What fictional movie character would you nominate for a servant leadership Oscar award?
Here, in alphabetical order, are eight nominations I would make.
- Dewey Finn (School of Rock, 2003). Dewey is a phony substitute teacher at a strict private school. He turns his fourth grade class into an award-winning rock band. Like a good servant-leader, Dewey is a master of delegation. He matches the unique talent of each student to a function needed by the entire team.
- Ellen Ripley (Alien series, 1979-1992). Think servant leadership is soft? Watch Ripley rally inmates in an outer space penal colony to defend against aliens bent their destruction. Oh, then to prevent the aliens from reproducing, Ripley dives into a furnace to destroy an alien queen as it emerges from her chest.
- George Bailey (It’s a Wonderful Life, 1946). George has given up his dreams to serve others and be a leader in his little town. He comes to believe that his life has made no difference. But his guardian angel shows George the world had George never been born – then it’s clear how much good George has done.
- Gustav H (The Grand Budapest Hotel, 2014). A legendary concierge at a famous hotel between the wars, Gustav H mentors Zero Moustafa, a young lobby boy. Rarely has the total growth and development of people – a hallmark of servant leadership – been better portrayed on the big screen.
- M (James Bond series, 1995–2015). M is Bond’s boss at the British Secret Intelligence Service, MI5. She’s the brains of the operation, but she works behind the scenes. Her character reminds us of the saying, “It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit.”
- Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins, 1964). Is there any doubt who is the real leader of the Banks household after this magical nanny arrives? Mary Poppins leads each person in the family on a journey of self-discovery and personal growth.*
- Mulan (Mulan, 1998). To save her father from death in the army, Mulan secretly goes in his place and becomes one of China’s greatest heroines in the process. Mulan serves first. And she plays to win. So do the soldiers she leads to victory against the invading Huns.
- Yoda (Star Wars series, 1980-2005). Yoda is the Grand Master of the Jedi Order. But titles don’t matter to him. Yoda exemplifies humility. If Yoda had trained young Anakin Skywalker, the latter might have become a great servant-leader himself, not Darth Vader.
What do you think?
What fictional movie character would you nominate for a servant leadership Oscar?
Let us know.
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“A Spoonful of Sugar” is pretty good advice for communication, despite our most recent post: “Servant-Leaders Don’t Eat Sugar.”