yes, he is in fact in a tight spot, but as the danger escalates he also sees that the tight spot he is in keeps getting tighter!
I was reminded of Clooney’s infamous line when I was on my way out of London recently. I was walking through the car park, and I saw a woman who was trying to get her car out of a very tight parking spot. There was a line of cars parked directly behind her and she was having difficulty judging the space available for her to manoeuvre. She had managed to get herself stuck between two cars and didn’t know what to do. There was also a line of impatient drivers eager to get home waiting for her to get out of their way and some even began to blow their horns. Clooney’s words echoed in my head “Damn! We’re in a tight spot!” When I walked up I could see the frustration and worry on her face and she was almost in tears. I motioned for her to roll down her window and I guided her back and fourth, inches at a time to enable her to manoeuvre her car so that she could ultimately get on her way down the road. She ultimately got out of her tight spot!
As I was driving home a few minutes later and reflecting on all that had happened, the Clooney line was still ringing in my head, “Damn, We’re in a tight spot!” and I was wondering, how many of us get ourselves in a tight spot or a predicament and we cant quite see the best way forward? We get additional outside pressures (like gun shots or a fire in Clooney’s case, or impatient drivers and blowing horns in the parking lot woman’s case, or daily overwhelm with emails and time demands in many of our cases, or… well, you get the idea) and ultimately, these tight spots inhibit us from actually looking at the situation rationally and finding our way. Both in business and in personal life, sometimes all it takes is a different perspective, for someone with a different point of view to provide a little direction to help us get out of a tight spot!
Our LifeVroom executive coaching packages are designed to help you navigate your way through all areas of your life and find your way through many “tight spots”. Using a brain based approach and results coaching system, our clients are continually stretched and achieve results they never thought were possible.
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