Wednesday, July 13, 2011

It is our choices that show what we truly are,
far more than our abilities.
- Albus Dumbledore in  
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, 1999

Maybe you’ve heard.  The last movie in the Harry Potter series premieres this weekend: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2.  I’ll admit, I’m excited to see it—albeit, as a movie purist, in good old-fashioned 2D. (Ralph Fiennes is creepy enough as Voldemort—I don’t need him waving his wand directly in my face!)

Google “Harry Potter and leadership” and a myriad of articles, blog postings, and websites will come up, from trite numerical lists of the “leadership lessons” one might learn from young Mr. Potter to more nuanced deconstructions of characters’ choices and the outcomes. 

My goal isn’t to add anything new to the Potter/leadership lexicon.  Enough has been written.  What I’m suggesting instead is a leadership conversation.   So, after you see HDPH2, why don’t you start one?  When you’ve talked all the talk about whether or not you liked it and how close it was to the book and what they adapted well and what they did not, turn to your movie-going cohort and ask some different questions.  Try this one: “Was Harry Potter a leader, a hero, or both?  How about Neville? Ginny? Why or why not?” Or how about: “What values hold Harry, Hermione, and Ron together?” Or how about: “What wisdom does Dumbledore share with Harry throughout the series that holds true for us too?” And here’s a big one: “How is the Harry Potter series a metaphor for what we experience in our own leadership learning and practice?”

Now make up a few questions of your own!  We'd love to hear what you come up with—both the questions and the conversations.  Drop us a comment and let us know...

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