Leadership in “Remember the Titans”
This research will explain how different leadership theories directly were applied to situations in the movie “Remember the Titans”. Although only a few of the theories were available at the time, the individuals exhibited sound leadership and follower ship identified by modern research on leadership. This paper will visit several leadership theories and methods from respected sources and compare and contras some situations to current situations experienced with modern theories. The leadership theories and methods discussion points in this research are positional power, conflict resolution, leader/co-leader relationship, international framework (leader-follower-situation), and environmental shifts as a reason to restructure. Also, we will discuss Maslow hierarchy of needs (Hughes, Ginnett, Curphy, 2006) and the four frames to evaluate change i.e. the structural frame, the human resource frame, the political frame, and symbolic frame. The movie “Remember the Titans” revolves around two coaches named Herman Boone and Bill Yoast and how their integration of the first desegregated football team united a segregated town through the success high school football team. This process required highly effective leadership skills. From the beginning of the movie, leadership was apparently obvious. There was a riot over the death of an African American citizen. Coach Yoast actively prevented members of his football team from entering the confrontation. When his players went to participate in the riot, he used his positional power (Bolman, Deal, 2003) to intervene and disrupt their involvement. Conflict Resolution and the ability to effectively manage it can make a huge difference with the success and failure of any process. To pacify the riot, the school board desegregated one of its high schools named T.C. Williams High School and placed an experienced African American coach Named Coach Boone as head coach. The original coach, Coach Yoast, was highly experienced and had 15 years of winning under his tenure at the school. When Coach yoast and Coach Boone initially meet, there was animosity between Coach Boone and Coach Yoast staff. Coach Boone handled all negative responses with positive responses that defused the tension between all members. It was a visual view of similar situations that the book “Reframing Organizations” by Bolman and Deal bighlighted displayed in chapter 16, Reframing in Action (Bolman, Deal, 2003). Conflict resolution was also displayed when Coach Yoast decided to take the Assistant Coach position under Coach Boone to prevent uproar with all the white players and disgruntled citizens in town. At the town meeting, he prevented further escalation and of an already sensitive situation. I believe his decision was the determining factor that pulled the town and the team together in the long run. It was his decision to stay that brought all the white players and parents back to the team. Further more, he prevented unfair release of Coach Boone by surrendering his chance at the Hall of Fame by challenging authority in a fixed game. His actions, honor and leadership allowed the Titans a chance at the National championship. If Coach Yoast had not remained with the Titans, what would have been the outcome? Restructuring is a challenging process that consumes time and resources, with no guarantee of success. Organizations typically embark on the path when they feel compelled to respond to major problems or opportunities (Bolman, Deal, 2003). The problems that lead to the change in this small Virginia town were on racial lines. The environment shifted and change had to occur for the survival of the town and organizations within the town Bolman, Deal, 2003). The international framework (leader-follower-situation) is also apparent in this movie (Hughes, Ginnett, Curphy, 2006). The leadership on the team needed to change to pacify the situation of the time. I’m not agreeing or...
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