Thursday, 26 May 2016


Whisky Tango Foxtrot is a bit of a chaotic movie, but in many ways that represents the chaos of life in the 'Kabubble' as the press corps called Kabul during the (latest) Afghan war. Journalist Kim Baker is thrown into the life of a foreign correspondent and the film watches her 'journey' and (to an extent) how her values change... As with many films, it leaves you with the question as to how or even if you might have changed in similar circumstances.

Given that it was filmed thousands of miles from Afghanistan, it gives a plausible representation of what life must have been like. The script and editing are tight and some of the characters are simply delicious, especially the general played by Billy Bob Thornton. This is gritty and sometimes funny story based on real events. Go see this.

One of the things I admire about the armed forces is their capacity to be uncompromising and inflexible. Without giving anything away, there is a moment in the film where a marine says to the principal character something like "No way Mam, not going to happen, not on my watch!"

Sometimes leaders have to be that definitive too: sometimes the no (or yes) has to be written in big bold letters, as it were. This might be on matters of strategy, organisational values or simply a procedure that is (rightfully) sacrosanct. But any leader needs to know what their boundaries are.

When was the last time you were definitive? (Why?)


Blog 171: in my 2014/15/16 series of blogs about leadership ideas to be found in the movies of our time. You can read here as why I began doing this (with updates at the end of 2014 and 2015). Please subscribe to this blog if you want to read more. Thanks. Click the label 'film' to see all the others.

#leadershipinfilms | #WhiskyTangoFoxtrot

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