While traveling back from a keynote speech in Victoria, I read a terrific article about Clint Eastwood. OK, Clint definitely didn’t have an Academy award winning performance at the Republican National Convention. Heck, he did his best to get the most out of that chair; you can’t get it right every time. I am always amazed when watching the movies credits, the incredible amount of people involved in putting together. Who knew there was such a role as a ‘focus puller’? What does a focus puller do anyway?
Every great company has a great leader, every lousy company, has a lousy leader. For movies there is 1 final leader & in 32 movies that has been Clint Eastwood the director. What does Clint have to teach us about leadership? A lot.
Well let’s look at the facts of his career:
- Acted in 51 movies
- Directed 32 movies
- He has been a star for over 50 years.
- He has won 4 Academy awards
Clint has served as a small town mayor. He delivers every movie on time & on budget. He does most shots in 1 take & he makes sure that his crew starts shortly after 9 A.M. & finishes by 5 P.M. so they can have dinner with their family. He has over 60 people who work in his production company & a majority of his employees have worked with him over many years. He loves to promote from within & will ease a more senior person out, to allow a younger professional to move up. He stands in the food line with his team; he helps move lighting & will take the bus with the rest of his crew. Oh yes, he also produces most of his own soundtracks & he pilots a helicopter.
Clint never, ever has to beg an actor to do a movie; he doesn’t let studio execs direct his projects. He has built a great reputation, which started as a young actor has served him over 50 years. He has become a deeply respected icon in his industry and, I think he might have a bit to teach us about leadership.
What is the “secret” to Clint’s success as a leader?
- Clint is smart
- Clint is a team player
- Clint hires based on gut
- Clint trusts his people
- Clint is fiercely loyal
- Clint promotes people when they are ready
- Clint replaces people when they have gone stale
- Clint is wise with resources, time, money & talent
- He makes quick decisions
- He expects the best from people
- Clint is a man of his word
- Clint trusts his own sense
- Clint will listen to others
- Clint is humble
- Clint is good guy
- Clint is comfortable with who he is
You see leadership is not that complex. Be the type of leader that Clint is, and “go ahead…make other peoples’ day!”
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