In the movie Testament of Youth young men enthusiastically head to war in 1915 to “do the right thing”, for a bit of an OE and to join their mates. When I walked out of the cinema the phrase Testament of Stupidity came to mind.
Most of the people I know are fortunate to have choices in life. Some people don’t because of restricted society rules, war, cults and other tragedies of humanity.
The young men in the movie appeared to be making free choices. No doubt those who survived would agree that they had far from full information.
We start the Authentic Leadership Programme this morning with 18 managers embarking on a journey of discovery about themselves and others. We’ll start by learning about individual preferences and what others say about us. It won’t be exact information, but time, space and resources will be freely given to enable all the participants to interpret the information and plan for their individual next steps.
Taking new information on board to develop our leadership requires deliberate actions to be made by leaders to ensure the new insights are properly understood, interpreted and acted on. It can’t just be accepting someone’s interpretation of “the right thing” or what our mates are doing.
On the first day of the Programme, and in the ensuing months, our managers will be encouraged to make deliberate choices and changes in their leadership based on full information, reflection and planning. What will matter will be what is best for each leader to grow his or her leadership potential, their teams and their organisation.
Pressure will come for sure, it’s not always easy making changes, but the pressure will be based on honest and full information.
Despite my post-movie reaction, Testament of Youth is a powerful story and a great movie.