Good Example Of Movie Review On Movie: “Dead Poets Society” Analysis Of Leadership Management

Type of paper: Movie Review

Topic: Leadership, Business, Management, Death, Literature, Human, Education, Students

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2020/09/11

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

– Robert Frost poem, “The Road Not Taken”
Scores of lessons can be acquired from watching particularly well-crafted films and movies, whether based on true stories or not, and learn a great deal that can be applied to life or business management. The film Dead Poets Society harbors several moments worthy of being regarded as life-changing vignettes. Briefly, the recently late Robin Williams plays the key role of a teacher in an upper crust school for boys bound for the ‘Ivy League’ colleges amidst all the real-life dramas (and traumas) one may expect from young men coming of age, and searching for their place in the world. To cursory summarize the tale, one character Neil is constantly being brown-beaten by his cold, harshly dominant father who stifles the boy’s quest to pursue his true dream and talent – of acting in theater arts, rather than seeking a profession as a medical doctor. Neil is at first, exuberantly inspired by his teacher (Mr. Keating, Williams’ character) to explore his passion in life but becomes so emotionally distraught, and beaten down by his father with negativity, that he commits suicide. Of course, this is extreme.
Yet key clues of winning leadership traits, personality, and complex situational circumstances form the bedrock of meaning in this movie. Psychogios and Garev (2012) from their investigation into leadership behavior theorize, from their study of small business environments, that roles/patterns are complex. They state of their data collection strategy, that “face-to-face in-depth interviews” allows for “personal” interactions with respondents, thereby “eliciting highly contextual information” (p. 9). In other words, this mode of collection allowed the curious researchers to better understand the different stories of each manager.
It appears as though the leadership personality of Mr. Keating, in Dead Poets Society, allows him to be flexible enough to guide his young, academic cohorts into the crucial recognition of how important it is to critically think for oneself. Keating’s teaching methods portray an unorthodox – yet effective, and caring – manner of presenting the meaning of English and poetry. A black-and-white photograph of Walt Whitman, whose poem famously echoes the mourning of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln cues a center-point for thought. One noteworthy leadership trait depicts Keating as deeply caring for individuals. Another trait shows how Keating is willing to motivate by example, and lead by participation to inspire, rather than dictate. Although the official motto of the boarding school include four admonitions (vision, honor, discipline, and excellence) the hypocritical staunchness of the administrators clearly demonstrates to the students that those who run the school primarily give less than a damn about the boys – as human beings.
Effective leadership styles in management must render a proper evaluation of human capital. In other words: people matter. Human beings count because they are your most precious resources for any organizational success. For example, CEO Hamdi Ulukaya of the Chobani (Yogurt Company) states “I built the company based on people, not on experience from before. They were willing to learn and try anything. We had a bunch of people who had never done this before. None of us had run companiesChobani not only became a business that grew, but Chobani was like a school” (p. 8). Therefore, another trait represented by Keating exemplified having a fresh attitude that everyone is learning, everyone’s pro-active participation is valuable, because every member can grow and contribute to the larger collective goal of success. In the movie, despite that Keating was the main leader two student characters – Todd and Neil – both reflected tremendous integrity and promise of leadership in their traits. While it is true that Neil ended up committing suicide, he courageously pursued his dream of acting to star in the school’s most important dramatic play of Macbeth, delivering an amazing performance. His gifts were clear to all, except his father.
Also, in the small group of boys’ quest to have something important of their own, mimicking Keating’s prior explorations in his youth, they treasured their secret meetings in a glen’s cave at night to passionately read poetry. Innovation marks the spot here. The character of Neil, once again, steps to the plate and adopted the role of leader in presiding over the meetings. Everyone loved him because he was a caring leader, unpretentious, and gently guided the group into an organically molded system. In other words, Neil created an atmosphere of comfort and acceptance for each person to express his ideas. The character played by Ethan Hawke, Todd Anderson, grew the most since he started out as a highly self-conscious, shy, and obviously withdrawn person. Todd’s leadership traits and skills emerge with the difficulties, pressures, and most admirably rises at the suicidal death of Neil. The effect of all three leaders in the movie emotionally inspired others to take action and realize the importance of thinking for oneself, while negotiating realistic boundaries of real-world society.
The situation of Neil’s death served as a wake-up call for Keating, and especially the boys in the Dead-Poets club. The role played by this situation taught them profound lessons in the factors of: (a) time is short, (b) everybody is human, (c) each individual has a responsibility, and (d) leadership must be compassionate, and must be done with commitment and courage. In an article on the evaluation of various leadership styles in business management Chereches, et al. (2011) rightly insists that “leadership is an important component of human resource management and integrating role” and that choosing the right person leads to an improvement in organizational performance (p. 1343). Some influential factors of leadership styles they name, critical to effectiveness, include a person’s training, characteristics, and the situation one is engaged within. At this juncture of the discussion, leadership does require much hard work, dedication, sincerity, and “outstanding energy,” as Chereches, et al. inform (p. 1343). Risks, difficulties, and even failures additionally form the landscape of business leadership.
Gingerly wielding a wise balance of unconventional approaches, with traditionally held theories consolidates the best outcome. While everyone’s voice should be heard and appreciated, orderliness must also co-exist in the environment. A common-sense fact dictates that human beings who are not respected, will ridicule and disdain management behind their backs, much in the same way as the boys created their own unofficial motto in answer to the vision-honor-discipline-excellence motto of the school. Two of theirs were ‘decadence’ and ‘excrement.’ The lesson for management leadership herein identify the fact that people will rebel when their ideas, and creative input of expressions become suffocated. In observation of Dead Poets Society, as an exercise in business leadership awareness in management, this writer would have gleefully preferred to work for either of the three leaders exhibited in the main characters: Mr. Keating, Neil, or Todd. The philosophies and attributes inspected give excellent lessons for life and business leadership.
In conclusion, a particularly noteworthy style and example of business leadership is that of the mentor style, which instructed its values so well in the film. Tony Dungy (2010) in his marvelous book entitled ‘The Mentor Leader’ magnificently outlines numerous pros of leading by caring for individuals’ best – whether in life performance, or organizational participation. Dungy (2010) says “Unity of purpose and a desire to make other people better must start at the top if these goals are going to ripple through an entire organization. But, unfortunately, the opposite is equally true. I think we’ve all seen examples of the head coach who sits down at the table in the media room after the game, still basking in the afterglow of the big win” (p. 2). As a gentleman who has experienced unparalleled success in his football career (as player and coach) Dungy’s words are not to be taken lightly. The headmaster of the Welton Academy in Dead Poets Society likewise “basked” in the fine reputation of the school, but selected a style of dictatorship rather than to lead by inspiration, like Keating did. You cannot help but contemplate the complexity involved in balanced, effective leadership management qualities by watching the film. Aspects of corporate culture, ethics, philosophy, authority, and responsibility come to mind. Perhaps, ‘The Road Less Taken’ by Robert Frost should be taken to heart and read aloud by every manager endeavoring to foster better organizations when dealing with human capital. Creativity, understanding, and a collective sense of growth and discovery imbue important considerations for business managers.


Dead Poets Society [Motion Picture]. (1998). Touchstone Home Video: *{viewed via
YouTube purchase}.
Dungy, T. (2010). The Mentor Leader. Carol Stream: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
Chereches, C., Toader, R. Radulescu, C.M., Zima, L.A., & Sabou, S. (2011). Business strategies
Regarding the evaluation of leadership styles. Annals Of DAMM & Proceedings, 1343-
Koury, L. (2013). Leadership Styles. Smart Business Houston, 9(5), 8-11.
Poetry Foundation. (2014). The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost [data file]. Retrieved from
Psychogio, A.G., & Garev, S. (2012). Understanding complexity leadership behavior in SMEs:
Lessons from a turbulent business environment. Emergence: Complexity & Organization,
14(3), 1-22.

Cite this page
Choose cite format:
  • APA
  • MLA
  • Harvard
  • Vancouver
  • Chicago
  • ASA
  • IEEE
  • AMA
WePapers. (2020, September, 11) Good Example Of Movie Review On Movie: “Dead Poets Society” Analysis Of Leadership Management. Retrieved December 04, 2023, from
"Good Example Of Movie Review On Movie: “Dead Poets Society” Analysis Of Leadership Management." WePapers, 11 Sep. 2020, Accessed 04 December 2023.
WePapers. 2020. Good Example Of Movie Review On Movie: “Dead Poets Society” Analysis Of Leadership Management., viewed December 04 2023, <>
WePapers. Good Example Of Movie Review On Movie: “Dead Poets Society” Analysis Of Leadership Management. [Internet]. September 2020. [Accessed December 04, 2023]. Available from:
"Good Example Of Movie Review On Movie: “Dead Poets Society” Analysis Of Leadership Management." WePapers, Sep 11, 2020. Accessed December 04, 2023.
WePapers. 2020. "Good Example Of Movie Review On Movie: “Dead Poets Society” Analysis Of Leadership Management." Free Essay Examples - Retrieved December 04, 2023. (
"Good Example Of Movie Review On Movie: “Dead Poets Society” Analysis Of Leadership Management," Free Essay Examples -, 11-Sep-2020. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 04-Dec-2023].
Good Example Of Movie Review On Movie: “Dead Poets Society” Analysis Of Leadership Management. Free Essay Examples - Published Sep 11, 2020. Accessed December 04, 2023.

Share with friends using:

Related Premium Essays
Contact us
Chat now