On a movie set: A lesson in Leadership

I just recently returned from visiting on the set of the new Tom Cruise movie ONE SHOT being filmed in Pittsburgh, Pa. It was an educational and enlightening experience on many levels and reminded me of the incredible leadership and teamwork it takes to make a movie. In fact, making a film serves as the most potent metaphor I know for both leadership and teamwork. From the outside, a motion picture set appears to be controlled chaos but when the curtain is pulled aside, it is anything but.
Like any successful organization, it all starts with the leadership. The vision, the energy, the drive and the commitment or lack thereof, will always flow from leadership. In the case of ONE SHOT, the energy and direction stems from three sources. The first is the producer, Don Granger. He began working on this project years ago and through persistence, created the playing field. He secured the rights from the best-selling author Lee Child and convinced Lee to let him pursue creating a film from his book. Don is also the one who assembled the creative team and manages the budget – and he is brilliant at his job.
Don then brought aboard Oscar-winning writer/director, Christopher McQuarrie and secured Tom Cruise as the lead. This team is magnificent to watch. Tom’s incredible energy and generosity as an actor ignites the entire cast and crew for hours on end. Chris’s excellent direction guides and inspire the actors to excellence.
It really was an inspiring site to behold. Even I came away with an infusion of creative energy.