Leadership in “Remember the Titans” film
Leadership is not only important but the most talked-about concept in society today as it determines or influences the success of groups, teams, institutions, or organizations. Of course, people’s primary focus is on how to achieve and exhibit effective leadership in the mentioned contexts. Effective leadership is marked by characteristics such as risk-taking, self-control, caring, motivation, clear communication, vision, and dedication. The Three-Dimensional Model of leadership states that a leader, no matter the context, should exhibit public, private, and personal leadership. Public leadership is when a leader showcases behaviors involved in influencing two or more people simultaneously whereas private leadership is when a leader showcases behaviors needed to select and influence individuals one to one. Personal leadership, on the other hand, concerns more of a leader’s inner level, leadership presence, skills, beliefs, knowhow, unconscious habits, and emotions. In this case, the focus is on the film “Remember the Titans” because it portrays the aspects of leadership mentioned above.
A famous leadership statement from the film “Remember the Titans” is that of “Attitude reflects leadership.” This statement means that the attitude exhibited by followers is dependent on that of their leaders. In other words, a good or bad attitude comes from those at the top to those in lower positions in an organization, group, or team. Essentially, if the captain of the school team has a bad day, then all members of the team, inevitably, will be having a bad day. For this reason, it is required that leaders must keep their wits and exhibit positive attitudes to ensure that their followers follow suit.
In the film, three key leaders can be identified: Herman Boone, Bill Yoast, and Gerry Bertier. Herman Boone is picked as a leader because he was the new coach of the school’s football team, and thus had the responsibility of coaching and preparing the team for competitions. These responsibilities can only be executed by a person in a leadership position; this being the key reason Boone was hired. Bill Yoast’ selection as a leader is based on the fact that he was the current coach of the school team, and thus, had the responsibilities of making key decisions on the team. Despite Yoast’s demotion to an assistant coach’s position, he remains a leader because he has influence over the white players forming part of the team. His stature as a leader is cemented by the fact that his initial refusal to become an assistant coach sees white players pledge to boycott the team. However, he takes the job and plays a defensive coordination role under Boone meaning that he is still a leader in the school team. Gerry Bertier is selected as a leader given his position as the captain of the school team. In this position, Bertier could make key decisions on behalf of his teammates both in and out of the field. After an accident, Bertier becomes paralyzed and he becomes a leader and an inspiration to Virginia’s handicapped community. Boone exhibits all three dimensions of public, private, and private leadership. He influences the team to embrace togetherness and abandon racism and discrimination. At an individual level, Boone influences Yoast who later abandons his personal ambitions of being inducted into the Hall of Fame and fights for the success of the team. Most importantly his private leadership is highlighted by his knowhow, skills, leadership presence, and unconscious habits that lead to the team’s success over the long term. These perspectives put together; Boone is both a task-oriented and transformational leader. In his position, Yoast showcases public leadership as he influences white players to participate in the school team’s activities. Yoast is a transformational leader because he works closely with Boone and the players to achieve the goals of the team. On his part, Bertier is a task-oriented, because after the Boone’s forceful coaching, rigorous training, and emphasis on togetherness, Bertier does everything possible, including addressing racially motivated conflicts at their football camp to ensure that the team achieves set goals and objectives. The fact that Bertier works closely and influences other team members and the handicapped community in Virginia highlights his public leadership capability.
The followers in this film are the members of the school team, and one of them is Julius Campbell. The selection of Julius Campbell and other members of the school team is based on the fact that they followed instructions of Boone and Yoast and underwent forceful coaching and rigorous athletic training conducted by Boone, identified above as a leader of the school football team. As a follower, Julius Campbell is enthusiastic, intelligent, and ambitious, and this is why he was later named to the 1971 all-American team. Campbell is a perfect example of a conformist follower because he does not disagree with the instructions given by Boone and Yoast, and at some point, he addressed the conflict between him and Bertier for the sake of harmony and the team’s success.
The situation in the movie is that there is effective leadership. The mentioned leaders, Boone, Yoast, and Bertier, showcase transformational and task-oriented leadership that play an integral role in the achievement of the team’s success. The success of the school team in the championships can be attributed to the effective leadership in place. An effective following is showcased by individuals such as Julius Campbell, who make significant contributions and conformingly follow the coaches’ and captain’s instructions.