Thursday, 12 June 2014


So I went to see 22 Jump Street. My experience with big screen American comedy is not brilliant (although small screen American humour I love such as the The Big Bang Theory or Modern Family). But I checked out a review and the film was referred to as a guilty pleasure, so I thought I would give it a whirl. Surprisingly the cinema was full and possibly with more women than men... Bromance buddy movie it maybe but its appeal clearly bridges the gender divide.

And it is funny and well acted. There are some truly laugh out loud moments with some narrative twists that are most enjoyable. It does all go past in a bit of blur but it is a happy and fuzzy blur. And stay to the end, there is a good dollop of self referential humour in the closing credits!

The big leadership message of the film for me was "Don't take yourself too seriously". Pomposity, arrogance, or complete certainty that your way is the only way does not make a good leader. Humour is an essential ingredient in leadership. And if you cannot laugh at yourself or shake off embarrassment, then you have no humour.

And obviously I am not talking about the ability to tell jokes although if you have that timing, it helps. (But take care! Timing for me includes knowing what joke to tell when to whom... and that can go badly wrong!) But the sort of humour I am referring to mainly is the light dance of a well crafted quip that can make other people smile (at least). Can you learn and develop this skill? Yes I think so. But it takes a high degree of self awareness to do so.

How good are you are the well aimed quip?


This is the thirty 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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