The Great Leadership of Be Know Do and 12 O'Clock High

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Leadership on

“Twelve O’Clock High”

GSL: 504

Robin L Belcher

May 22, 2008

Dr. William White

Leadership on “Twelve O’Clock High”

By watching the movie “Twelve O’Clock High,” leadership is often the most important success factor in Lean Manufacturing. The organizational paradigm shift required for Lean Manufacturing demands visionary leadership. As findings in the reading from“(’clock_high.htm),” visionary leadership is quite different from management. While the necessary qualities may lie deep in the human psyche, even visionary leadership can be learned.

When the classic World War II movie, “Twelve O’Clock High,” many viewers at first find the film to be just another good vintage war movie. In fact it is a superb treatise on “charismatic leadership.” By learning General Frank Savages conduct and actions, leaders can experience the U.S. Army’s charismatic leader paradigm. It sure helps to have a star the caliber of Gregory Peck and a cast full of the finest character actors.

When learning that Bomber Squadron 918 has lost five planes on their recent mission, General Savage (Peck) is dispatched to take over the platoon. That is when the previous commander, Colonel Davenport (Gary Merrill), has proven himself “too close” to the men in his group and is suspected of being too soft on them. When Savage begins his assignment, he meets the expected degree of contempt, but he quickly ends such behavior by scaring the soldiers. Then Savage slowly earns a few allies among his officers, most notably Major Stovall (Dean Jagger) – a “desk jockey” who turns out to be much more than a glorified secretary, taken from “(”

By watching this movie, most people would think that some of your finest war movies take place on the battlefields, by...
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