Leadership Ingenuity, as seen in a movie that may or may not be historically accurate!
Yeah, I know that’s a long title, but I really couldn’t think of a way of making it any smaller. A couple of years ago I came across a movie called, “Red Cliffs”. Now, a couple of disclaimers, First it’s a Chinese war movie with subtitles. Second, well, it’s a Chinese war movie, hence lots of violence. So if you are squeamish about fake blood, probably not one for you. But, interspersed within the movie is tremendous dialogue (subtitled) about warfare, tactics, agendas, and even leadership.
The movie is actually about a historical war between 3 generals who were all trying to become the leader of a unified China between 208-214AD. When one of those leaders, Cao Cao, became immensely more powerful than the other two combined, it forced them, though enemies, to join forces. Even after joining forces they are still badly outnumbered and during a meeting the two generals have this conversation (paraphrased):
Zhuge Liang: “His army is so massive, we don’t even have enough arrows to kill all of them, this is impossible!”
Zhou Yu, after a moment in thought: “Maybe Cao Cao will let us borrow some of his?”
This is the following scene, here’s a link if you need it: https://youtu.be/r-briQqhGZY
What unbelievable leadership ingenuity. You see it’s easy to give up when everything seems to be working against you. I mean for crying out lout, how much energy does it really take to quit? But, it takes real leadership ingenuity to look at an insurmountable problem, and instead of seeing a problem, use it to your advantage.
If you are a leader, what is your insurmountable problem? Start thinking outside of the box, how can that thing that you believed was a block wall, limiting your ability to move forward be reconfigured into a staircase for your ultimate success? All it takes is a little leadership ingenuity!