What Leaders Can Learn From Handsome Rob

This is a story about Handsome Rob. He is not only good looking, but he is also a great get-away-car driver. If you are planning a heist and need to get away quick, Rob is your man.

In the 2003 film “The Italian Job” Rob is played by actor Jason Statham. Handsome Rob loves the thrill and especially the life style that the he can afford thanks to the robberies he participates in. But he really wants to buy an outrageous, expensive and rare car. Rob has the reputation and the ambition to be part of a robbery in Venice. Hence the title of the movie.

It is not a movie about Handsome Rob. It is a movie about cracking a safe.

That is a job you cannot do alone. You need a team. Left Ear is an explosives expert, Lyle is a computer nerd, Stella is a safe cracking expert and Charlie Croker is the man with the plan. A lot goes wrong. I mean a lot. But they have to fill an entire movie.

But, as any great motion picture, they conquer all the obstacles in their quest because of all the different skills and personalities in the team. Every individual team member has his own reputation and ambition to contribute to the overall story.

This is almost a classical movie script structure. A group of people with all different story lines join forces to go onto some quest.

You see the parallels with running teams?

Do you get the analogy with creating online communities?

Do you? Do you?

What would we need to go on a quest?

Like in the Italian Job, a lot can go wrong along the way. So you need a team that is resourceful. You need a resilient team. This resilience is created by diversity, in skill and background.

In the movie it is always “a ragtag crew of misfits”, as mentioned in “Yoube: An Insider’s Guide To Climbing The Charts”, including “… one guy … who seems like he’s going to get everyone killed. … often Steve Buscemi”.

But this diversity, although sometimes leading to conflicts, doesn’t break up the cohesion of the crowd. And, oh yeah, they need a plan. They need to establish some basic rules on how to communicate.

Yeah, rules. Definitely need some of those.

And a quest. Of course.

How about that?

Leaders and organizations as brokers of quests.


Image by Mishio.


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