Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Luke warm pursuit

Hot Pursuit never really got going for me, despite all the wise cracking, car chasing, gun toting cops that riffled across the screen. The story felt tired, like a curious mash up of Witness, Miss Congeniality, Thelma & Louise and Blow. It was also just too preposterous (and featuring some rather tedious stereotyping) to be in any way convincing...

Again, this is another example of where the trailer editor ought to get an award for business development rather than the director of the whole movie. Reese Witherspoon is so much better than this: how could she make this after (for example) Wild or Legally Blond? Disappointing, I am afraid.


Part of the comedic narrative rests on the reputation earned by Reese Witherspoon's character due to a miscommunication in a time previous. It highlights that no matter how good a leader you might be, any leader can be subject to a happen chance event that can change a reputation overnight.

As leaders know, reputation is often hard earned but can be so easily lost. The question is: what can a leader do not only to build & maintain a solid reputation but also ensure that reputation is robust, able to withstand a glitch of a moment? And those moments may not always be avoidable despite earnest actions always to be consistent with one's reputation.

What are you doing to ensure your reputation is robust & resilient?

______________________

This is the Blog 109 in my 2014/2015 series of blogs about leadership ideas to be found in the movies of our time. You can read here as why I began doing this (with an update at the end of 2014). Please subscribe to this blog if you want to read more. Thanks. Click the label 'film' to see all the others.



Friday, 31 July 2015

No intermission

Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation is a deliciously ludicrous (in the true sense of the word), action packed, edge of your seat and beautiful film to watch: I enjoyed it immensely. The baddies are only so menacing, the gunfights devoid of all blood and the sexual chemistry is at a level that even Disney would approve. Which all means that a) it's a 12A and b) you can just delight in the twists of the narrative and glory at the stunts.

I remember MI on TV when I was growing up and the theme tune still sends a shiver of excitement down my spine. These big screen versions are fast becoming one of my favourite film genres, probably second only to Bond (although watch out 007...) I look forward to MI... six (now there's a storyline...)


There is a moment in the film when Ethan is invited to walk away, forget what he does and start a new life. I will leave you to guess what he chooses... But at sometime all leaders face this dilemma.

There will be moments for every leader when she or he just thinks something like 'ah, what the heck, I just want to grow tomatoes'. Being a leader can be a gruelling, lonely and un-thanked role and the lure of just opting out can be overwhelming. There are times to go and times to stay, of course.

How will you know when it is right time to go? 

______________________

This is the Blog 108 in my 2014/2015 series of blogs about leadership ideas to be found in the movies of our time. You can read here as why I began doing this (with an update at the end of 2014). Please subscribe to this blog if you want to read more. Thanks. Click the label 'film' to see all the others.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Up side down and round about

Inside Out didn't really grab me although I know it has wowed others. And trust me: I love Pixar movies... but this one kind of lost me. I have been struggling to understand why. Partly, I felt duped by the trailer such that the inner dialogue between mother, father and daughter only happened once in the movie but figures large in the trailer.

Partly, it was the whole candy cane landscape of the girl's mind that became increasingly convoluted as the narrative also disappeared up its own cortex. The story is not that complex and it has a strong and important theme about the value of all emotions (not just just the joyful ones). But what lost me was a fair degree of sub text sexism that they just didn't have to use... Frustrating, because I really wanted to like it. Maybe this movie has really been made for children, although I didn't hear much laughing and giggling from the young audience that surrounded me...


Emotional intelligence (or quotient) is what good managers are meant to have: an ability to understand their own emotions, appreciate the emotions of others and exercise leadership that is mindful of the impact of emotions on day to day (business) life. As with most leadership theories, EQ has its adherents and detractors.

For me one of the key questions is whether a leader who doesn't have very much emotional intelligence can develop it to a level where it becomes helpful to them and those that they lead. The answer appears to be a cautious yes, but only under certain conditions.

How are you developing your EQ?

______________________

This is the Blog 107 in my 2014/2015 series of blogs about leadership ideas to be found in the movies of our time. You can read here as why I began doing this (with an update at the end of 2014). Please subscribe to this blog if you want to read more. Thanks. Click the label 'film' to see all the others.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Self absorbed

Self/Less struggles with a clunky narrative that only just about manages to hang together: I could almost hear the screenwriter scrabbling through papers to check constantly on narrative integrity. Time travel films do this. So do body swapping story lines. The acting is a bit of stretch too, even dare I say, I think Mr Kingsley slightly hams it up (deliberately?)

Maddie is the most convincing and her screen daughter the most delightful. And yet again, another US film makes the baddie an Englishman: this is a cliché now and for which I probably blame Alan Rickman (!) This is a Sunday afternoon film if you are bored and in need of a quick scifi fix...


This is a very ethical film in that ethics are a critical part of the story: you will only come to understand fully what the title means at the end of the movie. Every day, usually without knowing it, we make dozens of ethical decisions. They may not feel like it, but the impact of what we do, say, buy, not buy, tweet, not tweet etc all have ethical echoes.

The ethics of leadership cannot be underestimated. In my view, it is the responsibility of all leaders to never let a day go by without reflecting on that day's ethical sub text. This means having a vocabulary & framework against which to examine a day's proceedings.

What is your ethical framework?

______________________

This is the Blog 106 in my 2014/2015 series of blogs about leadership ideas to be found in the movies of our time. You can read here as why I began doing this (with an update at the end of 2014). Please subscribe to this blog if you want to read more. Thanks. Click the label 'film' to see all the others.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Comically self aware

Antman does not take itself very seriously and there are layers of cinematic self awareness rarely seen in any movie let alone a super hero comic book one. The lead character almost looks into the camera lens and smiles. Which only makes the film even more endearing and fun.

My only criticism is that the ants looked a bit plastic and I would have thought that CGI could have done a better job of them but perhaps they ran out of budget. But overall this is a subtle (yes truly!), funny and gripping film that I heartily recommend (if you like this genre). And the sequel is coming (again, make sure you stay to the end of the credits...)


A common theme of the superhero genre is the little guy (almost always 'guys', it must be said) who is thrust into a situation where their 'inner hero' is forced to emerge. Suddenly they find they can fight like Bruce Lee, have the courage of Sitting Bull and the charismatic allure of George Clooney... And of course, we can all believe (especially if we are 10 years old) that anyone of us is like that. I well remember running around the playground with my gaberdine macintosh buttoned up around my neck like a cape...

But there is an old adage from the One Minute Manager series of books: if you want people to be responsible, give them responsibility. Likewise, if you want people to show leadership, find ways in which they discover their own leadership.

As a leader, how good are you at creating the situations in which others discover their own leadership?

______________________

This is the Blog 105 in my 2014/2015 series of blogs about leadership ideas to be found in the movies of our time. You can read here as why I began doing this (with an update at the end of 2014). Please subscribe to this blog if you want to read more. Thanks. Click the label 'film' to see all the others.

Friday, 17 July 2015

Good vibrations

Love and Mercy surprised me: I was expecting a standard biopic. Instead I was entranced by a compelling, fascinating and inspiring film that is as subtle and layered as the best Beach Boys' tracks. And just like some of their tracks the chord changes are sometimes hard to follow and sometimes seem out of place... but they are not: this film presents integrated insights into music, power, fame, families and love.

Tripping between the 60s and 80s, this film endeavours to explain the history of Brian Wilson's genius. It raises deep questions about the nature of mental health, creativity and friendship. The acting is seamless and the cinematography is stunning, using colour in some magical ways. This is a film to see - right up to the last credit. Wow!!


Some of the best bits of Beach Boys music are the silences, when you are waiting, hanging in there, for the next blast of notes. These silences draw you in to the music as your body hungers to fill the space. Leaders can use silence in the same way.

Sometimes people think that leadership is all about projection. And of course, at times, it must be. But leadership is also about invitation, asking a question, leaving a silence suspended, stepping back... in the hope and knowledge that another (or several) will feel driven to fill the space.

As a leader, how do you use space and silence?

______________________

This is the Blog 104 in my 2014/2015 series of blogs about leadership ideas to be found in the movies of our time. You can read here as why I began doing this (with an update at the end of 2014). Please subscribe to this blog if you want to read more. Thanks. Click the label 'film' to see all the others.

A cuddly toy?

Ted 2 is what you would expect: a romping retread of the original movie. The gags keep coming, most with about as much subtlety & finesse as a wrecking ball. I am not sure if you make a racist joke in an ironic post modern way that it totally neutralises the racism; but make up your own mind.

The acting is probably understated as it cannot be easy being in dialogue with some blank space: certainly all the characters are convincing (apart from the baddie who just does not cut it for me - too creepy to be a pantomime villain and not creepy enough to be scary). This is a crude, lewd and daft movie that will (unless you take offence at such humour) keep you amused and give you a few laugh out loud moments.


The legal question at stake in the movie is whether being human is about genetics or behaviour. I won't spoil how the narrative resolves this, naturally. Suffice to say: the answer is not straightforward. And that reminds me of the old apocryphal statement in a manager's appraisal: this person is not yet a born leader.

I regularly work with classes of 9, 10 and 11 year olds and I am always struck by the differences within the groups as to who puts their hand up to risk an answer to my questions... and who does not. Are the ones with their hands up the future leaders (or the quieter more contemplative ones)? But what strikes me more is the difference between schools and indeed classes within the same school: the teachers have so much influence on their pupils. In some places, most of the children are bursting with answers, comments and insights. In other places, they are not but for a few members of the class. So in the appraisal comment above, does that say more about the manager concerned... or the person conducting the appraisal (presumably the manager's manager...)???

How do you create born leaders?

______________________

This is the Blog 103 in my 2014/2015 series of blogs about leadership ideas to be found in the movies of our time. You can read here as why I began doing this (with an update at the end of 2014). Please subscribe to this blog if you want to read more. Thanks. Click the label 'film' to see all the others.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Back to Black

Amy was a difficult film to watch, as I knew how the film would end and spent some time hoping it could end in another way. In a way it does (and I won't say how) but it is still not a happy film. But it is an interesting, fascinating and uplifting film since although her life ended far too soon, she has left a legacy of some wonderful music that will always live on.

The movie is very cleverly made, splicing together film of her from home movies, mobile phone clips and excerpts from TV shows, overlaid with friends, colleagues and family talking about her and what happened in her life. This film honours Amy Winehouse and is wholly sympathetic towards her, in my opinion. A poignant movie to see.


This is a film about addiction to alcohol, other substances, being slim and even love. I think we all have the capacity to become addicted to things that make us feel good. Most of us fortunately manage to keep such addictions in check.

But let's be clear, addictions start with reward - and indeed the reward does not even have to happen every time. (Psychological learning theory suggests that random intermittent reward leads to behaviour that is the most difficult to 'extinguish' - or stop). Can leaders get addicted to behaviours that are not healthy in the mistaken belief that they are rewarding? Undoubtedly. It is vital to know the difference between healthy behaviours and those which are not so...

How do you know - really know?

______________________

This is the Blog 102 in my 2014/2015 series of blogs about leadership ideas to be found in the movies of our time. You can read here as why I began doing this (with an update at the end of 2014). Please subscribe to this blog if you want to read more. Thanks. Click the label 'film' to see all the others.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Leadership 101: movies

Over the last 18 months or so, care of an unlimited movie card from Cineworld (first one bought for me by my lovely wife as a Christmas present), I have been treating myself to many, many films. After each one, I have written a two paragraph review of the film itself followed by two paragraphs on the leadership theme I have seen in the movie. I have now written 101 such blog posts. (I have hashtagged this #leadershipinfilms)

So, if you want to see a mainstream film or buy a DVD that has come out in the last 18 months, there is a good chance I will have reviewed it somewhere on this blog. You might also be intrigued by the leadership idea contained within it too. I don't do spoilers either: the reviews will not bust open the narrative for you.

You can search on the film title (see box top left) or click on film label and just scroll down.

Any feedback more than welcome. Should I carry on doing this? Or are my blog posts dropping into oblivion...?

Do let me know.

Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy going to the cinema as much as I do!


In the beginning...

I must admit to being a bit of an Arnie fan and it is great to see him back on the big screen. So Terminator Genisys was unlikely to disappoint me, and it didn't. This is classic blockbuster. The narrative was always going to be a bit convoluted but it just about hangs together (don't leave before the closing credits by the way...) There are moments of quiet as well as plenty of bangs, crashes & wallops. The special effects were pretty good back in the day of the original Terminator films, but these are superlative.

The casting is querky but all the more authentic because of it. Apart from the obvious person, the film feels like ordinary people caught up in something hard, dark, urgent and scary. There are (at least for me) several laugh out loud moments when Arnie's character says a couple of things. And I loved what will become a new catchphrase "I am old, I am not obsolete" said in his (probably trademarked) thick Austrian accent. I am waiting for the sequel...


When you have shape-shifting pre-programmed lethal robots around, you are bound to take time to trust people! Especially when you mix this with time travel to boot! But trust does happen nonetheless...

I have written before about leaders being trustworthy and indeed trusting the people that they lead. Without trust there is no leadership. But as a leader, you have to trust yourself too. Leaders must trust themselves to be consistent, honourable, focused... indeed worthy of others' trust. How do you develop such trust: how do stay mindful & observant of your own behaviour and recognise when you might be falling short of your own standards?

How do you monitor yourself?

______________________

This is the Blog 101 in my 2014/2015 series of blogs about leadership ideas to be found in the movies of our time. You can read here as why I began doing this (with an update at the end of 2014). Please subscribe to this blog if you want to read more. Thanks. Click the label 'film' to see all the others.

100 Minions

The trailer for Minions was really funny. The film as a whole is a chortle but did not quite grab me in the same way as Despicable Me, from which this is a spinoff. I cannot quite put my finger on why... perhaps it just seemed a bit too contrived and clunky? Maybe also because I accidentally saw this in the 4DX cinema at Milton Keynes and I had to cope with being thrown around, smoked and splashed... (I find 4DX a distraction: I wonder how the business plan is working out...?)

I wish I could be more enthusiastic but the gags and narrative just did not work for me as much I had hoped they would. Perhaps, film makers should not make trailers quite so funny? In other words: let the film be better than the trailer?


Near the beginning of the film, Kevin elects himself as Minion leader. He just assumes the role and carves out a new future for his Minion mates. But he is a leader in search of another: Minions (so the narrative goes) are drawn towards the baddest baddy around. Except of course, their hapless followership leads to disaster for their chosen baddy...

But how many leaders do you know who just became leaders because they were driven to do so? Are you one of those kind of leaders who has gained influence merely by being who you are, rather than any position you hold or were elected to? Such leadership is gold dust, in my opinion, because it shows a courage to stand up, stand out and be counted. Good leaders encourage this kind of leadership...

How many Kevins do you have in your organisation?

______________________

This is the HUNDREDTH (!) of my 2014/2015 series of blogs about leadership ideas to be found in the movies of our time. You can read here as why I began doing this (with an update at the end of 2014). Please subscribe to this blog if you want to read more. Thanks. Click the label 'film' to see all the others.

Love is like riding a bull

The Longest Ride is a peach of a movie! This is probably the best and most romantic film I have seen in at least the last ten years. I adored the inter-generational theme, so ably portrayed by dear Alan Alda and resonant with The Notebook (by the same writer). I adored the embedded allegory that beginning a new relationship is a bit like riding a bull: how long are you going to stay together?!

This film has one of those rare 'punch in the air' endings that will leave you uplifted and grinning from ear to ear. You will be convinced (again) that love, really, is everything. Do go and see this film. If, like me, you are an unreconstructed romantic, you will want to see it again too.


This film is all about resolving difference: how can (what appear to be) polar interests and desires be reconciled? There are several moments in the film when it seems that there is nowhere to go, no path to tread that will lead to a joint future.

Are resolutions found? You will have to see the movie to find out. But are resolutions found in real life..? Perhaps all to often for poor reasons such as ego or an absence of creativity or an over adherence to certain principles, resolutions of polar opposites are not found. But where there is good selfless, creative and dynamic leadership... a new way forward can usually be discovered.

What have you managed to resolve in recent times? How?

______________________

This is the ninety ninth of my 2014/2015 series of blogs about leadership ideas to be found in the movies of our time. You can read here as why I began doing this (with an update at the end of 2014). Please subscribe to this blog if you want to read more. Thanks. Click the label 'film' to see all the others.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

A study in senility

Mr Holmes is an acting master class, not just from Ian McKellen, as you might expect (and of course Laura Linney is just superb in her understated acting), but also from the young man on whom much of the film is focussed. Watch Milo Parker in years to come: he shows extraordinary depth in this film.

The film slowly patches together the story of what happened in Holmes' last case and subtly affirms the idea that he was a real person. We switch from a post war Holmes with increasing senility and a far younger one trying to solve a case. Prompted by his young 'Watson' and a few bees, Holmes gradually recovers the whole story and resolution to the mystery. A slow gentle film that will intrigue you.


The language in this film is a treat. Frankly I could have enjoyed the film just for the way in McKellen wraps his lips around the precise words he utters. Slowly, word by word, we see him tell the story as the fragments begin to reappear and coalesce in his mind.

Words are very, very important to a leader. A misplaced phrase here or an unwitting exaggeration there can neutralise what might be otherwise a strong set of ideas. We need words to express what we mean and the best leaders use words precisely to communicate their ideas, just as precisely. Words can blaze new directions and inspire new hope, new beginnings. The power of words should never be underestimated... Leaders should be poets.

How good is your wordcraft?

______________________

This is the ninety eighth of my 2014/2015 series of blogs about leadership ideas to be found in the movies of our time. You can read here as why I began doing this (with an update at the end of 2014). Please subscribe to this blog if you want to read more. Thanks. Click the label 'film' to see all the others.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Great in concept but...

I really wanted to be thrilled and delighted with Jurassic World but whilst it kept me on the edge of my seat... it irritated me. I will do the good stuff first: all the classic breathtaking horror of "are they about to be eaten alive" is there in abundance, and indeed some of the characters are summarily despatched in this way. The film pays due homage to its roots and if you like big snorting lizards steaming up the cinema screen, this is the film for you.

But some of the narrative was inconsistent, jerky and with a few clunky handbrake turns. "Oops, we have made this character just a bit too harsh, how can we soften them a bit... I know, we'll have a scene involving a dying brontosaurus and never mind there are slightly more pressing matters..." etc. I am being obtuse obviously, but see the film and you will get what I mean. I know it is a fantasy, but certain rules of human behaviour still have to followed... the narrative needs to be plausible. Nonetheless go and see this: you will be thrilled! (There is lots of embedded humourous references to other movies too...)


Friendship, loyalty even honour between beast and human is a key theme of this film. And understanding what is the real basis of those relationships is critical (you will see why).

Leadership, too, is all about relationships: loyalty, honour, commitment, friendship and all points in between. Some leaders seem to think it is all about just having a vision. It isn't. It is about conversations and building trust. People will comply with management but they will choose whether to be led or not.

Who have you chosen as a leader? Why? 

______________________

This is the ninety seventh of my 2014/2015 series of blogs about leadership ideas to be found in the movies of our time. You can read here as why I began doing this (with an update at the end of 2014). Please subscribe to this blog if you want to read more. Thanks. Click the label 'film' to see all the others.

The Woman from A.U.N.T.I.E.

Spy is glorious roller coaster romp of slap stick and wise cracking humour, of which you will not want to miss a second. The timing, the dialogue, the narrative, the self mocking satire ("it wasn't the car that was on fire, I was on fire" etc) are all top notch. This must have been a joy of movie to be part of the crew or cast. The sense of fun is squeaking out of every scene.

As someone who has adored spy movies from a very young age, it was great to see the anti-hero played so well by Melissa McCarthy (although she is not quite the all anti-hero you might think she is...!) Some great inverting of narrative tricks with some really well crafted action scenes as well. I do hope there is at least one sequel... Go see this!


Much of the humour in the film hinges on smashing stereotypes and challenging our superficial assumptions about what people can / can't/ should / shouldn't do. It shows the power of comedy to puncture inflated ideas about what is possible or correct.

Being able to make people laugh at life, and even at themselves (as Michael McIntyre is so good at too) is a golden skill for leaders to have. It is a skill not easy to develop, but it can be. We admire leaders who have a natural (?) ability to make us laugh because important things can be said more easily. But what if you are not a 'natural'? You could go on a course to learn... perhaps. How aware are you of what you say that does make people laugh... could you build on that?

Where is your comedy muscle, have you exercised it recently? 

______________________

This is the ninety sixth of my 2014/2015 series of blogs about leadership ideas to be found in the movies of our time. You can read here as why I began doing this (with an update at the end of 2014). Please subscribe to this blog if you want to read more. Thanks. Click the label 'film' to see all the others.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

When dates go wrong

Man Up is a quirky romcom in the old tradition in that it is really funny and is very romantic. I am not sure that Simon Pegg would have been my first casting choice but he makes a very good male lead and is well balanced by Lake Bell who acts her part very well.

This is a film that you will be able to happily watch on the small screen if you don't manage to see it in the cinema. There are some neat twists and turns in the narrative and some brilliant cameos (Rory Kinnear is deliciously creepy!). You will enjoy this film if you liked Notting Hill or Four Weddings.


This film is laced with serendipitous spontaneity (or would that be spontaneous serendipity?) of the kind that makes you smile. And I think we smile because occasionally this happens to us: only yesterday I bumped into my brother at a service station some distance away from each of our usual stamping grounds.

Of course one can apply some sort of cosmic interpretation  to such events (star crossed lovers etc.) or just regard it as delightful happen chance & make the most of it. Good leaders do this: they take every occurrence (good or bad) & endeavour to capitalise on it - lightly, spontaneously & cleverly. 

What is your serendipity quotient? 

______________________

This is the ninety fifth of my 2014/2015 series of blogs about leadership ideas to be found in the movies of our time. You can read here as why I began doing this (with an update at the end of 2014). Please subscribe to this blog if you want to read more. Thanks. Click the label 'film' to see all the others.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Earth cracking movie

San Andreas is a real blockbuster: as in city block busting! I chose to see this in 2D as I thought I would probably be either overwhelmed or too distracted to watch it in 3D or even 4DX (Cineworld MK). The special effects are convincingly breathtaking and quite what it feels like to watch this movie in San Francisco, I would love to know.

The story is (of course - aren't all blockbusters like this) schmultzy and the narrative is almost entirely given away in the trailer. You will have to suspend disbelief a little... well a lot actually: there is no point being picky (for example) about how a speed boat would glide quite so effortlessly through the devastated & flooded streets of SF. Just go with it, as the characters appear to (!) and enjoy the spectacle. And be glad you don't (hopefully) live on a fault line... (And see if you can spot Kylie...)


In leadership terms, what is great about this movie is the range of styles on show. There is the heroic Rock at the centre of it all but his style is complemented by the leadership that comes from knowledge, from loyalty, from compassion and from love. Each character represents a different kind of leadership and each is essential to the plot and its resolution.

..Not much different from any organisation where different kinds of leadership are needed too. The tragedy in some organisations is an almost myopic focus and admiration of only one or two styles. Just like in anything, we need diversity of leadership.

How do you as a leader develop styles of leadership different to your own?

______________________

This is the ninety fourth of my 2014/2015 series of blogs about leadership ideas to be found in the movies of our time. You can read here as why I began doing this (with an update at the end of 2014). Please subscribe to this blog if you want to read more. Thanks. Click the label 'film' to see all the others.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Perfectly pitched

Pitch Perfect 2 is a swell movie! You will swell with the glorious music on show: some really excellent 'a cappella' arrangements (indeed, I am probably about to purchase the soundtrack). You will swell with laughter: there are some peach lines, especially those delivered by the two commentators ("See, that is what happens when you allow girls to go to college!") And you will swell with joy as you watch how the Barden Bellas rediscover their mojo & harmony.

This is a second movie that is better than the first in my view. The comedic timing is terrific, cinematography exceptional and whilst the narrative is predictable, there are (just) enough twists and turns to keep you keen. Who run the world? Currently (as said elsewhere), it is the Barden Bellas! Go see this.


Movies should be 'feel good' in my opinion. Of course, there are great movies that remind you bitterly of what a terrible world this can be. But I enjoy movies like Pitch Perfect because they are crafted to make you believe that the world is often and could be far more a beautiful & harmonious place.

Leadership is about not only making people believe things can be better, but also shaping efforts to make it a reality. Unlike a movie, leadership goes on well beyond two hours. The art of leadership is in focusing upon the details and the broader, longer picture in order to bring about change.

As a leader, how are you choreographic and music production skills? Do you lead a choir or a cacophony?

______________________

This is the ninety third of my 2014/2015 series of blogs about leadership ideas to be found in the movies of our time. You can read here as why I began doing this (with an update at the end of 2014). Please subscribe to this blog if you want to read more. Thanks. Click the label 'film' to see all the others.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Just imagine

Tomorrowland is a wonderfully magical, positive and uplifting film that I urge you to go and see. OK, from a purist scifi perspective, the narrative does not quite hold together (which I cannot unpack without spoiling the movie) but that doesn't really matter. Just climb aboard the jet-pack to the future and imagine a better world.

Hugh Laurie has some of the best lines in the film, so listen out for those. George Clooney is fabulous of course and balanced well by Britt Robertson. But the real star who blew me away was Raffey Cassidy: she has such presence for a young girl. Delivering some of the lines she has to say next to George Clooney took amazing skill. For no other reason, go and see this movie just for her acting alone! This is Disney at their best: enchanting but with a powerful deep message of which we should all take heed.


Near the beginning of the film, there is a discussion about how the shape of lives is determined by which inner wolf we feed: the wolf of darkness & despair or the wolf of light and hope. This is probably the most critical challenge for any leader: how to temper optimism with realism without plummeting into pessimism. It is a fine line to tread. A very fine line...

The way in which leaders dream is often via the medium of mission statements. And the best one I know of, and which is very germane to this film, is JFK's "we will put a man on the moon in ten years". This statement was understandable, believable, communicable and usable while being inspiring all at the same time! Perhaps a good example of dreaming with reality in mind...

As a leader, how do you express your dreams?

______________________

This is the ninety second of my 2014/2015 series of blogs about leadership ideas to be found in the movies of our time. You can read here as why I began doing this (with an update at the end of 2014). Please subscribe to this blog if you want to read more. Thanks. Click the label 'film' to see all the others.