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Celluloid Leadership

I finally, as I had promised myself I would, watched Patton from start to finish in one sitting. Unbelievable performance by George C. Scott and a truly epic film.

Patton was most definitely a leader, and his leadership has often been mentioned as a model for business leadership, almost as many times as business writers refer to Sun Tzu’s Art of War, but I find the character portrayed by Scott to be lacking in some of the most important leadership qualities, mostly in the “people skills” area. While it’s probably effective to lead in Patton’s style when your team could face a court martial for insubordination, its likely not the most effective style when your team is capable of free will.

This got me thinking of what other celluloid characters, fictional or otherwise, show a model of leadership that could be effective in the business world today. My vote goes to the original change agent, Cool Hand Luke.

What film character, whether fictional or non-fictional, do you think shows leadership skills applicable to your work life?

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