Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Non Stop Leadershp

Liam Neeson is one of my favourite actors: I carry his performance in Schindlers List around with me in my head & heart. His performance in Non Stop is equally arresting. In a twist of fate, the current mystery and tragedy surrounding Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has brought elements of the movie into even closer and scarier focus. If you want an edge of the seat drama that will keep you guessing until the end: this is definitely a film for you. At times, I wanted an oxygen mask to fall out of the cinema ceiling to remind me to breath!

The casting is credible (even Michelle Dockery manages to shake off her dour Downton garb) and the story is (just about) plausible. Thankfully the trailer did not reveal all. It is a bit a corny ('flawed man finds himself in a crisis') but transposed into a modern day and dangerous setting that we can all relate to, it becomes fresh again.

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read any further as I am about to reveal something of the plot line.

At a key point in the film, Liam Neeson's character has to regain control and the respect of the passengers (things are rather getting out of hand). How does he do that? He does not use violence and he does not use threats. Instead, he is disarmingly honest about his failings. In one leap, he transcends the two dimensional and 'not to be trusted' air marshal into being a three dimensional human being that is to be trusted and followed.

This is true of many leaders who have to handle people's reactions based upon what those people think they know about the leader rather than what the leader actually is. Poor leaders continue to wrestle with the impressions people have of them. Good leaders will reveal themselves in three dimensions to those whom they seek to lead.

How much of 'you' do you reveal?


This is the eighteenth 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. Click the label 'film' to see all the others.

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