The movie “Remember the Titans” by Boaz Yakin is based on a true story of African American coach who gets assigned to racially integrated high school football team in Alexandria, Virginia during 1970s. The story depicts the clear benefits of merging cultures (two races in this case), group cohesiveness and effective leadership, which results in The Titans becoming the champions of the league. It also shows the hardships that the process of integration of two cultures can bring and is a good example of effectively managing diversity in an organization. Diversity in general is very beneficial to any organization as it makes the best human talent available to the organization, and that talent adds more creativity, innovation and better problem solving skills to the team. Even so, managing diversity proved to be very challenging for organizations and in order to benefit from diversity, effective leadership as well as profound knowledge and respect of different cultures is necessary.
The African American coach Herman Boone from the movie portrays strong leadership skills that later makes the successful merging of the two races possible. Coach Boone does a great job of transforming the team players’ personal goals into the team’s goal as a whole. At the camp he sets achieving perfection and winning as the team’s goals and starts training the team to serve that goal. This approach makes coach Boone a transformational leader defining him from being a transactional leader or manager. The fact that he inspires the team, sets the goals for the team and develops creative strategies and practices for uniting the team clearly shows that he is a leader not a manager. Coach Boone’s actions and his effect on the team demonstrates the importance of transformational leadership while managing diversity as it would not be possible for the Titans to succeed with a transactional manager heading the team. Coach Boone first uses his legitimate power to take control over the team and the situation that he is facing by announcing the organizational structure of the team to be dictatorship – him being the dictator. Only after he achieves compliance from the team players as well as other coaches, he starts to use reward power to motivate his players and also tries to develop close/personal relationships with team players. A good example is his initiative to help Louie (one of the players) to pass the college acceptance exams. By developing these relationships and also forcing the team players of opposite race to get to know each other closely, coach helps players associate the team with a big family which helps unite the team the most. Even though coach Boone’s strategies and efforts play a huge role in the Titan’s success, coach Yoast’s role is also vital in achieving it. Coach Yoast is also a transformational leader because he equally inspires the team players and plays an important role in transforming the Titans into a racially integrated, strong team. Even though coach Yoast and coach Boone find themselves in a disagreement with each other in the beginning, they manage to work together and serve a common organizational goal, which is Titans’ success in the championship. Coach Yoast demonstrates his importance to the team when he makes a dangerous yet creative strategic move by substituting Alan Bosley by Petey Jones in one of the games which brings the Titans victory in the game, saving them from being removed from the championship. One common trait that these two leaders have is that they both care for the team and it’s players – Coach Yoast sacrifices his hall of fame award for the team and coach Boone’s family is directly depended on the team as he will have to move his family again to a different Town even if he looses one game. As for differences, coach Boone demonstrates to be more success/winning oriented, strict and optimistic than coach Yoast.
As mentioned above coach...
Bibliography: “Remember The Titans” (2000) – Director: Boaz Yalkin. Writer: Gregory Allen Howard
“Organizational Behavior Key Concepts, Skills & Best Practices 5e” – Angelo Kinicki, Mel Fugate.
IMDb Movie quotes - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0210945/?ref_=nv_sr_1
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