Thursday, 26 February 2015

Jupiter rising

Jupiter Ascending is a schlock scifi film with plenty of derring-do, knife edge, cliff edge stunts (that are probably all blue screen these days - I pity the stunt people who I guess are now resting on their broken bones). The story moves at fast pace but with predictable results. One day, they will make a film where the baddies win, as they sadly often do in real life.

The life of an actor must be a curious thing. One day you are being lauded for a superlative performance as a renowned physicist and the next you are being roundly punished for being the baddest baddy in another universe. I wonder which job paid more? This is an enjoyable film for a wet Wednesday afternoon, but not much more.

One of the more surreal episodes in the film centres on the main character having to patiently wait in line for some labyrinthine bureaucratic process to proceed. It is like a scene out of Brazil (Terry Gilliam's wondrous anarchic epic). But what does this have to say about leadership?

I think it shows that the mundane, the tedious, and the excruciatingly picky aspects of life can still inflict themselves upon leaders. And the only thing a leader can do is wait patiently. Rage may be felt, but bureaucracy will always beat rage. Without patience, leaders cannot operate. And whilst impatience is also necessary, patience is an essential attribute of any great leader.

What are you waiting for right now?


This is the seventy 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.

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