Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Being true to your (rock) roots

I had the delight of seeing Rock of Ages last night (IMDB review and details here) I am not sure if there is such a thing as a schlock musical, but if there is, this is a pure example. Delicious OTT performances which just about stay within the bounds of good (not over) acting. But still, as I say, this space is not about reviewing the film - but is about the leadership lesson...

And that would be (again this comes up): authenticity. If the film is about anything it is about being true to yourself and in the case of this movie: true to your rock roots. Most of the main characters have epiphanies of one kind or another brought on by a combination of hormones, alcohol or (this is a musical of course) falling in love.

In the film, people are impelled, if not propelled, to face up to themselves and to see what they really are. But how much of this do we experience in real life? As leaders, for how long do we pretend to ourselves that we are something that we are not. Perhaps some people manage to do this for a whole career while others just never do it all.

I suspect for most people, and I include myself here, it takes a long time to really and deeply confront who you actually are and what you really want to do. Given that leadership can often be about putting on something of an 'act' (one of my favourite film lines comes from All that Jazz: "It's showtime!"), I wonder whether it takes leaders longer to confront who they are, or maybe it takes leaders less time? What do you think?

As a leader, have you met yourself, really met yourself?

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