Quotes and Leadership Lessons from The Great Train Robbery I

A Reel Leadership Article

The Great Train Robbery is a two-part British television miniseries that was first broadcast in 2013 (Currently available on Amazon Prime, Netflix, and others). It tells the story of the robbery of £2.6 million (£53.5 today) from a Royal Mail train heading from Glasgow to London on 8 August 1963, first from the perspective of the robbers, and then from the perspective of the police. Episode one, A Robber’s Tale, details the organization and successful completion of the robbery. Episode two, A Copper’s Tale, follows the police investigation into the crime and subsequent arrest of many of the perpetrators. It is a fascinating look at two leadership styles, similar in some aspects, very different in others.  In this first article, the leadership style of Bruce Reynolds, the “Robber” will be examined.

Characters from the TV movie The Great Train Robbery

Bruce Reynolds is the leader of a small gang of thieves, a leader who is not satisfied with the £62K ($78K today) robbery at an airport – a robbery that was “supposed to be the big one” £400K  ($507K).  He immediately begins searching for a bigger score.

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.

Are You an Accidental Soul-Sucking CEO?

I have to admit it.  I am, frankly, quite baffled. For the last 20 years, and all around the world, we CEOs have invested untold millions into the question: “What does it take to have an engaged workplace culture?” We’ve bought books, retained consultants, rolled out surveys, looked deep into the hearts and minds of the people who work for us. We know how crucial it is to having talent who love working for us and who will offer discretionary effort and innovation. And introductions to their friends. We even know how to quantify all this stuff.

Be careful of becoming a soul-sucking leader

We are at the leading edge of a historic conversation. Our predecessors – the generations who ran the factories and cracked the whips – would look at us and our workplaces in awe. We know better than anyone at any time in the history of humans what it takes to create a workplace where people want to come to work, joyfully invest their efforts and talents into a cause greater than themselves, and go home happy to children who are learning from their examples.