Leadership in Film

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Remember the Titans Remember the Titans is based on the true story of the T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia. After forced integration in 1971, T.C. Williams High School hires an African-American football coach Herman Boone played by Denzel Washington, after the current white coach steps down, meeting with resistance from the racist locals. Herman Boone’s and his Titans are an inspiring story. When the team captain wanted to replace his best friend because he would not block for a black team mate, the leadership model or principle propelling him to risk everything for doing the right thing is respect. Respect for the team as a whole and self respect helped the team captain come to that decision. When a leader has respect of his men and himself, then a winning team is the result. Assistant Coach Yoast was about to be inducted into the hall of fame, plus given the Head Coach’s job, if he kept his mouth shut while his team got cheated out of the regional championships. If he would have let his team get cheated, then Assistant Coach Yoast would not have been an effective leader. Being an effective leader is about respect, if Assistant Coach Yoast would have succumbed to immoral activities such as bribes and corruption, his team would have lost respect for him. When a team has no respect for their leader, then the leader loses their trust and his position as leader. Coach Boone affirms and identifies himself as the head coach when he says Make no mistake, I am the head coach. This is not a democracy! This is a dictatorship! I am here to win! Coach Boone uses his authority forcefully. Boone uses physical punishment, not peace, love and understanding, to unify the two races. Direction is instruction, whereas coercion is intimidation. Coach Boone used coercion to unify his team, taking them to the championship. Coach Boone did have a transformational approach to leadership. He did what it took to earn respect from his players. From insisting that they speak other team mates, finding out facts about their lives, until they have met everyone or else he will double their practice time to asking the players who’s your daddy?, Coach Boone demanded respect from his players. Respects leads to winning. Winning was Coach Boone’s goal. Coach Boone achieved that goal by earning the respect of his players. That is what makes a transformation approach to leadership.. Despite the race relations in Remember the Titans, this movie is about exceptional leadership. The leadership in this film shows that good leadership will win despite outside distractions. Coach Boone not only demanded respect from his team, he earned the respect by being a good leader. Championships are achieved not only by good athletes, but by their leaders.