Leadership from Which2Learn
For years I have looked for business principles in odd places or at random times. Usually I file them away for some future use. While it might have been smarter for me to read all the leadership books I could find, observing what others were doing shaped me as a businessperson and has worked out okay.
Recently I heard an interview with Jamie Foxx and the famous director Quentin Tarantino. Tarantino wouldn’t be the first person from whom you’d expect to learn leadership concepts, but upon a closer look, it makes a lot of sense. Who could you get to organize hundreds of people – including some with incalculable egos and star power – but a movie director? Foxx was talking about his recent role in the film Django Unchained and Tarantino’s directorial approach to the film.
Two things impacted me:
1) Tarantino had everyone (even celebrities) leave their egos (and their smart phones) off set.
2) The director walked around, spoke with, and cared for the "extras" that were playing such an important role in the movie.
The movie is set in the south during the time of slavery. Actually slavery is more than the backdrop – it is more of a character. Tarantino was concerned the main actor (Jamie Foxx) and others might not be able to fully feel the part if they were wrapped in modern conveniences. Foxx wholeheartedly agreed. Tarantino was also concerned about the impact filming a movie about a slave (a rare topic in Hollywood), would have on those who were playing the parts of slaves in the fields and plantations.
The director’s approach won over Foxx, the rest of the cast, and the crew. During the hour interview the mutual respect was evident between director and his big name actor. It was obvious in the final product too. Now – go lead by paying attention to the atmosphere you create and watching out for everyone.