For the discerning eye, the movie Remember the Titans depicts an engrossing array of developing team structure, leadership and people skills. It is not just a movie about racially aggravated differences that plagued the high school football days of the 70s but also a vivid demonstration of how one can overcome those differences and make people from diverse backgrounds work as a team, engulfed in a captivating display of fine acting. Some elements of the movie are more than relevant from an organization point of view, and will be discussed below.
Reflection on the movie
The plot revolves around the recently integrated T.C Williams high school football team of Alexandria, Virginia in the 1970s, of which the newly appointed black coach Herman Boone, played by Denzel Washington, becomes an instant source of displeasure for fellow townsmen, team mates and former white coach Bill Yoast (Will Patton). Assigned to the first desegregated school in the state of Virginia, Coach Boone is thus delegated the daunting task of regrouping and reuniting the still racially de-motivated football team, coming to terms with the old coach and proving himself a worthy successor to Yoast. Boone sets about organizing the team via rigorous training so that the focus was more on the task at hand, i.e. winning the season and ultimately the state championship, rather than succumbing to individual differences influenced primarily by the color of their skin. By churning out a team that was successfully undefeated for the entire season amidst the battle of the races, Boone shows us how effective management and organizational skills along with mountains of commitment can produce a winning result. Having gone through the synopsis, certain scenes are worth a mention in their own right.
Coach Boone, being the central figure in the story, offers much to learn from. When Boone was to replace the previous white coach Bill Yoast, he offered Yoast the position of an assistant coach. This not only served to bring Yoast and the community in general into confidence, but also enabled the racially aggravated white players to continue performing on the pitch, on the ticket of loyalty to Yoast (the white coach in a predominantly white town). Boone then demonstrates a form of assertive leadership, more akin to dictatorship.
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