5 Leadership Lessons from Hollywood – #usguys / #usblogs

Posted February 28, 2011 in Latest News & Insights

In honour of the 83rd Annual Academy Awards, #usguys #usblogs posed the topic: what we learn from the movies as the Monday morning blog theme.  Since I’ve been having a bit of writers block, I thought I’d jump into their game and see if it inspired me to write this week.  So, here’s my some-what tongue-in-cheek list of 5 things that leaders can learn from the movie industry:

  1. Mamma Mia, even Meryl Streep can’t salvage a lousy script… every actor will tell you that a great movie starts with great writing and even multi-Academy award winners can’t salvage a sub-par script.  As leaders, we need to bet on our talent to execute and get results but all the talent in the world can’t save a business that’s got the script wrong in the first place.
  2. Beware the over zealous airbrush artist…  Ricky Gervais’ jabs at the Globes on the amount of airbrushing on the Sex and the City 2 promo poster  was a public outing on what most people say about leaders who still insist on using twenty year old corporate head shots.   (Yes… people are laughing at you behind your back).
  3. Sadly, talented a**holes do win… for a while anyway.  Christian Bale may be riding high on The Fighter right now, but out of control temper tantrums can flame you out eventually.  Just ask Mel Gibson.  Cocky young leaders who haven’t experienced a few career slap-downs but think losing their tempers at their teams is acceptable behaviour… take note.
  4. Throwing money at problems won’t change the outcome… (just ask John Travolta about the $60 million debacle Battlefield Earth).  Studio’s throw marketing money at lousy films in an effort to recoup production costs in the same way leaders throw money at key people who are threatening to leave.  Both actions simply mask the core problem and ultimately won’t give the outcome you want.
  5. And, my final lesson… Kick ass initially, then you can coast… Tom Cruise, Sylvester Stallone, Jim Carey and Will Smith are great role models for any leader hoping to ride on the fumes of past success.  Apparently, the halo effect can be leveraged for at least 3 to 4 stinker sequels and probably explains why CEO’s who bankrupt companies continue to get job offers. (Okay… I’m totally not serious with this one, but there is an interesting pattern, wouldn’t you say?)

That was fun.  Check out the entire Roundup of #usguys #usblogs posts by visiting Brand Directions and tune in next Monday for next week’s topic.

Happy leading!

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  1. Great job for someone with writer’s block! I wouldn’t change a thing ;).