007 Leadership Skills we can Learn from 007 (James Bond)

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This is my 750th blog post on this blog and I wanted to write about something that I absolutely love. I absolutely love watching movies and have been a James Bond movie fan almost since the first time I watched him on screen (since Sir Sean Connery brought this to life).

I was watching the trailer of the latest movie in the franchise – No Time to Die and got reminiscing about all the different Bond movies that I have watched in the past. I am looking forward to watching this one sometime soon. You can watch the trailer here.

While I did that, I realised that there is a lot that we can learn about being a leader from this character. Here are 7 things that we can learn about being a leader from James Bond.

Accepting of the past:

The most basic and probably important thing we can learn from James Bond is his ability to accept whatever has happened and move on. There is no questioning what has already happened. There is no “why does this always happen to me”. He just accepts what has happened and keeps moving ahead. He doesn’t react to events but responds to them. He always has agency and owns his actions.

Calm under pressure:

Every bond movie ever made has him put under immense pressure to save the world, from some very powerful villains. He doesn’t flinch under pressure. He stays calm and present in the moment. He does not allow the pressure to get to him because he knows that the one thing that will ensure failure is letting the pressure affect him and his ability make critical decision under pressure.

Clearheaded:

The reason why he can remain calm under pressure is probably because he is clearheaded. He knows exactly what is expected of him. He knows himself and his capability well. He also knows his limitations very well. He knows what he is to achieve. He knows what he wants. He also knows what he does not want. All this clarity enables him to remain clear headed.

Comfortable with Ambiguity:

He always (almost) finds himself in the middle of a plot that could have serious repercussions if he doesn’t do his job. He never has access to complete information about what is going on. He only has partial information and a whole lot of ambiguity about what to expect from the villain. This ambiguity doesn’t stop him from making decisions.

He takes decisive action based on the information that he has access to. He has learnt to pose good questions to his team. He has learnt to trust his judgement and the judgement of his teams. He also makes cognitive leaps and is able to connect the dots quickly, as the situation unfolds.

Confident:

All the past success, all the training that he has been at, has given him an unreasonable amount of confidence on himself and his ability to handle anything that is given to him. He is confidence personified, even if he knows that he doesn’t have all the information that is needed. Even when is not fully sure of how he will save the world, but he knows that he will figure it out, with his team.

Competent:

The confidence comes from the foundation of competence. The very fact that he is a 007 tells us that he is not unlike the others. The very fact that he has a license to kill tells us that his character and competence is unquestionable. All the hours of training and action in the field proves his competence, both to himself and his team. The entire team trusts him and his judgement (competence and character).

Charming:

All the above qualities, when combined with an impeccable sense of style, makes him extremely charming. He can charm his way out of many a tricky situation. His charm works to his advantage when is able to influence people that he comes into contact with.

In Conclusion:

In conclusion, all I would say is (in the tradition of Bruce Lee) – “Be like Bond, my friend”

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