Friday, 20 February 2015

From King's Speech to Kingsman?

I was not planning on going to see Kingsman: The Secret Service until someone told me she thought it was very funny. I thought that perhaps I had not given this film a chance (based on browsing a few reviews) so I duly toddled along to see it. I wish I hadn't.

This mix of Man from Uncle, Carry on Spying and Men in Black just didn't work for me. It is so 'shock full' of gratuitous violence, cringing stereotypes & jarring mockney accents that I almost walked out. What an earth the stellar cast were thinking of, I fail to understand. Perhaps I am missing something, or just not in the right demographic, I don't know. Maybe if you are a bored teenager in half term it is the go to movie... but there are much better movies around...

This film pivots on paying off debts of honour: never forgetting who helped you to be who you are. Sometimes these debts just happen (as in the film), and sometimes people make a point of creating them. And sometimes we just do things for each other because we want to, with no sense that one day we will want to cash in that favour. That is the basis of altruism.

In my view, excellent leadership is ultimately all about altruism: doing things for others because they are the right things to do. It is never about creating 'debts' that will someday be called in...

As a leader, what was your last truly altruistic act?


This is the seventy 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.

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