Friday, 29 January 2016

Outside light

Spotlight is a stunning film. A truly stunning film that deserves to get both box office and critical success. The acting is tight, the editing is seamless, the narrative is gripping and the overall pace, just sublime. The musical score adds to the overall tension and the cinematography is very clever.

This is a film that you really must see, in my view. The films shows again, to me, that some of the best stories are based on real stories. Indeed, in part, that is what gives them and this film, the edge... I could deplete my supply of superlatives for this film: amazing, brilliant, powerfully disturbing, uplifting, restorative (in believing in the potency of good journalism...) Go. See. This. Film.

For me the film raises a fundamental question of leadership: can a leader be in the system while also leading it? The answer is yes and no. A leader needs to stand apart and sees the system from the outside to help resolve how the system can grow and improve. But a leader also needs to know how the system 'breathes' and so cannot be too distant or remote.

Reconciling this polarity is one of the critical tasks of all leaders: how to be 'in' but not 'of' the system. It is a task with which leaders can start out well but can become less able as time goes on. The art is in monitoring oneself.

How are you self monitoring your balance between having one foot in and one foot out of the system you are leading?


Blog 148: in my 2014/15/16 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 and 2015). 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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