Before the Movie:
Understanding what it means to be a Reflective, Creative and Holistic Thinker, pause and reflect on how you work to solve problems and make responsible decisions while being guided by your God’s message of hope, love, charity and the common good.
Reflect: Has there ever been a time in your life where you needed to solve a problem and be a leader? How did you solve the problem? What challenges or successes did you encounter? What did you learn about leadership?
Whether in school or at home, life brings forward many unique challenges and opportunities to learn and grow as leaders. As leaders and problem solvers, it is important to be responsive to the human experience. This means, that in problem solving and finding solutions, it’s important to recognize the importance of being situational; adapting and understanding not only the problem, potential solutions but importantly the people involved and potentially impacted.
During the Movie:
As you watch the movie, it’s important to recognize that Speed is so much more than an action movie. When looking at the film through the context of Situational Leadership it’s evident that the character of Jack Traven (Keanu Reeves) is a leader who works to adapt, solve problems and make decisions based on a strong moral compass of good versus evil while also acknowledging the unique situation victims find themselves in.
“Situational Leadership is an adaptive leadership style. This strategy encourages leaders to take stock of their team members, weigh the many variables in their workplace and choose the leadership style that best fits their goals and circumstances. In the words of leadership theorist Ken Blanchard, “In the past a leader was a boss. Today’s leaders can no longer lead solely based on positional power.” (St. Thomas University)
Looking at Jack, from the onset of the film it’s evident that he’s a situational leader who is guided by the moral imperative to protect and serve and understands the need to activate. From the moment he takes the phone call upon the bus exploding outside of the coffee shop, Jack immerses himself into the action ready to serve. As the narrative of the bomb on the bus unfolds, Jack “takes stock” of his new team composed of a diverse groups of citizens. He doesn’t judge but rather shows empathy and also role models the need for mobilization.
This is most evident in Annie (Sandra Bullock), who becomes his direct partner. Annie’s resiliency and that of the other passengers is a testament to Jack’s leadership.
After the Movie:
Whether in class with students or at home with family, Speed provides an opportunity for us all to reflect on who we are as leaders and what we look for in leadership from others.
Take the opportunity to get creative and create a word wall highlighting what is means to be a leader while recognizing the importance of being A Reflective, Creative and Holistic Thinker.
Be creative and have fun!