Monday, 26 January 2015

Whipped to perfection

Whiplash is one of those films that will stay in your mind for a very long time - if not forever. It is a stonking good film with Oscar winning features: I predict that, at the very least, J.K. Simmons will pick up the award for best actor in a supporting role (although it is hardly supporting...) This film will rivet you to your seat as you question to what lengths you would go to bring out the best in someone.

The cinematography, the editing and the directing are top notch. And as you might expect with a musically centred story, the score is superlative. The story is very simple: young man wants to become the best jazz drummer in the world. His moody coach / conductor helps / breaks (depending on your point of view) him in the process of trying to get there. Go. See. This. Movie.

Leadership is about creating new leaders. It is about bringing out the best in people. Leaders help people become more than they thought possible. The art is in knowing what will work for each person because no one is the same. If leaders only use one method or one range, then they do not understand what it means to be a leader.

Whiplash is an extreme movie which shows just how far a leader can go in seeking to challenge someone to new heights of performance. You will be left wondering whether the coach goes to far or maybe just got it just right: do the ends justify the means? (The film will not answer that question for you.)

Where do you draw the line?

This is the seventy first 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.

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