Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Dominic Toretto Style of Managment (Really!)

When my husband took me to see The Fast and the Furious thirteen years ago, I thought it was going to be some dumb action movie with cars and explosions. It turned out to have a lot more than that! I love the film franchise and we saw Fast and Furious 6 on opening weekend. After watching the movie, I realized just how much depth this one has. Spoilers after the picture, so be warned!

Copyright 2013 Universal Pictures

What impresses me most about this movie is what an excellent team leader Dominic Toretto is, even if, uh, he's in the business of heists. A few years ago I read a lot of business and team type books and a lot seemed familiar there on the big screen. Let's see...

Dom doesn't throw his people under a bus. Ah, just had to get that one out of the way first! Owen Shaw, who leads the rival crew, doesn't hesitate to sacrifice his team members to get ahead. He even says that people are expendable and only ever get one mistake. People are just parts to Shaw, to be used and replaced. Instead, Dom unites his team under the idea of family (his mission statement, oft repeated), and family is often complicated as we see in...

One of the plot lines involves the reappearance of his old girlfriend. Letty wasn't killed as everyone thought she was in the fourth movie. It turns out she has amnesia and is working with the baddies. She is eventually welcomed back on Dom's crew after he catches her. Even if Letty did shoot him in the shoulder earlier in the movie, Dom understands the power of forgiveness. Sure, he could hold a huge grudge against her just for that, but soon after he approaches Letty with a positive assumption, even when he totally doesn't know what happened. And he gets the desired results - Letty chooses to stick with Dom, even if she doesn't totally remember their relationship.

As the fifth movie clearly showed, Dom knows there is no I in team. Most action movies feature one central character that can do it all, and it's usually one man against the world. Dom is a pretty strong dude, but he can't pull off heists by himself. He gets the help he needs from experts (regardless of their gender) and gives them all his trust and what they need to do their job. And because of that...

Dom attracts and keeps A-players. If you read any sort of business literature, you may have heard this term before - A-players are the people that close the deals and tend to be outstanding. Everyone wants top talent, and Dom's people are all very good at what they do, from improvising on the fly, hacking computers or racing cars.

So there you have it! Fast and Furious has brains as well as brawn :)

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