Study Guide 8: Leadership, Motivation, and Team Building
The Hoosiers study guide from moviesforbusiness.com can be purchased as an instant PDF download for $5.95. After reading the description below, if you wish to purchase this study guide, just click the “Add to Cart” button and follow the simple instructions. Don’t worry – if you change your mind mid-order, simply exit the browser. Once payment is completed you will receive a link that allows you to download the guide to your computer right away. You may save it to your computer’s hard drive and print it out when and if you need to.
This Guide explores the lessons of the movie Hoosiers. It opens like this:
You have just accepted a new job with a small firm. The staff is already in place, and they’ve been working for several weeks on projects you will now take over. They see you as an outsider, and you face hostility from some of the people you’ll be working with. As the new kid on the block, you have to deal with all the old-timers who are ready to advise you. They are anxious to tell you how things are done at the firm. The only firm supporter you have going in is the person who hired you. But you’re a winner. You have used your methods successfully in previously assignments, and you know they are the best tactics for your new assignment. You have a schedule to meet. You must minimize distractions if you are to meet your goal. What do you do? You might consider a few lessons from the classic sports movie, Hoosiers.
Excerpt from the plot summary:
Basketball Coach Norman Dale (Gene Hackman) has been thrown out of college basketball for hitting a player. Now he’s coaching high-school ball in small-town Indiana. His position is problematic: The other teachers can’t figure out why he’s chosen to work in a backwater; he has only six young men from which to form a basketball team; and, he is bedeviled by coaching advice from the boys’ fathers, who don’t like Dale’s style of training. In addition, the outstanding ball player in the area, Jimmy Chitwood, has decided to sit out the season, having been strongly influenced by another teacher.
Basketball is everything at Hickory High, taken as seriously as love and war. Dale’s disciplinarian style is designed to mold a team destined to lose into a team that can only win.
Excerpt from the commentary:
Good managers often find themselves in situations involving limited resources. Like Coach Dale they find themselves being second-guessed by everyone around them. This section examines the means Coach Dale invokes to silence his formidable critics, establish his authority and guide his team to the coveted championship.
Dale recognizes that he cannot afford to write off any player. The team must function together and circumstances might put any player in a situation in which the game can be won or lost based on that player’s performance. Imagine the outcome in the game in which, plagued with foul trouble, Dale is left with his weakest player, Ollie, on the foul line. If Ollie makes the shot, the Huskers win and advance in the tournament. Otherwise they go to the showers for the season. Ollie, of course, makes the shot – a shot that is not a product of luck, but of the hours of practice Dale has spent drilling Ollie and his teammates in fundamentals. What if Ollie had been written off, ignored by the coach? The outcome, mostly likely, would have been a loss. Managers must recognize that their organizations are only as strong as their weakest links. Imagine a situation in which a key account is on the line, but the chief account executive is hit by serious illness, an accident or a death in her immediate family. An assistant, an Ollie, may have to make the call. Can you afford not to have a fully trained Ollie on your team? Even if he’s not a star, even if his sales call is not as effective as the star’s, it must be good enough to save the account – or at least get you into an overtime situation in which your star will again be able to play. Coach Dale knows that no one can be written off, that you have to make the best hand out of the cards you are dealt. And, as in poker, sometimes a pair of deuces will win the pot.
Dale also understands the intimidation factor at work when small, out of the way organizations find themselves in head-to-head competition with giant enterprises. The boys from Hickory will be playing the championship game in a field house that could house the entire population of Hickory many times over. They will be playing a big city team, used to large arenas and large crowds. The coach knows he must help his team concentrate on the game itself, not their surroundings. He walks the boys around the field house and has them measure the playing floor. It’s the same size as the one in Hickory. He has them measure the height to the basket. Same as in Hickory. He drills them in fundamentals one last time – just as he would before any other game. He removes the fear of Goliath and allows his Davids to go forth confidently.
Finally, the Coach has faith. So, eventually, do the townspeople. So does the team. Their faith is not just a matter of the prayers said before each game. Dale himself seems to tolerate, rather than demonstrate, faith in a deity, but he shows ample faith in his team and his own principles. That core faith in one’s direction, one’s beliefs about the best course of action, and one’s faith in the commitment and dedication of the team is essential to staying the course.
The commentary is supplemented by BREAKOUT BOXES dealing with these topics:
- Six Tips on Monitoring Your Competition – Legally
- The Real Life Story of “The Little Team That Could”
- #1 Sports Movie of All Time
THE GUIDE also includes an essay that looks at business as depicted in the movies. For an introductory section on how to use the Management Goes to the Movies™ program, click through to Using The MGTTM Training Program.
The following Study Guide can be purchased as an instant PDF download for $5.95. After reading the description below, if you wish to purchase this study guide, just click the “Add to Cart” button and follow the simple instructions. Don’t worry – if you change your mind mid-order, simply exit the browser. Once payment is completed you will receive a link that allows you to download the guide to your computer right away. You may save it to your computer’s hard drive and print it out when and if you need to.
Movies for Leaders book!
The Study Guide for Hoosiers is also available in trade paperback book format under the title of “MOVIES FOR LEADERS: Management Lessons from Four All-Time Great Films.”
Information on how to purchase your copy of the book can be found here.