Monday, 12 May 2014

Neighbourhood Watch

I am probably not in the demographic that Bad Neighbours (or Neighbors as it is called in the US) is aimed at, but this really is a lazy film. It felt like a rehash of Animal House, all the American Pie films & The Graduate. While the audience of teenagers and 20 somethings laughed around me, they were not guffawing. Too many of the jokes had already been trailed, some went on too long and some were just so contrived that I was left fearing for American comedy's sense of irony.

No doubt it will take many millions of pounds and dollars in its opening weekends, but it will not be bought as a treasured DVD, I predict. There was humour to be had but not exploited in the scenario on which the film is based. Not a very subtle film, devoid of pathos & replete with stereotypes.

The leadership theme within this movie is not easy to spot. But it is there. The fulcrum moment of this film is when a promise is broken. Whilst excuses can always be found by the promiser as to why a promise is broken, the promisee (as it were) will always be less understanding. This is why leaders who make promises in haste will probably come to repent at a more leisurely pace.

My first consultancy job was working for a firm called MRA International under the leadership of Mike Robson. I always admired the simple values statements that he had developed when setting up the company. One statement was simply: Do as you say you are going to do.

It is a maxim I try very hard to stick too.


This is the twenty ninth 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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