Basting the turkey

The Lone Ranger turned out to be one of the biggest movie flops in history. The movie (before marketing) cost more than a quarter of a billion dollars to make.

Here's the thing: thousands of people touched this project. From the dozens of well-paid and ostensibly talented executives to the marketing and the make up and the foley folks—this wasn't a random accident, it was the output of a deliberate effort.

Each of these people got handed a turkey, and some money, along with instructions on how to somehow improve it, promote it or otherwise dress it up. Alas, no one had the guts and the leverage to say, "stop."

Basting the turkey might sound like your job description, but ultimately, we're known by the projects we get involved in. Saying "no" or even "stop" is the hallmark of the professional you want on your team.