Lessons Learned from Charlie Sheen


Logo-rWatching Charlie Sheen’s career crash and burn like has been an eye opening experience. He’s given us the primer on what not to do if you want to get to the top and stay there.

And he joins the ranks of others, including that airline flight attendant who publicly severed his employment after getting fed up with conditions on the job. Looking back, I’m guessing that flight attendant knows it wasn’t a good idea to act so rashly. I don’t think Charlie is there yet.

As Hollywood’s highest paying sitcom actor, Sheen was at the top of his game. But because of his off screen antics, and reported problems on the set, combined with his very public fight with Chuck Lorre, he lost his job. And after losing his job he continues to publicly proclaim that he’s winning.

I’ll admit I watch “Two and a Half Men,” although not because of Charlie Sheen. I watch it because I find the writing to be funny. Which to me, means that just about any halfway decent actor can recite the lines of a funny writer. But it’s a lot harder to keep viewers engaged if the writing and storyline just aren’t there, regardless of the talent playing the lead role.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Ashton Kutcher will be joining the cast of “Two and a Half Men” although he won’t be playing Charlie Harper. Even CBS/Time Warner is smart enough to admit that Sheen can’t be replaced. Although Sheen did tout his own brilliance as a comedic performer.

The WSJ article adds that Kutcher comes to “Two and a Half Men” with a huge following and an 80% likability rating, whereas Sheen is only liked by 40% of Americans. What Sheen may soon find out is that no one cares if you’re brilliant if they don’t like you.

I suspect that “Two and a Half Men” will survive, if not thrive, from the talent change as long as the writing doesn’t change. And CBS was well within its rights to choose Lorre over Sheen. He’s a ratings generating powerhouse with several sitcoms running on CBS. Sheen on the other hand is a hedonistic actor who thinks the network can’t survive without him.

Lessons learned from Charlie Sheen. As an employee, don’t get your name in the press for bad behavior and lawlessness and expect to keep your job no matter how indispensable you think you are. Make an effort to get along with your co-workers. Don’t bad mouth them.

While many of us can only fantasize of dressing down an insidious co-worker the way Charlie Sheen did, not much good can come of it. Charlie Sheen is looking more ike a whiner than a winner, and CBS has already moved on. It will be interesting to see how this all unfolds.

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