Saturday, 21 March 2015

Stay focused

Focus is a slick movie starring the very cool Will Smith. This is a classic addition to the other 'big con' movies such as Ocean's 11/12/13, The Sting and the Thomas Crown Affair (indeed the closing credits feature "Windmills of your mind" perhaps in due reference to that movie). So I began the film wondering how I, as viewer, was going to be conned... I was not disappointed.

The acting is delightfully naturalistic, especially Margot Robbie who glides through the film like an intriguing ingénue. Editing is also to be highly praised in the way that the film moves from one scene and shot to another. This is a well made & tightly directed film that will make you laugh and ponder. Go see it!!

We are told in numerous movies that the art of being a thieving confidence trickster is mostly about distraction: take a person's attention somewhere else and they will not see what is really happening. And our attention can be easily drawn to fast buck, a sure win, a sad story, a noise, a shove or a person of high attraction. Frankly, after watching a film like this, I am astounded that more of this kind of crime doesn't happen. But maybe it does and people sheepishly fail to report it...

So as a leader, should you ever use the art of distraction (look here, not over there...)? It must be so tempting to do so because a) the tools and influence are there to deploy so easily and b) it can be justified as being part of a bigger and more worthy goal. As always it's about integrity and being true to oneself (and the risk of being found out!) Only you can make these choices.

What conjuring tricks have you done as a leader?


This is the seventy ninth of my 2014/2015 series of blogs about leadership ideas to be found in the movies of our time. You can read here as why I began doing this (with an update at the end of 2014). 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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