Leadership and Management styles in The devil wears Prada

Topics: Leadership, The Devil Wears Prada, Miranda Priestly Pages: 6 (2387 words) Published: March 10, 2014
Synopsis
Andrea is fresh out of graduating from university in hopes of finding a job to help reach her dream of becoming a journalist in New York City. However she is sent to Miranda Priestly – the chief editor of Runway, a fashion magazine, for an interview as an assistant. She reluctantly gives it a shot in knowledge that a year of being an assistant for Miranda would open opportunities for her to become a journalist anywhere she pleased. Although Andrea lacked in experience and knowledge about the fashion industry, her credentials and smart thinking won her the position. Andrea, also known as Andy finds it hard to fit in with the lifestyle of the fashion absorbed. Through the instigation of Miranda and the people around her, Andy decides that she needs to work harder to fit in, and consequently changes her appearance and attitude towards the job. After this we see Andrea being faced with many obstacles and almost impossible tasks given to her by her boss. She is near to quitting but accomplishes which motivates her to stay on. However her non-stop occupation puts stress on her private and social life. Andrea see’s that she is turning into a person she doesn’t want to be. She then realizes the sacrifices aren’t worth the job she is in. Soon after a great reference from Miranda, Andy gets a job for a New York Newspaper, where she always longed to be as a journalist.

I am writing this report based on the film: The Devil Wears Prada (2006), particularly observing the main character with evident traits of being a leader, named: Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep). Emily Charlton (Emily Blunt) is also mentioned in the report for her managerial traits, however the focus on Emily as a manager deteriorates after Andrea Sachs (Anne Hathaway) takes the lead.

Emily is not an obvious choice to be distinguished as a manager when watching the movie. But after watching closely for the second time, we see early on that in the absence of Miranda, Emily does take charge. Emily feels empowered, as she is namely the first assistant of the boss. As Andrea is a newbie, everything she learns is through Emily. Also Andrea’s sense of style reflects her lack of knowledge about the fashion industry. This then is seen as a weakness to Emily, subsequently changing the way she behaves towards her. An example in the film that shows this is when Emily says:

(Devil; 00:14:33) “I mean you get coffee (sneers) and you run errands. Yet I am in charge of her schedule, her appointments, and her expenses. And um, most importantly, I get to go with her to Paris for fashion week in the fall.” Almost belittling Andrea. (Devil; 00:17:35) “I will deal with this and you will go to Calvin Klein.” (Devil; 00:19:26) “I get 20 minutes for lunch, you get 15. When I come back, you can go.” From this dialogue, as a viewer I picked up the tone of voice as being very domineering. Notice how Emily emboldens herself with the use of the word “I” various times when she gives orders. Although this is only effective at the beginning as Andrea is still new to the job. Emily may be the manager for a while during the start, but her traits suggest that she is not the legitimate leader. “However, this distinction between managers as traditional and rational while true leaders are charismatic is clearly an idealization and a rather simplistic one at that. In reality, leaders do find that they have to attend to often mundane administrative tasks and managers do have to lead those who report to them if they are to get anything done.” Ralph Stacey, (2012).

Miranda’s straight forward ordering proves to be a better leadership skill as it gets the job done without the need to show who’s in charge. The fact she doesn’t have to exercise her power in the same way as Emily shows how truly powerful of a leader she is. The calm subtle tone of her voice, and gentle yet effective body language and facial expressions are enough to make a person abide.

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