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Whether you watched it live or saw the viral replays via social media, the confusion and utter chaos surrounding the announcement of the Academy Awards Best Picture is all everyone is talking about.

To recap: “La La Land” was initially pronounced the winner. Then the executive producers came to the stage and gave their acceptance speeches.  As this was occurring a scurry of confusion was taking place on stage as we soon learned that a mistake had been made. “La La Land” executive producer, Jordan Horowitz, stepped forward and said,“There’s been a mistake. You guys, “Moonlight”, won Best Picture.”

Now I’m not one that normally focuses and writes about ‘pop culture’ happenings. Specifically, events where the “pre-game show” is focused on designer dresses, fancy shoes and jewelry no normal person would ever be able to afford let alone wear.

However, there was one incredibly powerful moment I will always remember.

It was not the mistake nor the confusion on the stage that was unforgettable. It was not the award show host Jimmy Kimmel’s witty response about Steve Harvey. Nor was it Warren Beatty’s look of confusion, heartfelt explanation, and apology to everyone about the blunder.

THE moment, for me, came from Jordan Horowitz when he uttered amidst the confusion, “I’m going to be really proud to hand this award to my friends from ‘Moonlight’.

Great leaders are master connectors. With this sentence, Mr. Horowitz demonstrated great leadership through the power of authenticity and empathy. He was open, honest and came from the heart. He stepped forward, clarified the ‘wrong’ and made it more than ‘right’. Jordan Horowitz’s actions and words have forged a lifelong connection with his fellow colleagues from “Moonlight” and have connected all of us to the OSCARS.

While “La La Land” failed to walk away with the golden trophy, their leader is a winner in my eyes.


Lou Diamond is the Founder & CEO of Thrive – a leading consulting and coaching company helping the best people and companies become even more amazing. He is also the author of the newly released international best-selling book “Master the Art of Connecting“.