Movie Review: Troy
It got panned by the critics, but I found Troy an engaging watch. True, it didn't have the 'epic' feel you got from Lord of the Rings, but it opened to me - and probably to many others - a world that would otherwise remain locked up in archaic language in a dusty book.
To get the criticisms out of the way first, yes, it doesn't follow Homer's Iliad accurately. And yes, the character acting could be a bit better - a bit deeper.
Having said that, I think Brad Pitt (Achilles) and Eric Bana (Hector) did a great job portraying these legendary enemies. And from what I've read about the Iliad, the relationship between these two is faithful to Homer (d'oh!).
Relating this to leadership, the subject of our blog, let's look at the two mens' leadership styles:
Achilles - the charismatic leader. His passion is getting the job done with flair. Making history, and being in it. "Immortality - it's yours. Take it!"
The Achilles style of leadership inspires, sets an example, and pushes his men beyond their limits. It's thoroughly goal-oriented.
By its very nature the Achilles style is short term - yet it is encouraged especially in high-pressure industries, such as sales, where the structures are built for long-term.
This style is suited to quick-burst, project-based activity, yet often the Achilles type personality is milked until the person is exhausted and burnt out. Just think of the army vets who, outside of the system and routine - and inspiration - of the army, waste away.
Hector on the other hand is almost a reluctant leader. His heart is at home with his wife and son. He is responsible, cautious but courageous when he sees an opportunity.
One of his greatest pieces of advice in the movie was ignored when he warned the Trojans not to pursue the Greeks, because it was unnecessary. (Now's where I wish I'd paid more attention to the details!) The military lesson of knowing where to stop is an important one.
How many of us know when to stop, regroup and establish our position? This is especially important financially. This time last year I was suffering because I'd assumed the blessings of October and November would continue into December. They didn't - and I found myself out on a limb, and had to back down from expansion in my business.
Or take Donald Trump - in the early 90s he had it made, in every way. But by not knowing how to consolidate, he overextended his resources. One of his companies is now bankrupt.
In most ways, Hector seems to me to be the better leader of the two. But it was Achilles' passion that won out in the end. Perhaps there's something in that.