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Hollywood thriller, "The Equalizer" Reveal a key leadership lesson for leaders around the world

Just as books can serve as a springboard for learning, some movies can produce insightful tenants on leadership development. In the recent Hollywood blockbuster “The Equalizer,” renowned actor Denzel Washington plays Robert McCall, a low-key supervisor at a local Home Depot. However, your authentic self remains distant. No one really knows the real Robert McCall. However, as the film progresses, McCall begins to privately reveal different aspects of his previous life through a series of dangerous situations. The attributes of McCall’s name and character that were hidden in his past begin to surface as McCall fights for the rights of others. Although this article is not a treatise on the film, it provides a leadership lesson that can transform the way successful leaders think about the power associated with their name.

From a leadership perspective, what lesson can be drawn from McCall’s character? The answer is in your name. On the surface, McCall appears to be a gentle, calm, and healthy man. However, as the movie progresses, McCall’s outer personality changes. The real McCall comes out of the shadows of his past and begins to act according to his true character.

In the context of the film, let’s look at several thought-provoking questions. What kind of leader are you? Do you value the importance and quality of your name? What does your name reveal about you? When people think of you and your leadership style, what adjectives or characteristics are used to describe your authentic self? Does your behavior reflect a person of character, honesty, integrity, and respect? How do you treat your staff, your colleagues, and your boss? Have you created a work environment that encourages teamwork? Have you established a reputation that makes you an ethical leader worth following?

Leaders aimed at adding lasting, positive, and strategic substance to their organization value the importance of their name and reputation. They do not flaunt danger and compromise their integrity. Proverbs 22: 1 states, “It is better to choose a good name than a great, rich and loving favor than silver and gold.” Unfortunately, history is replete with examples of leaders failing to understand this simple but profound truth.

Successful leaders are aware of their daily actions. They make informed decisions and credible choices. They are confident, competent, and caring service leaders who live and seek to make a difference in the organization and in the lives of others. As a leader, you are aware of the fact that your decision making is in public view.

When it comes to leadership, successful leaders understand that authentic leadership is built on influence. The core essence of leadership is the ability to influence the behavior of others to the extent that they are willing to participate in activities that promote the achievement of the mutual goals and objectives of the organization. Therefore, to exert credible influence, successful leaders must value their reputation and the importance of not just a name, but a good name!

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