Wednesday, 2 April 2014

An uplifting team

A Long Way Down is worth seeing if only for the brilliant lines that the character called Jess (well played by Imogen Poots) gets to say. I am not sure I would have cast Pierce Brosnan as the humiliated and vanilla vacuous ex TV presenter, but his acting just about convinces. Aaron Paul and Rosamund Pike are better cast. It is a quirky story about four people who meet at the top of 'Topper Tower' on a New Year's Eve, all planning to commit suicide. It doesn't end there (although some harsher critics have probably said it should have done).

I am fan of Nick Hornby and I have read the book on which this is based a while ago. So I was curious to see how it translated to the big screen. It is very funny in parts, poignant in others and offers a sort of romcomtrag mixture. It just about works although I am fairly sure that people desperate enough to want to throw themselves off a building would not be quite as sparky as these four characters. OK...ish.

The leadership message that came through for me was the power of teams. These four random people happen to turn themselves from a randomly collected group into a team where the members are not prepared to die for each other. They self-organise, care about each other and work together. There is no leader except that they are all leaders.

Good leaders spot teams that are working well together and generally stay out of the way. Some of the worst mistakes that managers can make is when they interfere with such team work by merging teams, reorganising them, or making a few redundant and expecting the remaining members just to carry on as if nothing had happened. A self-organising solid team is a pearl in any organisation.

What are you doing with your pearly teams?

PS: Just came across this delightful example of teamwork. Watch and enjoy.

This is the twenty second 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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