models of leadership and management

I think a lot about how to structure my views about and my practice of how to lead and how to manage.  In part, this is because I find myself in situations where such thinking is necessary.

But I would like to take a slightly different approach.  Rather than the standard style of case study that we often find ourselves working through, I would like to look at movies and see how leaders and managers in movies address the challenges they face.

Alas, for some of the movies I’d like to consider, I’ll need to work from memory.  The first of these is The Descent.  What I think is relevant is not the cave dwelling monsters that chase and kill the spelunkers, leaving the lone survivor to face the awkward ending on her own.

Rather, what I find interesting is the strong character, the member of the caving party (and sorry that I can’t remember her name) who takes on the leadership role and leads her team into disaster.  This of course is not her intention.  She is after adventure and the excitement of exploration, and she makes a decision here, takes an action there, which step by step lead to the gathering disaster.

But I can see why she persists.  The first challenge comes early in the descent into the cave, and they can be cautious and turn back, or they can continue with the plan they had set.  And she decides to continue with the plan.  And it had a good chance of working.

For me, the lesson from The Descent is that I need to temper my ambition with pragmatism and with planning.  My favorite quote about planning comes from Winston Churchill: plans are of little importance, but planning is essential.  The characters in The Descent would have benefited from a bit more planning.

This quote might be one of my most favorite quotes and one that rings often in my head.  So I make plans, and the plans often fall by the wayside as the circumstances change, but yes, it is the planning, the thinking through the plans and possibilities, that matters.  And I’ll keep doing so, as long as I avoid the cave dwelling monsters.

~ by Jim Anderson on 6 May 2018.

2 Responses to “models of leadership and management”

  1. […] are other movies beyond the Descent, explored previously, in which the characters and scriptwriters explore aspects of leadership and […]

  2. […] interested, some of these past posts can be found here and here, here and here, here and here, here and here. Another thing I’ve discussed along these lines is transparent head syndrome, […]

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