More than words

While waters have flooded Queensland, some Australians with less on their minds have flooded cinemas and other venues. And in a week when public leaders have been exposed to rather more scrutiny than normal on the small screen, it’s strangely timely that the new film “The King’s Speech” has made its mark on the big one. This is a film about public leadership in alarming times, about capturing the trust of a nation or community, about leaders overcoming their frailties or being overcome by them. But it’s also about human friendship, whether between person and person or even between leader and nation.

While some watched this gripping drama featuring first class British actors, the nation watched the same drama featuring real life Australian leaders. Both versions spoke the same message: Leadership is about relationship much more than words. We don’t really want perfect leaders; we wouldn’t trust them. We’ll allow them to be frail if we have just enough opportunities to see that frailty won’t paralyse them when it most matters. We’ll let them be tough-minded, so long as once in a while their hearts touch ours. If their humanity can capture our hearts, they may just have our minds as well

Such has been the Bligh-Gillard story in the dawn of 2011.

Leading flick

A number of friends have raved on Twitter, Facebook and blogs about the new movie “The King’s Speech“, describing it as a must see. As a self-confessed film dork who bombs out on every movie-related trivia question, I wondered what the fuss was about. But having just returned from watching it with a family member, I wonder no more. It really is a must see! (And that from one who cinematically is essentially brain-dead.)

Anyone who finds themselves in leadership, feeling totally inadequate and/or wanting to run away, anyone close to such a person, and certainly anyone who in some sense mentors leaders, simply has to see this. The film well and truly “got to” me on all of those levels and more, at the end – not that I wasn’t gripped well before that.

For those who happen to be followers of Jesus, echoes of many human leaders in the Bible itself, and down through Christian history, leap out of many scenes. Open your Bible .. start with Moses .. swing over to Jeremiah, Samuel, Solomon, Peter .. close the Bible, and keep going. This would be a fabulous flick for a nervous leader and their new mentor to watch together.

Oh, and it even kindles a few sparks of Aussie pride (of the good kind) too. Perhaps a timely antidote to ashes melancholy …