Leadership Lessons From Unstoppable

A Reel Leadership Flashback Article (Guest Article by James Schreier)

Unstoppable is the 2010 film based loosely on a real incident of a runaway train.  Generally praised for its action and described as a “great popcorn film,” it grossed $167 million.  Unstoppable starred Denzel Washington as Frank Barnes, soon to be retired – unwilling forced by the railroad – and Chris Pine as Will Colson, a new conductor distracted by his personal problems.  There are two other key players, Connie Hooper (Rosario Dawson) as the Yardmaster and Oscar Galvin (Kevin Dunn) as the VP of Operations for the railroad.

Leadership lessons from the movies - Unstopable

When a train leaves the railyard, unmanned, running at full speed, Frank Barnes and Will Colson begin several different attempts to stop the train before it would catastrophically crash on a high bridge with a tight curve in a community of 780K and located next to multiple fuel tanks.

The Art of Feeling On Purpose: Creating a Personal Environment of Success

Every external manifestation of successwhether it’s a business venture that is taking off, an ad campaign that’s gone viral, or a sports team that has gained the winning edge—comes about as a direct result of the environment that has been created by and between each of the players.  What we call genius is really nothing more than having the faith and the willingness to hold true to our vision and to be meticulous in our attitude, even in the face of naysayers who invariably try to talk us “back to reality.” A visionary sees in his mind or feels with her gut what has not yet been created—and in so doing, creates it from the inside out.  And when you think about it, this inside-out approach is really the only way we can effectively influence anyone.  It is not our words, our demands, or even the contracts we enter into with one another that inspires people to bring the very best of themselves to any endeavor.  The only way to truly lead is to lead by example, and through the power of our own confidence.

Peak Performance Strategies To Help You Conquer As A Leader

We all want to experience positive growth in life both as leaders and as individuals. It has always been the greatest desire of every human. Though some attain greatness while others don’t. Why? Stay with me. I will give you the answer below as I try to list out few of the peak performance strategies I’ve discovered.

Unlock your peak performance with these strategies

Photo by John Gibbons

Prior to putting this together, I’ve done some research and I’ve asked a few questions too. Acceleration in life doesn’t just happen. It is greatly influenced by the group of people, friends, and colleagues you associate with. The type of information and probably orientation you have. These enhance your ability and capability to reach your goals early in life.

Three Ways To Better Navigate Turbulence

Whenever people tell me they want to be a leader, I always ask them ‘why’? Leadership isn’t easy. It’s usually pretty thankless. People will always have a list of things you should be doing better. And, of course, what’s on some people’s lists (listen better) is not on others (speak up more).

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Leadership turbulence and how to face it

Photo by Julian Dufort

Leadership is a rollercoaster ride of highs and lows. When things go right, your team will get the credit but when things go wrong, you’ll take the blame. And by the way, everyone will tell you that you should be happy about that (when inside, you’re in need of recognition as much as the next person). Yes, leadership is gratifying. It’s amazing to see people blossom and to be able to guide and shape direction. I absolutely love leading, but I would be lying if I didn’t say that there are days when I wish I didn’t feel as passionately about leadership. It might make life a little less complicated.

Leaders As Control Freaks

A control freak refers to a person who must be in control of all things and people. This is the micromanager who nitpicks about performance to such an extent workers are emotionally exhausted and anxious.

Leaders can be control freaks

Photo by Alejandro Alvarez

But a control freak, in my mind, is a leader who practices self-regulation, who is the locus on control. Such a leader is the strong center in a cyclonic tornado of activity and conflict in the workplace. In fact, we look to our leaders to remain calm, rational and inspirational even in the most challenging circumstances.

I recently read an article about Mayor Giuliani whose passion for New York anchored the city in the middle of the 911 catastrophe in which terrorists destroyed the Twin Towers, killing thousands. His hands-on approach distinguished him as a legendary leader. He aided firefighters, attended to the injured and took to the airwaves to comfort and calm the city.  Americans will never forget Rudy Giuliani.