Leadership Lessons from "W"

My husband and I went to see the new Oliver Stone movie, “W” last evening.

Whether or not you approve of George Bush is irrelevant if you look at the character as fictional. I was looking for leadership lessons that could be gleaned from the movie.

What struck me most about “W” the fictional leader were:

  • His motives had nothing to do with serving the country, but everything to do with his beliefs that God was on his side, and with trumping his brother Jeb for the affection of his father;
  • His inability to see his true motivation left him vulnerable to those with less than honorable intent;
  • His dogged clinging to his beliefs and their rightousness kept him from learning from his mistakes.

The Leadership Lesson: A leader who lacks self-knowledge has the potential to do a huge amount of harm to those who are served. Such lack also prevents learning from mistakes with the net effect that they will be repeated.

I am a former executive in a Fortune 100 company. I have owned and operated an executive coaching firm since 2003 called Aspire Collaborative Services LLC. We partner with great leaders to help them become even greater at developing, improving, and sustaining relationships with the people who are essential to their success. This blog is for leaders and those who help them to be more intentional about relationships at work. My top personal values include respect for others, kindness, compassion, collaboration and gratitude. I work very hard at practicing my values daily and when I don’t succeed, I practice some more. I am married with two wonderful daughters and two spoiled pugs.