September 8, 2016

A Look Inside Letterman’s Staff Redefining Their Purpose After The Show Ended

david-lettermanIf you were a fan of David Letterman and his late night talk show you could easily identify on-camera characters like Paul Schaeffer, Biff Henderson and even Alan Kalter.
But what about all of the people behind the camera? The ones who produced, directed and wrote the show.
And whatever happened to them on May 26, 2015 … the day after Letterman’s last show aired on CBS?
A wonderful behind-the-scenes documentary has recently surfaced answering that very question.
The following behind-the-scenes employees at Late Show with David Letterman share wonderful insights, tidbits and anecdotes regarding the very last episode that aired May 25, 2015.

  • Executive Producer Rob Burnett
  • Director Jerry Foley
  • Writer Bill Scheft
  • Supervising Producer Kathy Mavrikakis
  • Writer Joe Grossman
  • Writer Steve Young
  • Supervising Producer Brian Teta
  • Executive Producer Barbara Gaines

Their comments are the premise of the first video (Part I) found below.

But what is far more interesting to me, is Part II.

Walter Kim–Senior Video Writer/Producer at LinkedIn who put the documentary videos together, but who also spent over 20 years in New York working with Letterman as his digital creative director–has provided a bit of The Purpose Effect gold.
In The Purpose Effect, I argue that individuals ought to be constantly defining and redefining their personal purpose if they are to remain in the sweet spot, both at work and in life. From the book:

Individuals who steadily define (and redefine) what they are in life and at work seize the opportunity for clarity. Determining and adjusting their disposition, character, identity, attributes and qualities ensures they offer themselves the chance to continually reach new levels of success.
Team members who successfully define, answer the question: Who am I in life and at work?

What Mr. Kim surfaces in Part II are the real-world struggles, trials and tribulations that these Letterman employees went through as that final show concluded. There are incredible stories and insights into their personal sense of purpose, and what was (and wasn’t) working for them during the lead up to that final show, as well as afterwards.
It’s rare to get such raw and truthful feedback from people who spent so many years in a family unit, working in roles that they clearly loved. For some, their personal purpose was questioned. For others, it gave them a chance to redefine who they wanted to be post-Letterman.
These are not rich celebrities either. Just normal folk, looking for a way to remain in the ‘sweet spot,’ something each of them were clearly in during their respective tenures at Late Show.

 Part I

[slideshare id=62169989&doc=leavinglettermanfinal8mbps-160519051657-lva1-app6891-video]

Part II

[slideshare id=64191359&doc=leaving-letterman-ep2-final-8mbps-160720064342-lva1-app6892-video]

PS. Read more in my latest book, The Purpose Effect: Building Meaning in Yourself, Your Role and Your Organization
Download Chapter 1 … for free!
Audible version now available, too. (I’m the narrator!)

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