Study Guide 18: Leadership
The “Moby Dick” study guide by moviesforbusiness founders Shaun O’L. Higgins and Colleen Striegel 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 creates a business situation that emulates the non-business plot of the movie. It opens this way:
Your boss is nuts!
He’s started using company resources to achieve a personal goal. He has managed to hypnotize the whole staff (except you, of course) into following his lead. He’s offered them big rewards and exacted pledges of loyalty! Why do the owners put up with this? Don’t they realize how crazy he is? He’s let whole projects and major chunks of business go by the wayside while he works on his own agenda. The other night you confronted him at Starbucks’ over a hot latté. You told him your concerns and reminded him of his duty to the company. He took it badly and reminded you that your duty was to him and that stirring up trouble could cost you your job. That took the wind out of your sails! The boss may be nuts – but he is the boss – which means he has the power and you don’t. You could go directly to the owners, but it’s unlikely you’ll get a hearing. You are based in the most remote company office, and at headquarters they probably have no idea who you are or what you do – even if you could get through to them.
An excerpt from the plot summary:
A restless and adventurous New Englander, Ishmael, decides to test his sea legs and journeys to New Bedford, Massachusetts to try his luck at whaling. He’s hired as an entry-level seaman by Bildad and Peleg, owners of the good ship Pequod, a whaler under the command of veteran Captain Ahab. The ship’s motley and international crew consists of veterans and novices, including New Englanders; Native Americans; a reformed cannibal from the South Seas; and a young, free-black cabin boy. As the crew sets sail, their fate is foreshadowed by a prophetic warning of doom from a seaman named Elijah and by a sermon based on the fate of Jonah, the Biblical prophet who questioned a command from God.
Once at sea, we learn that Captain Ahab has a personal mission. He wants to kill Moby Dick, a gargantuan white whale that snapped off Ahab’s leg on a previous voyage. His injury has created an obsessive desire for vengeance in the captain’s mind.
Summary of the commentary:
Captain Ahab’s obsession with capturing the white whale blinds him to his duty both to his employers and his crew, none of whom will prosper unless the good ship Pequod returns safely home with its hold full of oil. In the end, of course, Ahab fails to achieve his own goals and leads his crew and his masters’ business to ruin.
Moby Dick is a whale of a tale about the consequences – mission be damned! – of throwing the rules overboard.
The commentary is supplemented by BREAKOUT BOXES dealing with these topics:
- A Whaler’s Compensation: The Pequod’s Pay Plan
- Theory X at Sea (Excerpted from the novel)
- Whaling: How Industries Rise and Fall
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, 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 Moby Dick 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.