Wednesday, 25 June 2014

New bright stars

The young actors in The Fault in Our Stars lead this luminous & brilliant movie: authentically, passionately and carefully. This is a film that could so easily have descended into cloying schmultz. But instead it ascends to the stars: offering a simple, tragic but ultimately hopeful love story (and Love Story it definitely isn't!)

If I had to criticise this film, I would say that the acting by the older actors is bit lack lustre but perhaps that was deliberate by the director: allowing the stage to be wholesomely filled by the two main characters? The sound track is engineered to perfection (indeed I have just bought it). I loved how this film connects the themes of life, death and infinity. Go see it!

There are many leadership themes in this film. The one I will pick to focus upon is the importance and value of secrecy. In this current transparent age where we expect to have all parts of our lives eviscerated on social media, the idea of positive secrecy might seem anachronistic. Certainly the suggestion that leaders should keep secrets is one that I suspect many would recoil from. Surely a good leader needs to be honest and up front with everyone around her/him?

Well yes... and no. Of course good leaders should not lie but perhaps sometimes the whole truth is best left for a while? In the film, various characters keep secrets for very positive reasons, although they are eventually revealed. It is a very hard judgement to make: what secrets to keep and when to tell the whole truth? This, of course, is the stuff of leadership ethics. Sometimes leaders need to keep secrets (and I do not mean confidences in this discussion), sometimes for a very long time.

What secrets are you holding? How sure are you that the ethical cost/benefits sum of keeping each one outweigh the sum of uncovering?


This is the thirty fifth 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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