Finding Leadership in the Movie Seabiscuit

1422 words 6 pages
Finding Leadership in the Movie Seabiscuit
Traditionally, analysis on roles for effective leadership surround corporate or military settings with clearly defined problems, discernable issues, and areas where hypothesis can be made, models formed, predictions tested, and outcomes verified. Analyzing a film like Seabiscuit for the roles of leadership present many interesting questions about leadership and what it means to be a leader. The film Seabiscuit chronicles the lives of individuals as they become intertwined to produce an outcome, training a horse to race. At what point do individuals stop seeing themselves, in their daily lives, as individuals and begin seeing themselves as members of groups having to take on leadership and
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His resolve is shaken for a period of time by the death of his son and divorce from his wife, but Howard perceivers because he is a great leader. Great leaders realize that the group is more important than the individuals. This is the same paradigm that allows soldiers and sailors to complete the mission despite incredible losses. Charles Howard finds a rebirth of confidence, sparked by the relationship he forms with Marcela. She is a confident, intelligent woman whom he immediately forms a co-leader relationship with, subsequently marrying her. It is at this point that we also see Howard challenge his own internal process, as he shifts from the automobile to horseracing. This again elucidates strong leadership skills. Kouzes & Posner (2002) in their paper, "The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership" state that exemplary leaders challenge the process. Leaders are "people who are willing to step out into the unknownÂ….innovation comes more from listening than from tellingÂ….Sometimes a dramatic external event thrusts an organization into a radically new condition." (cited in Business Leadership, 2003, pp. 76-77) For Howard this was death, divorce, and remarriage.
Howard begins to rethink his personal views. In the prime of his automobile success that he "wouldn't spend more than five dollars for the best horse in the world." (2003) Yet as we see later on he pays $2000 to purchase the horse Seabiscuit and on