Leadership Lessons from “The Kings Speech”

Larry Tucker

I finally watched “The King’s Speech” the other night. Was I the last one in America to see this Oscar winning epic? You probably recall that this is the story of England’s King George VI, his difficulties communicating because of a stammer and his unorthodox speech coach, Lionel Logue.

As I was thinking through what I learned from the movie, I stumbled on a blog by Dennis and Michelle Reina: “What Every Leader Can Learn from ‘The King’s Speech’“. The article focuses on how leaders need to feel comfortable getting help.

In the movie, the King was especially lucky because his wife, the Duchess of York, not only introduced him to Logue, she relentlessly encouraged him to continue therapy, even when he quit out of frustration with his lack of progress. Most of us must singlehandedly take the initiative to discover our own weaknesses and then have the discipline to seek help.

When I was in a coaching session with a nonprofit leader the other day, I inquired why she wasn’t selected for the organization’s top position. She hadn’t asked. Despite her disappointment, she seemed unwilling to learn the truth about her shortcomings. One thing I’ve learned over the years: If someone didn’t get a promotion or was fired or demoted, it probably wasn’t “just politics”.

My tip for today: If you’re an executive director, make sure you know exactly what your board feels are your strengths and weaknesses. Then get help.

Author:  Larry Tucker,  Executive Coaches of Orange County,  www.ECofOC.org