Belief Changes Everything
We lost the iconic film critic Roger Ebert to cancer last week.
A wonderful human being, supremely talented writer, and arguably the greatest movie reviewer of all time.
But to me, Roger Ebert was a leader.
Which probably makes you think, “Really? Who worked for him?”
I have no idea.
And the question is irrelevant.
Because “boss” does not equal “leader.”
At least not today (if it ever did).
Ebert was a 21st century leader.
He understood people’s desires and beliefs.
And he moved them to act by painting compelling pictures.
As President Obama said, “He was effusive—capturing the unique power of the movies to take us somewhere magical.”
That’s the new paradigm of leadership.
Ebert never tried to persuade or entice us to watch a movie.
Instead, he created belief by exuding passion.
He was knowledgeable and enthusiastic about his work.
He created belief by controlling his impulses.
He was always positive and charming, never mean or cynical.
And he created belief by being one of us.
He wrote in his 2011 autobiography, that he considered himself “beneath everything else a fan.”
Ebert once told a friend, “All writing is a journey. You take the reader by the hand and you lead him somewhere. And you want to make sure he never lets go of your hand.”
That’s the modern art of leadership.
And Roger Ebert was one of the world’s greatest.
Because he moved millions to watch and appreciate the movies.
Ultimately, by simply displaying his brand.
“Two thumbs up.”
One of Ebert’s most enduring quotations was, “A movie is not what it is about but how it is about it.”
And today a leader is not what he is about but how he is about it.
I will miss the leadership of Roger Joseph Ebert.
Posted by Tom Asacker April 6, 2013