Lessons in Leadership from – The Kings Speech: The Movie

No I am not in the business of reviewing movies. Yet, this one had two important lessons for us as leaders. The first is about the bravery that is inherent in persistence against what may seem like insurmountable odds and the second was the importance of being able to speak with our own voice.

The story is about King George VI who took the throne after David abdicated at the beginning of WWII.  King George had what many would consider an insurmountable impediment for a leader in the age of radio; he stuttered horribly. He was embarrassed in public on several occasions and did not want his brother to abdicate because he would then have to embarrass himself as he spoke to the subjects.

For years he went to coaches and physicians and it wasn’t until he met Mr. Lionel Logue that he was helped. And it wasn’t easy. (I don’t want to give away the story but,) it was remarked in the movie that “George displayed remarkable bravery in his persistent work to overcome his stuttering.”  

My view is that he cared deeply enough about his “duty” to the position he had in life that he was willing to keep at it until he was successful. Do you as a leader feel you have a duty or do you feel “they” have a duty to you? Your answer will tell you a lot about your organizations future.

The second lesson was that we all need to find our own voice. It was Logue’s opinion that some stuttering was the result of not being able to speak with our authentic voice.

–   How often do we allow ourselves to fall into the “group think” of our team because it is easier than speaking our own mind?
–   At what cost?
–   How many organizations can we look back on that allowed the group think to take over as it led them over the cliff?
–   Do we allow our team mates to speak with their authentic voice?

Happy New Year

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