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Twelve O'Clock High - Essay Example

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Leadership in the “Film Twelve O’clock High Date Leadership in the “Film Twelve O’clock High” Many movie directors, through their movies, discuss important topics, leadership being one of them. While many movies have valuable lessons on good and quality leadership lessons for corporate managers, none successfully analyses the qualities and characteristics of a good leader like the “Twelve O’clock High” film did…
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Leadership in the “Film Twelve O’clock High Leadership in the “Film Twelve O’clock High” Many movie directors, through their movies, discuss important topics, leadership being one of them. While many movies have valuable lessons on good and quality leadership lessons for corporate managers, none successfully analyses the qualities and characteristics of a good leader like the “Twelve O’clock High” film did. Shot in 1949, the movie’s content remain important for corporate managers, making one of the most watched and cited movie on the topic of leadership. Set on an American airbase in England during the Second World War, the movie shows the efforts of an unlucky group of army pilots taking part in a series of daylight attacks into the heart of Nazi controlled European region. Initially, they appear an unlucky group, as most of their missions fail. With the poor performance of the base, Brigadier General Frank Savage, who is a retired flight soldier recommends the sacking of the then leader of the group, Col. Keith Davenport and takes over the leadership, transforming the base intro a highly motivated, enthusiastic and dedicated group, that succeeds in most of their missions. There are a number of contemporary lessons to learn from the leader of this group, especially his effectiveness in leading the group to success. With Davenport's leadership of the group proving ineffective, savage recommended his sacking for poor performance. While the rest of the soldiers in the troupe loved Davenport for his close relationship with them, savage felt otherwise. A leader who was too close to his men could not offer them proper guidance, and thus could not instill any form of discipline among the men (Kippenberger, 2002). Thus, he made Davenport take his responsibility of failing to deliver as a leader of the group. During Davenport's time, on one of missions, an error by one of the navigators costs the troupe five planes. Instead of taking action against the navigator by either disciplining him, he backs him up, opting to save him at the expense of the group. As a leader, whenever a subordinate makes a mistake, he should take full responsibility of the actions of his subordinates. When Savage recommended the sacking of Davenport, he was cleaning the house, ready to put it in order. After making subordinated accept responsibility for their actions, ensuring their discipline is the next thing (Ferguson, 2004).. Savage knew this very well. Looking at the failures and weaknesses of the previous leader, Davenport, ne decided that maintaining too much personal contact with his men would make him inefficient. Therefore, he chose to maintain a leader-servant relationship, which made him discipline them accordingly. When the troupe, due to the changes that had taken place after Savage took over felt threatened and decided to seek for transfers, Savage sought the delay of these transfers until later. He had targets, which he was determined to achieve. By delaying the transfers, he was certain that by the time of their transfers, the troupe would have transformed, that leaving would prove in evitable. Setting clear goals for the employees is yet another characteristic of a good leader. In his hall-style briefing, he tries to make it clear that the bad-luck perception was not an excuse for poor performance (Ferguson, 2004). He makes sure that the troupe understood that it was only through their efforts that they would succeed in their missions. Having changed the strategy to low flying and getting deep into the Nazi areas, Savage encouraged the soldiers to show determination ion their missions, and lose their fear. According to him, making plans was not important, while fear would distract their performance. As such, in his advice to the soldiers, he asserted that considering themselves as dead in the mission would be the best way to achieve their targets. Leaders require support from within the people as well as the rest of the community. The support that one receives from the rest motivates them to work hard and achieve their goals. Thus, providing support is equally important for the leaders. Major Stovall offered savage important support in delaying the processing of the transfers of the soldiers. Having bought Savage’s idea that performance satisfaction would make them stay, without any idea of whether this would happen or not, he deci8ded to delay the processing of the transfers. This was a risky undertaking for the leader, but one that paid off after the soldiers decided to remain in the troupe after a series of successful missions. Communication is an important element for the survival of any leader in s business. Through communication, the leader and the subordinates can share problems together and thus seek for an amicable solution (Kippenberger, 2002). One of the officers, Jesse Bishop, portrayed good communication skills. When the troupe was at the verge of leaving and made applications for transfer, Jesse Bishop approached Savage, and shared with him the issues affecting the group. As he revealed to Savage, the group did not see the reason why their missions were so important and thus, his choice of straining them too much did not match the benefits accrued. Savage took the opportunity to explain to Jesse Bishop why the group’s missions were very important, thus convincing him to stay. Subsequently, Jesse Bishop convinced others to stay as well, thus increasing the group’s cohesiveness. Without good leadership skills of Savage, and his application of corporate leadership skills in the troupe, there would have been no success in any of their mission. However, with his determination and creativity, he managed to transform the group, steering the soldiers to success. References Ferguson, D. E. (2004). Leadership Skills. New York: Infobase Pub. Kippenberger, T. (2002). Leadership Styles. Chichester: Capstone Pub. Read More
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