Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Leadership lessons from Arnold Schwarzenegger

I sometimes like to find leadership lessons in unusual places. Looking for leadership lessons through the lens of unexpected sources can be interesting and insightful.

Before he was governor of the 12th largest economy in the world (that's California, by the way), Arnold Schwarzenegger featured in a number of films in the 1980s. One example was Conan the Barbarian (1982), a sort of documentary-style drama (or is it a drama-style documentary?) about a young man who overcomes adversity to become a notable presence in the world. At least, I think it was like that. It was a while ago. But there is a narrator.

And it is through this film that Schwarzenegger (as Conan) shares his three leadership lessons, in answer to the question "What is best in life?" (YouTube)

Conan's three leadership lessons are actually goals, and framed within a vision that is clear enough so he will know when he has achieved them:
  1. Crush your enemies
  2. See them driven before you
  3. Hear the lamentation
(Also, today is April 1.)
photo: Conan the Barbarian (1982)

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