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Movie Review: Any Given Sunday
1. One of the key roles of every leader within a certain organization is to discover what motivates its associates in order to achieve the overall goals. The role of a leader is to bring the need of an individual in correlation with the goals of organization because in that way a group or an individual can be adequately motivated. In the case of the movie Any Given Sunday, the coach Tony D'Amato, is fully aware of the importance of motivation among his team players and uses it on every occasion when he needs to lift the spirit of players. D'Amato is aware that his team players depend on each other. Maslow defined that before arising to the next level of motivation, the previous need to be achieved. As there are five levels of needs (Physiological needs, Safety and security needs, Love and Social needs, Esteem Needs, and Self-actualization) each character in the movie is motivated towards achieved a certain need. Tony D'Amato is motivated towards achieving self-actualization. Once he was a famous coach, won a Super Bowl and now he is training a second class football team. D'Amato is not interested in money, fame or the need for belonging. All that he wants is to return to the old throne. However, along the way he realizes that it is not worth, so he withdraws from the public life at the end. The best team's quarterback, Jack “Cap” Rooney, suffers an injury and all that he wants is to return in team and lead it. The motives that lead him towards this goal can be defined by Maslow's hierarchy of needs as esteem needs. Rooney wants to feel appreciated and respected by others, so he works hard in order to make his way back to the team. On the other hand, Willie Beamen is motivated by the existence needs (safety and security needs and physiological needs). He is not interested in social relations or in being a team player). All that Beamen wants to do it to play football and indulge his own ego by ensuring a higher price for his play. Finally, the owner of club, Christina Pagniacci, is led towards achieving esteem needs. She was always been in the shadow of her father and now she has a chance to make a difference for the club. However, Pagniacci's methods are inhumane as she is prepared for everything is order to achieve her goals.
2. There are different leadership styles. Each style has a different approach. One of the early leadership approaches that were analyzed is trait approach. Trait approach of leadership includes physical characteristics, biographical data, intelligence, characters, ambitiousness, and social skills. As cited by Fleenor, "Leadership traits are considered to be enduring characteristics that people are born with and that remain relatively stable over time" (Fleenor 830). It seems that the coach Tony D'Amato posses all of these skills. Bearing on mind that he has been a coach for thirty years, it may be concluded that he obtained most of his skills during his long career. However, one of the main traits that each leader needs to have is honesty and integrity and D'Amato has developed these traits. This is why he enjoys the complete trust of his players. The same can be applied in the case of Jack “Cap” Rooney. He is a team player. They are aware of the fact that in order to successfully lead a team, the team players need to be aware that you are just one of them. D'Amato says: "You need to sacrifice" (Any Given Sunday). The two other characters in the move that are leaders are Christina Pagniacci and Willie Beamen. Christina Pagniacci is a learned leader. The viewers can see in her office the degrees in business administration. She learned the skills necessary to be a good leader but the team players do not trust her, because she is not honest in her intention and they do not feel that she is one of them, but she is above. In the case of Willie Beamen, even though he has a capacity to be a good team leader, he is still learning. At the beginning of the movie, he acts on his own, changes the tactic of the game, but as the time passes he realizes that by respecting other team players, he can achieve better results as an individual and as a part of the team.
3. There are two ways in which a leader can approach: transactional and transformational. In the case of the main characters in the movie Any Given Sunday, both approaches are noticed. The type of leadership that is noticed in Tony D'Amato is transformational leadership. In transformational leadership, the focus is on the leader's impact on its followers during which a leader motivates and inspires his followers. The viewers can notice this in motivational speeches of Tony D'Amato before the game and during the recesses. Transformational leaders tend to build a network of trust among team members by involving them in the process of decision. In this way D'Amato builds a strong relationship with team players. Transactional leadership can be noticed in the case of Christina Pagniacci. One of the main characteristics of transactional leadership is that it is based on the principle of exchange. This can be noticed in the example when Pagniacci organized a donation evening where she donated two hundred and fifty thousand dollars to the city of Miami and in return she expects from the mayor money for a new stadium. Transactional leadership is also used in the case of Willie Beamen. At the beginning, Willie Beamen feels that he is alone in the field and that every success occurs due to his own effort. In this character, the viewers can notice a gradual transition from transactional to transformational leadership. By the end of the movie, he becomes a transformational leader characterized by high social awareness and strong intellectual stimulation. The leadership style noticed in Jack “Cap” Rooney can be defined as transformational. Rooney understands and accepts the purpose and mission of the team and is prepared to withdraw when he sees that he cannot achieve his best for the team. In this way, he places the interest of the team above his own personal goals. For this reason, he enjoys trust of his fellow players and his coach, D'Amato.
4. Even though I still learn about how becomes a good and successful leader, I tend to believe that my leadership style is nearest to the leadership style of Tony D'Amato. His approach to team players is humane and emphatic. Every good leader should think about the consequences of his actions on the ones who are below him and be honest. In this way, he can extract the best from his team. However, one should not sacrifice others in order to achieve the higher goal. In this way, it might take longer for a goal to be achieved, but once you gain a respect and trust of a team, the results are inevitable. In the movie, D'Amato enjoys a great trust from his team players and they are free to complain about any disagreement within the team. One of the examples is when another player is complaining about Willie Beamen and his autocracy on the field.
5. According to the power leadership theory there are five sources of power. Christina Pagniacci as the owner of the club has legitimate or positional and coercive power. Green states that, "In the context of legitimate power, Yukl explains that authority is exercised by making a legitimate request, either verbally or in written form" (Green 55). Pagniacci's role enables her to maintain her power and impose her own decisions without consulting with the other members of the team. This can be seen when she fiercely enters in the last game into the locker-room and orders D'Amato to replace Rooney with Willie Beamen. The coercive power in Pagniacci is her ability to punish or reward team players. The source of power in the case of Tony D'Amato is expert power. According to Green, "Expert power is based on a knowledge differential between the leader and the target person. Rational persuasion is most effective when the target person shares the leader’s objectives" (Green 55). D'Amato has been a football coach for thirty years and has the skill and knowledge necessary for the team. The example when he decides not to interfere with the game where the players do not want to play a defense for Willie Beamen describes his experience in these types of situation. Beamen gets overrun by opposite team players and D'Amato just says, "Let him learn" (Any Given Sunday). The source of power in the character of Jack “Cap” Rooney is referent power. Rooney is a team player and respects his colleagues. In the case of referent power, the leader has the ability to build a loyalty in team and has a good personality. This trait can be noticed in Rooney in situations where he does not show jealousy towards Beamen, as opposite to Rooney's wife, but instead advices him and gives positive advices. Finally, the source of power in the case of Willie Beamen can be described as legitimate power. He is believes that he is an important figure and that this position enables him to behave as he wants without the consultation with other team members. Due to the injury of Rooney, Beamen believes that the gained position of quarterback enables him to change everything in the game.
Any Given Sunday, Directed by Oliver Stone, 1999.
Fleenor, John W. "Trait Approach to Leadership". Encyclopedia of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. 2006. SAGE Publications. 26. March 2015. Web. http://www.sagepub.com/northouseintro2e/study/chapter/encyclopedia/encyclopedia2.1.pdf
Green, R. Denis. "Leadership as a Function of Power". 1999. Proposal Management. 26. March 2015. Web. http://uthscsa.edu/gme/documents/LspasaFunctionofPower.pdf
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