Master and Commander illustrates an abundance of leadership values and principles—especially an emphasis on team cohesion and commander’s intent.
Captain Jack Aubrey
Master & Commander
A Leader in Action
In the film “Master & Commander"™, Captain Jack Aubrey is the master of HMS Surprise during the Napoleonic wars. He has orders to prevent a French vessel from taking the wars to the Pacific Ocean.
This is one of the best leadership movies I know. Jack Aubrey offers us some excellent examples of leadership in the workplace - despite him being onboard an early nineteenth century warship. But thats Hollywood for you.
1. Clarity of purpose
Jack has a single-minded focus on his purpose. All of his decisions are held up against the goal of his enterprise and his plans are developed with the goal in mind. This is an essential leadership characteristic. Jack adapts his plans to achieve his goal, and adopts new and innovative approaches in its pursuit.
2. Shares leadership
Jack gives less experienced officers the chance to lead tasks, sections and areas. On occasions these tasks are at a level above that which would normally be expected of the officer’s rank.
3. Keeps an overview
While he is quite at home in the detail of any task, and is an expert in seamanship, gunnery, etc, Jack Aubrey keeps himself in a position where he can retain the overview. He makes sure that those with any specific responsibility keep him informed.
Regularly circulating around all areas under his control, Jack keeps himself well informed and uses his time in each area to praise and encourage his crew.
5. Builds team spirit
Jack brings his officers together on formal and social occasions. He shares his goals with them, explains his thinking & decisions and wins their support. And he has fun without going so far as to lose control or respect.
Jack questions others to get the information he needs, and to understand their thinking. When he...