If you like movies and you’re in a position of leadership, this movie is a must see.
The protagonist, Monsieur Gustav, builds rock-solid commitment in everyone he touches at The Grand Budapest Hotel – one of the best films of 2014, in my opinion.
Here are 7 timeless lessons (with behavior + result) that we can learn from this fictive, but exemplary leader:
Lesson #1: Treat Others with Respect.
Behavior: Imprisoned with brutal thugs and murderers for a crime he did not commit, Gustave H. treats his fellow prisoners with respect, even earning the respect of the grisly (and artistically-gifted) gang leader.
Sample Gustav quote: “This is amazing work! Did you draw this Ludwig?”
Result: Ludwig includes him in his gang’s successful prison break plan.
Lesson #2: Fight for your People.
Behavior: To his own detriment, Gustave H. twice stands up to soldiers on the train for harassing Zero, an immigrant worker (& Gustave’s deputy) traveling without proper travel documents.
Sample Gustav quote: “Take your hands off my Lobby Boy!”
Result: Full and eternal loyalty from Zero.
Lesson #3: Treat Clients Well.
Behavior: Gustav H. makes his guests feel special by comforting them in their time of need (intimate room visits not recommended).
Result: He is left a priceless painting from a special patron and guest of the hotel.
Lesson #4: Know Your People.
Behavior: On unexpectedly meeting his new Lobby Boy, Gustave H. takes the time to interview/interrogate him and explain the rigorous demands and expectations on him as Lobby Boy. During the intense interview, he also gets a picture of Zero’s skill set…which incidentally needs urgent developing by Gustave himself.
Result: By knowing what is expected of him and why, Zero is fully engaged and committed to fulfilling the demands and expectations of the job.
According to Linda Hill and Kent Lineback, there are 7 things you should know about your people.
Lesson #5: Demand the Highest Standards.
Behavior: Eating night after night at a long, cramped table in a tiny back room, Gustave H. meticulously briefs his staff on how to maintain and improve the excellent service which is expected of them all.
Result: The hotel has an unparalleled reputation for service and quality.
Lesson #6: Build Your Network.
Behavior: Having exhausted all options while fleeing for his life after the prison break, Gustave H. contacts a secret society of fellow concierges for help.
Result: The well-connected network miraculously comes to his rescue.
This article from HBR provides practical tips on how to build your network.
Lesson #7: Live Your Values.
Behavior: Clothed in dirty rags after breaking out of prison, Gustav H. lives his value of good hygiene by generously spritzing himself at first chance with his beloved perfume.
Result: From then on, Lobby Boy and protégé Zero religiously follows his hygienic best practice.
For my FREE ADVICE on how to build a stronger commitment in your team, drop me a note and let's chat.