Movies, Rednecks and Leadership

Picture yourself at a lunch-and-learn gathering entitled “Leadership Lessons in the Movies.”  Now imagine the facilitator beginning the session with the following challenge:

“I have two objectives for this session. The first is to use movie clips to identify and discuss qualities of leadership. The second is to change the way you watch movies, FOREVER!”

What do you see?  Are there nods of approval or puzzled looks?  Maybe you see expressions of disappointment or amusement.

As one who has introduced such an event using these exact words, I can attest that they are more prophetic than amusing.  Hollywood has produced a large body of work filled with leadership examples, metaphors and lessons.  When people discover movies through leadership lenses, their cinematic experiences are never quite the same again.

“Houston We Have a Problem”

John C. Maxwell says, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.”  One of my favorite movies, Apollo 13, demonstrates that this is most important in matters of life and death.  An on-going theme throughout the film is how effective leadership inspired and empowered the team to rescue three astronauts from a precarious life-and-death situation.

The heroic mission of Apollo 13 occurred over 40 years ago.  Today, I look around and am concerned about what I see — a serious lack of leadership at every level, in every sector of our society.  Would it be facetious to suggest that the solution should include watching more movies?

Redneck Inspiration

While watching an episode of Duck Dynasty, I was reminded that I am the product of my lunch-and-learn challenge.  I see life lessons everywhere I look, including movies and so-called “reality television.”  The male characters proudly describe themselves as rednecks and their behaviors confirm the stereotype.  The purpose for watching this show is to be entertained, not educated.  I was not seeking wisdom and material for my next blog post.  But, my values and perspectives are such that my antenna is always up and connected to my brain.  Here’s what I heard…

“It’s all about teaching my son: you got a goal or a target in life  … in this world today anything is possible.  You go for it.”
— Jase Robertson, Duck Dynasty, Episode 12.

Today, 26 words from an unexpected source triggered my leadership awareness and sparked my sense of responsibility.  Thanks to a scruffy television guy with a bushy beard I am reviewing my goals and opportunities and encouraging you to do the same.

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