Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Green & pleasant idyll?

Far from the Madding Crowd is an evocative pastoral fantasy that will make you yearn for days gone by, when the harvest fields were filled with men in smocks and women in flowing dresses. When children played amongst the haystacks in the setting sunlight. When landed gentry would sit down with farmworkers over a flagon of cider and some fresh bread...

I suspect the 'olden days' were not quite as idyllic as this film depicts, but we can believe and dream that one day this will return. And we can also have faith that true love will eventually find its path. The script and acting are contemporary (one can almost imagine Gabriel Oak texting Bathesheba Everdene: "had enough of your ways, am off. lol.") But this doesn't detract from a beautiful enchanting film that will stay with you for a very long time.

Miss Everdene, like her contemporary sister, Katniss portrays a tough, unforgiving and steely leadership but with compassion, understanding and love (and what looks to be the same leather jacket). This is the kind of leadership that wins people's loyalty and respect. It is also she, who jumps into the sheep dip to show her determination to be asking only that we she is prepared to do herself.

As the United Kingdom wakes up after a bruising, tribal and polarising general election, a lot of Everdene type leadership is going to be needed. Otherwise rifts will widen into chasms, and frustration may well turn into anger. Both head and heart leadership will need to be evident: and the public will judge the capability and authenticity of their leaders without favour.

How well do you balance the head and heart of your leadership?


This is the eighty seventh 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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