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Jacquie Molloy guides senior leaders to develop and display leadership authority (what she calls Authoritas); helps Boards to discover the power (and imperative) of exploring differences of opinion through Debate; and shares the practices for personal authority, high-performing teams and cultural excellence with individuals and organisations so they can be Visible in all the right ways.

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Friday
Aug302013

Kevin Spacey is a god (and a communications hero)

I am a big fan of Kevin Spacey’s work — not a big shock given no-one could dispute that he is definitely one of the best actors of his generation. From Verbal (Usual Suspects) to Francis Underwood (House of Cards), the man does good work! But he also upped sticks and moved to London in 2003 to become the Artistic Director of the Old Vic Theatre, after he had championed fundraising events to save the theatre from going under — he took a left turn in his career rather than go straight ahead because he wanted to ‘do things now that are much bigger and outside himself’ … as if I needed any more reason to love him.

But wait, there’s more:

Last week at the Edinburgh International Television Festival, Kevin Spacey gave the 2013 James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture: the keynote address for the event. You should watch it. Really. It’s 44 minutes which, coincidentally, is the length of most hour-long TV episodes (minus the ads) and even less time than an HBO series episode. So you can find the time.

I’ve talked before about the value and importance of having ‘communications heroes’ — and that sometimes those heroes can come in the form of characters and creatives from TV and film and theatre. This lecture provides a little more real-time deconstruction of that thinking.

Because although Mr Spacey is talking about the television industry he’s also talking about, more universally, leadership and insight and innovation and mentoring and storytelling and being human.

He believes, as do I, that success can make you conservative. (Perversely, perhaps both a backlash to the overwhelm that can accompany the higher stakes that success leads to and a pretty human response to the comfort and security that success can bring.)

And he believes, as do I, that when you want to inspire engagement and innovation and creativity in those around you, it means you have to require the same of yourself.

What is the leap of faith you want, or need, to make?

He challenges his audience:

‘Despite how things are going for you, despite your own success, are you still disappointed in your own reach, your own bar of excellence, your own ambitions, your own creative courage?’

And one of the ways he asks his audience to think about addressing this state is through the mentoring and encouragement and support of others: ‘we can all send the elevator back down’.

Here’s the link to the lecture. Go watch it and then please let me know (by posting a comment) what it makes you think about and want more of. (Other than more seasons of Mad Men and True Blood and The Newsroom and House of Cards and Game of Thrones!!)

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