LEADERSHIP IN CINEMA
(Based on a true story)
Submitted by: Pam McDonald
Audience Rating: R
Studio: Universal Studios
Runtime: 124 minutes
Materials: VCR or DVD (preferred), television or projection system, Wildland Fire Leadership Values and Principles handouts (single-sided), notepads, writing utensils
Objective: Students will identify Wildland Fire Leadership Values and Principles illustrated within Elizabeth and discuss leadership lessons learned with group members or mentors.
Basic Plot: ‘The story of Elizabeth's ascendancy to the throne, the plot of the movie is full of palace intrigues, attempted assassinations and executions. The movie starts with England divided by faith, Protestant vs. Catholic. The queen, Mary Tudor has no heir and her Catholic supporters fear the succession of her half-sister Elizabeth, a Protestant. They convince the queen to have Elizabeth arrested and put in the Tower of London but the queen hesitates and eventually refuses to sign her death warrant. It is announced that the queen is pregnant but it turns out to be a tumor and she dies of it a while later. Her Catholic supporters are forced to give the throne to Elizabeth. Elizabeth's first few years are shaky as she is not versed with the art of realpolitik and "rules from the heart instead of the mind". There is also the question of her succession as she is yet unmarried and her death without heir would mean the throne falling back into Catholic hands. She has many suitors but she eventually rejects them all. And aided by Sir Francis Walsingham she manages to kill all her enemies and ascends the throne as the "Virgin Queen".’ (Synopsis from amazon.com)
Cast of Main Characters:
Duck of Norfolk
Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester
Sir William Cecil
Sir Francis Walsingham
Queen Mary Tudor
Alvaro de la Quadra
Mary of Guise
King Philip II of Spain
Elizabeth is an excellent film showing leadership conflicts of gender, power and politics. Various avenues can be pursued depending upon the facilitator’s intent. At a minimum, students can identify the Wildland Fire Leadership Values and Principles that are illustrated in the film. Students should be less concerned with how many principles they view within the film and more concerned with how the principles they do recognize can be used in their self development as a leader.
The film can be viewed in its entirety or by clip selection depending on facilitator intent and time schedules. Another method is to have the employee(s) view the film on his/her and then hold the discussion session.
Full-film Facilitation Suggestion:
When opting for the full-film method, the facilitator should determine a good breaking point near the middle of the film.
Review the Wildland Fire Leadership Values and Principles with students. 2.
Advise students to document instances within the film that illustrate/violate the Wildland Fire Leadership Values and Principles on the handout provided. 3.
Break students into small discussion groups.
Show students Elizabeth.
Break. (Suggestion: After Elizabeth’s speech to Parliament and Walsingham releases the bishops—counter approximately 58:35) 6.
Begin the guided discussion.
Provide a short synopsis with some “ticklers” to pay attention before beginning the rest of the film. 8.
Resume the film.
Have students discuss their findings and how they will apply leadership lessons learned to their role in wildland fire suppression. Facilitate discussion in groups that have difficulty....
References: Axlerod, Alan. Elizabeth I CEO: Strategic Lessons from the Leader Who Built an Empire. Prentice Hall Press. 2000.
British Monarchy. History of the Monarchy – Elizabeth I (r. 1558-1603). http://www.royal.gov.uk/output/Page46.asp.
Doran, Susan. Elizabeth I Gender, Power & Politics. History Today, 00182753, May 2003, Vol. 53, Issue 5. http://www.geocities.com/queenswoman/elizadoran.html.
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