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Leadership In Movies

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Through out the cinema world, there are many different themes or concepts that are portrayed. Writers use this form of media to address these issues, like leadership, through the actors in the movie. Apollo 13 and Remember the Titans are two great examples of movies that portray what characteristics a leader should possess in a given situation.

The Apollo 13 mission came to be known as "NASA's most successful failure." By the mere mention of those two words in the same sentence-successful failure-Apollo 13 and her crew provide a rich challenge to the notion that failure exists at all, outside of the "make-believe" reality created by our own minds.

For those unfamiliar with this particular real-life space drama, featured in the Apollo 13 movie starring Tom Hanks, the Apollo 13 spacecraft was launched into orbit on April 11, 1970 with three crew members. After almost three days of smooth operations, an oxygen tank onboard the craft blew up, sending the crews onboard and at NASA's Houston-based command center into overdrive to get the spacecraft back to Earth with its inhabitants alive. The explosion triggered a series of dilemmas, one following another, that lasted several more days. Because the problems occurred while the craft and crew were 200,000 miles from Earth, the situation was life-threatening and there was no margin-for-error.

The first leadership concept that was appeared was that not everything goes smoothly. These days, it seems that almost everyone has the rather silly expectation that everything should be easy and that discomfort or sacrifice of any kind suggests failure. There is no such thing as a perfect (or perfectly smooth) situation; there's just the situation (and our expectation that it should be something other than it is).

The next leadership concept that was presented is that present-moment awareness is crucial. Like many challenging situations, the unraveling of the Apollo 13 mission-as compared to the smooth flight revealed in the mission plan-required both mindfulness and skillfulness on the parts of all involved in the project. Worry too far ahead into the future or dwell the mistakes of the past, and it is likely that you are not attending to something important, like the present-moment, which requires your attention and offers any number of options for your perusal and action.

The ability to trust your instincts, your experience - and your team is another great leadership concept that was present in Apollo 13. The folks traveling through space in Apollo 13 did not have the luxury (or if they did, it was fleeting) of sitting around dilly-dallying and wondering, Neither did they bicker with one another about who did what job, nor did they bloat with ego and tell Houston. That would have been ridiculous under any circumstances, and because they were in crisis they knew it. As a result, they: trusted their training, used their analytical skills for essential problem-solving rather than unessential analyzing, knew that false humility and sagging confidence would waste valuable time and energy, and respected their colleagues onboard and in Houston by relying on them to apply their expertise and work their part of the problem. As a result, they made it through the Earth's atmosphere and into a safe ocean-landing on April 17, 1970, and were alive to tell the story that's now a part of history.

"Failure is not an option," this is extremely important in understanding the leadership that was involved in getting the spacecraft home safely. Just because it is a clichÐ"© does not mean it is not true. Failure is just a word we have made up to describe when things do not work out like we might have expected, or work out in a way that is different from the mass hallucination about what is "normal." Apollo 13-the successful failure-demonstrates that real success is gained from working at the peak of your potential, and doing the very best you can with what you have to navigate the circumstances before you at any given time. That's not so much success or failure as it is just life.

Had they not lived the lessons outlined above, chances are good that the crew would have run out of oxygen or not found the means to power the craft back home. It is a great example of how a group of people working together to achieve a common goal, has the potential of changing the situation for the best and as in this case, saving the crew of Apollo 13.

Remember the Titans takes place in Alexandria, Virginia in 1971. This was a time where segregation still took place and the government was attempting to integrate society. T.C. Williams High School was becoming an integrated school bringing together students from other schools around the area. For this very racial divided town, most did not agree with what was happening. The students and staff were told to just make it work.

Coach Bill Yoast (played by Will Patton) was the schools white football coach who led the team to fifteen winning seasons. When the decision was made to integrate the school, Coach Yoast was demoted to assistant coach and Coach Herman Boone (played by Denzel Washington), a black man from another school, was to take his place. Neither Yoast nor Boone liked what was going on but both new they had a responsibility. The high school football team was comprised of two distinct groups of people that were not willing to work together as a team. A team is all about working

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