Leadership by Imagery
Too little has been expressed on this blog about the importance of the 'Visual Leadership' process, and about how critical it is to the rare animal known as Leading.
The methodology -- one of an infant's fistful of techniques employed during a recent false-started pipe dream named Epilogue -- was often maligned by certain individuals as being ineffective, callously manipulative, and -- horror of horrors -- Svengali-ish.
Rest assured, Imagery is vitally important to the maintenance of decorum amongst a diversified assortment of film professionals, be they either Heads of Departments, cast, or crew. When things begin to get hairy -- and as susceptible to Murphy's Law as things are -- the charismatic leader's got to step into a widening breach and shore up the leeching morale with a proven leadership flavour.
I know this to be true because I've seen this technique in action. On many occasions along the abortive Epilogue path, my methodology was utilized on countless days when a clearcut raison d'etre was hard to make out. This was so because as we engrossed ourselves in the shortmaking process, direction often became muddled and unfocussed due to circumstances beyond direct governance. People began to (as expected) freak out and so something therefore had to take minds off the encroaching dismay.
The foundational Imagery of, say, "standing as a triumphant gang in front of a packed-to-the-gills theatre of adoring film festival fans" was an example which was frequently used to buoy my courageous colleagues during our darker moments.
Magically, there exist few distractions to trounce this powerful device! I discovered our valiant bunch could overcome all and sundry just by referring back to this technique time and time again -- mentally or orally (and sometimes both). In our dealings with a handful of individuals fearful of the method, our imagery practicum became somewhat overtaxed, yet remained vitally robust. Despite the adversity raining down upon us, our imagery persevered and so did we.
Decision-making is never an easy task. It's especially difficult when an outcome may have possible negative consequences but also when the leader operates from a standpoint of fuzzy logic. In times like these, "best-of-all-circumstances" has to be culled and synthesized quickly. An optimal decison must be arrived at and someone's got to do it.
I was compelled to make such decisions during Epilogue early and often. Despite what certain members felt and continue to feel about my unsuitabilty for leadership and for governing, I've countless times received private off-the-record support from those same individuals thusly committed to our creative journey.
It's quite shameful more effort wasn't taken to investigate all available sources before forming conclusive opinions about my practice.
Were these individuals standing in my Florsheims, who knows how they might've fared. Moreover, they'd not even have had such chance to form their (false) opinions were it not for my intrepidness in seconding them to our team in the first instance.
Instead of unanimous support, I received fractious invective. Instead of a bridge, I could only see the chasm.
I was undermined.
Dirty pool, I say.