Leadership in Strange Places

I know it’s just a movie, and everybody has already COMPLETELY covered this subject, but can you believe the leadership qualities exhibited by Jack Black in “School of Rock”? If you haven’t seen it, check it out. Jack Black, lead actor, and loser rock guitarist, gets a substitute teaching job, fraudulently, in a hoidy toidy prep school. He discovers that his class of 10 year olds contains some good musicians, and Rock and Roll is his life.
He convinces the class that rocking out is the only thing that matters in life, and talks them into a project to compete in the city’s ‘Battle of The Bands’. And he gets them to keep the concert a secret from parents and school authorities. Dewey, (Jack’s movie name), describes his ‘vision’ (Rocking out is the only thing worth while in life) and his goal (win the ‘Battle of the Bands’). Dewey then assigns team roles and responsibilities, manages each team individual to get the best performance possible. He also manages the sponsor (School principal played by Joan Cusack) effectively. That’s all I should tell you, except that some very unexpected positive results come about from Dewey taking the risks he took to get the kids to the concert competition.
If we could all manage our projects like him, next year’s Gartner Group, Chaos report would show a dramatic improvement in successful project percentage!
Great leadership is frequently demonstrated by people we wouldn’t expect.
A colleague had the vision to see that a project management maturity model could be better implemented if there was a tool that used it, so she set out to develop that tool. She got backing, funding and support, then developed the tool. Now there is a certification available based on the model and the tool. Her boundless energy and vision made this possible.

Another colleague I worked with, showed no leadership skills or attributes, until he was in the leadership role. Then, man! Was he good at keeping us focused on his vision and goals.
My neighbor set up a neighborhood watch meeting with the police and invited us all to his house. New guy in the neighborhood, quiet, I thought this was completely out of character.
Even I led my 8th grade class to the principle’s office in protest. (An amazing feat if you know me.)
IF we look for the leadership qualities that make good things happen, we see them all around us. When project team members show these attributes, celebrate them!


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