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Guest blog: Analysis: Leadership Principles From the Movie ‘Battleship’


One of the much awaited movies in 2012 ‘Battleship’ showcased to the world not only how advanced America is in terms of weaponry, but also in battle strategies and leadership skills. The movie as well tells of probabilities that aliens might as well advanced in warfare than they do. But also portrayed was how prepared they are to combat against whatever that poses threats to the nation. Apart from its being action-packed, it also put on display some leadership principles significant to running an organization.

The story was about an exceptional individual (Alex Hopper), with very low decision making skills, and a-pain-in-the-butt to his brother (Stone Hopper) who always gets him out of trouble every time he does a mess. Until the last hitch that he got into where he broke into a store just to buy a Chicken Burrito by force to impress a beautiful girl who happened to be the daughter of the Admiral Shane. Alex was forced by his brother Stone to join the navy in hopes that enlisting him to the exercise is a good alternative course of action and would give his life a self-worth.

Upon aliens’ attack to the planet, all those who were in the exercise were terrified for they knew not what they will end up with. But one thing is apparent to all, the exercise is over and they need to prepare for the real battle, the real combat which they are not there and prepared for. As a result, the crews went on panic but the captains remained calm and decisive which enabled them to give orders and got their crews back on track to continue taking and executing commands.

To protect the nation from uninvited visitors that were beginning to create damages on the dry lands, and such situation left no choice to the commanders but to attack. Now, the captains’ order to assault requires a far greater demand of courageous soldiers and crews to operate the ‘destroyer’ designed but turned out not enough to protect the planet against terror. As anticipated, each ship on the ocean under the command of the assigned captains tried to launch missiles to attack the threatening and unexpected enemy from nowhere. However, it was unsuccessful and such move to strike right there and then turned out to be a terrible idea instead that caused lives of those who were navigating the warships with only a few survivors.

Among the survivors that hopped in the ship that was later on under the command of the new captain (Alex Hopper) were another captain (Nigata) and some of his wounded men from a badly crushed ‘destroyer’. Now the ship is contained with diverse personalities and culture, therefore, with different types of ideas and brilliance. Without knowing the real capacity and agenda of the enemy, Hopper, now the newly appointed captain in command in the warship, tried to formulate a strategy in attack to the enemies. But he knew his plans seem not to work out against the aliens when captain Nigata barged in to propose a very competitive strategy better than his.

Water Displacement, the strategy Nigata proposed of which he claims to be evidently effective because of years of experience of using it. For the sake of everybody, Hopper decided to give him the benefit of doubt letting him explain how the strategy works. And later, he found out the suggested approach sounds interesting and beneficial not only to those who are in the warship, but including those that are on the dry lands whose trust for protection are afforded to them.

The scenario in the movie looks very similar as that of what is happening in real life – in corporations and organizations. This article focuses on displaying some entrepreneurial principles particularly in leadership.

“Captain, My chair is your chair sir!”

While none of them on board had any idea as to how the Water Displacement in application works, Captain Alex Hopper, after hearing the nitty-gritty of strategy, offered no insights nor tried to question as to how many percent the approach will win victory over the enemies. Caring not about his pride of being the captain in command or what his men would say, without a second thought, Hopper gave way to the captain Nigata to take over the strategizing momentarily. “Captain, my chair is your chair sir” Hopper whispered. Such act of courage to forsake pride for the benefit of all is never been easy. That’s one requirement for leadership.

Gary Moulton, a CEO liken leadership as that of the soil that’s full of nutrients necessary to sustain a plant’s growth. According to him, entrepreneurial also involves – more importantly – leadership that helps individual to grow and soon leads and not just end up stagnant. To be a good leader, one must first be a good follower and when he becomes one, he must be willing to accept the fact that leadership is “stepping up and stepping aside”, not the other way around. Stepping up, because leaders really have to be on the higher ground to pull someone up, and stepping aside because he has to anticipate long before that the ones he trains will follow his tracks and become like him.

In contrast, according to experts, too many companies manage to establish a work environment in their organizations under a poor leadership and as a result, employees are badly affected which in consequence translate them into unsatisfied employees. Because of poor leadership, employees begin to suffer from unfair labor practices of management which is strictly prohibited by and violation in the labor law. This is one of the reasons why every organization should be under a good leadership or else, chaos will happen.

Team work and unity in one purpose

To prevent chaos in organization, a good leader should know and be willing to work in teams. He must encourage team work towards achieving one specific goal! Captain Hopper, not only gives orders, but also worked in teams and that was prevalent when he let the Captain Nigata offer suggestions in answer to the crisis they were undergoing. And one good principle the movie exhibited to the viewers is working with unity as a team towards one purpose is extremely effective than strategies alone.

For instance, in the field of Human Resource Management, Training & Development is one of the important activities an HR manager conducts in an organization. It is done to ensure work momentum and productivity of the employees in the business and counter possible problems that each employee may have been facing for a considerable period of time. However, Training & Development will just be as good as nothing, a waste of time, and money if the direct head or team leaders assigned to closely monitor the employees will not function as they are directed to. Hence, no matter how useful and powerful a strategy is, it will not function as what it is designed for without someone to use and make it work the way it should. In reality, tons of companies are guilty of this predicament to date ending up wasting time and resources.

Ultimately, leadership as “stepping up and stepping aside” means letting go of your pride to listen and give way to ideas that are more effective and efficient than that of yours, and working in teams with brilliant ideas setting aside yours that don’t seem work for a moment.


Source by Rabel Catayoc

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