When the leader is blinded by hate, the team will surely suffer. That has been proven true again and again, and don’t worry, you are not reading a blog post on career advice. It’s a movie review post, and the two movies that I have watched recently both reminded me of that simple yet hard to follow business principle.
The first example is Colonel Packard, the team leader of the team of soldiers borrowed to escort a group of scientists to an unknown and uncharted island. They thought it would be easy money, and they would be in and out in a flash, the last mission before going home. Man, how wrong were they. They got trapped in an unprecedented mess, faced with enemies far worse than what they had encountered before, and lost quite a lot of comrades within a blink of an eye.
That was when the mistake happened. Instead of sticking to the safe plan of going to the rendezvous point to leave the island as soon as they could, the leader of the team was blinded by the pain of seeing his men die right in front of him, and the hate of the creatures that had caused all those deaths. and decided to revenge. It was a grave decision, made hastily when the mind was not in a sound stage, driven by anger, and led to even more dire consequences. More losses, more disasters. More failures. And more pain.
Another wrong decision made by hate and rage could be found in War for the Planet of the Apes, the last episode in the recent remake Apes trilogy. Another setting, another battle, another decision, but the consequence was somewhat similar.
This time, the pain was even deeper, and the rage was burning much hotter. Therefore, the decision was faster and the consequence was even more serious. Driven by the loss of his family, Caesar decided to abandon his pack and go solo to seek revenge against the colonel (well, another colonel, why there are so many bad colonels in Hollywood movies? Is it some kind of prejudice against them?), and the decision led to both loss of lives of his pack and the long and hard suffering of those who had survived. It also led to his own suffering and torture. So, again, a bad decision, especially made by a leader, and followed by his team, has a lot of deep impact, both to himself and those who follow his order.
The message that I would like to bring across here is, be responsible with your decision. It’s bad to make wrong decision for yourself, and even worse if the decision needs to be carried out by others. So, be responsible and think clearly before making any decision, and never make them in a rush or a rage. Very likely that you will regret shortly after that. And sometimes, it’s almost impossible to turn back and undo the mistake. So, think carefully before stepping in.
Back to the movies. While Kong Skull Island was just so so, Apes 3 was actually quite good indeed. Kong relied too much on special effects to create a huge Kong and some nasty monsters, so the human became more like an add on, the same fate as those poor folks in the Transformers movies. They were merely put there as props, to highlight the battle between the creatures of the island, It was really a waste of talents like Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson and Samuel Jackson. Their screen time was quite limited, and their impact was minimal. In the end, it was just another empty monster movie, nothing more.
Apes 3 was different. It was built on a solid plot, with sufficient highlights of the conflicts between human and apes, the battle for survivor of their kind, and the thoughts that drive the groups to the final confrontation. The colonel wanted to protect his team and his principles, while Caesar just wanted to find a safe place for his pack to stay peacefully for a long time, away from all the guns and bullets of human. The paths collided, and mayhem ensued. The two leaders locked horns, both trying to defeat the others. In the end, the Apes triumphed, although the price to pay was really high. A good way to end the series, and a worthy tribute to Caesar.
By the way, the colonel in Apes 3 also made a grave mistake when he decided to nuclear against the rest of the army, built up his fortress and killed the sick human. The decision was also made blinded by pain, also a great one of family loss. And the consequence was even more dire: The downfall of all the human and the real planet of the apes. So, I hope I have stressed the message strong enough. It’s tempting to do, and it gives initial satisfaction, but even if the objective is achieved, normally it’s short lived, while the consequences are much more permanent and serious. And the price to pay is normally high, if not very high.