Thursday, 2 January 2014

Frozen out

I would like to be able to say some really warm & positive things about Frozen, the Christmas offering for children from Disney, but it is difficult. I agreed to go on the recommendation of the 15 year old daughter of some friends of mine who adored the songs in the film. And the songs are good. But I am afraid that Disney's attempts to create new fairy tales, never really work for me. Frozen was another example.

The people at Disney do best when they interpret and re-craft old favourites, in my view. I know I am not in the demographic that the film is pitched at, but there was very little in there for the parents who take their children (in the way that there is with the Shrek oeuvre, for example). Some of the characters were irritating (Olaf, the snowman) while there were a couple who were adorable (Sven, the reindeer and the head troll). I could say more, but I do not want to spoil the story too much!

And the leadership message? I asked my 15 year old friend what she thought it was. She said it all about families sticking together. And this is certainly true, the film's narrative pivots on this point. Good leaders certainly need to invest in creating a feeling of family loyalty to a business. And this is not easy.

I would like to highlight another feature of the film however. Like many films, Frozen is about the journey to finding your true self and being at ease with the person you find. To say this is a cinematic cliché would be cliché itself! So I won't say that...

But the leadership thought that this film left me with was that if leadership is a journey, then how well do we recognise the various nodes along the way? Is your leadership journey like crossing the arctic: it just goes on and on? Or is it like crossing London, with lots of interesting stops along the way?

What was your last stop... what will be your next?

This is the third of my new series of blogs about leadership ideas to be found in the movies of our time. You can read here as why I am doing this. Please subscribe to this blog if you want to read more. Thanks.

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