Station Management: Three for your Netflix List | TALKERS magazine - talk media trade : TALKERS magazine

Station Management: Three for your Netflix List

| May 16, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Forget those boring management training videos!  The acting is bad, and the situations are contrived.

Instead?  Rent these three Hollywood hits and share with your team.

Sexual Harassment:

See “Disclosure,” in which Demi Moore’s buff, ruthless executive hits on male subordinate Michael Douglas.  Author Michael Crichton (“Jurassic Park”) turned the tables by making a woman the unwanted aggressor.  And in doing so, he shows us one of industry’s more volatile issues from a different angle, one sure to sensitize your employees to nuances they might miss by examining the problem from the usual man-hassles-woman perspective.

This movie is a clinic.  Screen it with, or route it to, your staff, and they’ll come away better-prepared than they’d be by dry instructional videos, or seminars which make attendees uncomfortable, and merely talk about what this movie depicts so well.

Leadership 101 from “Bridge on the River Kwai”

Alec Guinness is Col. Nicholson, whose British battalion lands in a hellhole World War II prison camp, commanded by Sessue Hayakawa’s insufferable Col. Saito.

Ever felt hamstrung by a ballbuster boss?  Watch Nicholson triumph over adversity…by leadership.

Tattered, ragtag, and hobbled by injuries, his proud troops march into camp whistling that unforgettable theme.  Saito’s welcome: “ENGLISH PRISONERS!  NOTICE I DON’T SAY SOLDIERS!”  He trashes captured officers in front of their troops: “IT IS THEY WHO BROUGHT YOU HERE!”  But the Brits never drop their game face.

Hopelessly behind schedule building a bridge for Japanese troop trains, Saito threatens “I COULD HAVE YOU ALL SHOT!”  Nicholson coolly replies “THEN WHO WOULD BUILD YOUR BRIDGE?”  And he takes over the project and builds a better bridge, quicker, than Saito could have.  The wily English colonel winks to his officers “I KNOW OUR MEN.  IT’S ESSENTIAL THEY TAKE PRIDE IN THEIR JOBS” as he increases their workload beyond the Japanese quota.  Even the slacker American prisoner played by William Holden found new pride.

See this SEVEN-Oscar movie again.  It’ll show you how to lead your troops.

Sales: How Not To

Alec Baldwin had a bit part and played-it-to-the-hilt:  “PUT THAT COFFEE DOWN!  THAT COFFEE’S FOR CLOSERS!”

The late, great Jack Lemmon called Glengarry Glen Ross “the best film I’ve ever been in.”  And Al Pacino picked up an Oscar for his role, although everyone in the movie deserved a statue.

What Lemmon, Pacino, Baldwin, Ed Harris, and Kevin Spacey show us is “Death of a Salesman’s” Willie Loman in action.  To say more will spoil it for you.  Everyone in sales should see this powerful story.


Read/see/hear more at, and follow @HollandCooke on Twitter.  And meet HC at Talkers New York 2013 on Thursday, June 6.

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Category: Advice