The one where he’s a school teacher

Last week I wrote a post which talked about leadership in the context of Daniel Goleman’s work on ‘Emotional Intelligence’. He describes six styles of leadership that can be used to maximise connection and resonance with those being lead – visionary, democratic, coaching, affilliative, pacesetting & commanding. I used Kenneth Brannagh’s depiction of Lt. Col. Tim Collins to illustrate the commanding style and thanks to all of you who read it.

The Tim Collins clip was the first I found that illustrated one of Goleman’s styles and over the past few years I have been on the look out for clips to illustrate the others.

To summarise Goleman’s description of the style he calls ‘Affiliative’ he talks about creating harmony by connecting people with each other. He alludes to this being useful for healing rifts in teams, strengthening connections between individuals and to motivate during stressful times.

The clip I now use to illustrate this is:

Clip courtesy of Dreamworks SKG

For those of you who don’t know the film “Saving Private Ryan” firstly – watch it! Secondly, this part of the film follows the squad’s attack on a gun, losing one of their number to german fire and Tom Hanks playing Captain Miller, allowing the remaining live German solider to go free much to some in the squad’s dismay.

Hanks’ performance is incredible as much for it’s understatement as anything else but if you suspend the fact that it’s a film and think about Captain Miller as a leader he is both very brave in that he lets the tension build before intervening but also connects with those he leads on a very personal and authentic basis. The risk he takes in waiting and also the potential consequences of a wrong intervention make it in, in my opinion, very powerful. To me it is a great example of someone either consciously or subconsciously assessing the situation and choosing how to diffuse and lead the situation within their own values and to move toward the objective. You could argue he only did what was in the script but I did ask you to suspend that fact!

On a personal note, we took my Dad to Normandy for a significant birthday and had the privilege to stand in the American cemetary where Private Ryan opens overlooking Omaha beach. If you ever get the chance, do it. Not only is it an awe-inspiring place but as you stand on the bluff overlooking the beach it only takes moments to realise what kind of courage and fortitude it must have taken to run up that beach.


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