A Night with the Legendary Tim Gunn

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


If you have ever watched Project Runway in its fourteen seasons you will have heard of Tim Gunn.  On the show, Gunn is a mentor to the designers while providing input to help them make it work.

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of getting to hear Tim Gunn speak about values, ethics, and leadership.  Gunn was invited to speak at my University and the event was free for students to attend.  Clearly, I could not pass up this opportunity!

As I had expected - Tim Gunn is an exceptional speaker, but he wasn't always.  Gunn spoke about when he was younger he was bullied and badgered for his shyness.  When he started his academic career Gunn was paralyzed with fear of speaking in front of others.

Other topics of the talk were about Gunn's personal codes of conduct.  A few of which include respect, taking the high road, and expecting nothing.  Gunn's style of speaking was mostly telling all of the ridiculous experiences he has had in all of the years in the academic and fashion industries.  Many of the stories involved the folks at Vogue magazine and how absurd and bizarre they can be.  Seemingly, and sadly, a lot of the members in the fashion industry - including some from Project Runway - feel as if they have a sense of entitlement and thus act in nonsensical ways.

Tim Gunn's mantra of make it work isn't just a catch phrase he is famous for on Project Runway.  It is a way of living.  Gunn went on to tell how this mantra works in all aspects of his life.  He believes that when you are frustrated about where you are and the work you've done just isn't producing - make it work!  Don't start over.  Analyzed, deconstruct, and then channel your frustration into a masterpiece.

The night consisted of laughter, life lessons, astonishing younger Tim stories, and the astonishment of actually sitting eight feet from Tim Gunn himself.  I believe the lessons that Gunn embodies are applicable to all situations in life.

After the lecture I went out of the auditorium and  checked out the books for sale.  I ended up deciding to purchase Gunn's Golden Rules and thus far, it is truly inspiring.

How do you make it work in your everyday lives?

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