The position of a leader is an instrumental part for a team and an organization. An individual with power can help build a team that grows and achieve lasting change. Under the wrong circumstances, a pseudo leader will abuse the hierarchal system and treat followers unequally. The film industry is one of many work environments that demonstrate the variations of leadership. It is a field that thrives on the talent from creative artists around the world. Genuine leaders will know how to utilize creativity and avoid putting limitations on it for personal gain. The 2018 year will be remembered for the prominent changes the film industry made with leadership roles.
Greta Gerwig is a rising director who has used her vision to make an impact with movies. She has used strategies from the situational approach to adapt to the testosterone soaked industry. Based on statistics, women accounted for 8% of directors working on the top 250 films in 2018 (Lauzen, M). While the gender gap is unequal, Greta proved that her directorial style is effective in a male dominated industry. Her leadership style is defined through a coaching style. The high directive-high supportive style focuses on communication to achieve an instrumental goal (Northouse, 2016). In 2018, Greta led a production crew for her sophomore film Little Women. The coaching style has leaders communicating with different followers about their input. While directors are talented individuals, they cannot do everything by themselves. They have to work with cinematographers, actors, sound engineers, and costume designers. Collaboration is a valued part of the filmmaking process. However, similar to directors, the coaching style has leaders making the final decision.
Based on the end product, Greta was working with D4 followers that have a high degree of determination. One of the strengths that situation leadership has is that it emphasizes leadership flexibility (Northouse, 2016). A leader can change their style when followers do not meet the requirements of a goal. The director of a film must always make sure their staff understands the vision they want to achieve. Leaders will know how to approach each person in a department, and ensure every person is doing their job appropriately. Little Women became a profitable success by surpassing its 40 million budget, and making over 163 million at the box office. Greta’s success as a leader can also be attributed to the transformational leadership approach. She has transitioned from being an unknown indie actor to an Oscar nominated director. Her movies have become a representation of the influence women can have in the history of filmmaking. It has also raised concerns and awareness about the dangers of gender bias. Transformational leadership challenges followers to do more than what is expected of them. Her ascent to directing has raised the hopes for young aspiring female artist to pursuit their dreams in the field. The financial success of a movie plays a minimal role when there is bigger vision for the future.
Greta is one of many new artists that are tackling the constant battle of diversity in the film industry. Their leadership styles are a response to the transactional style of leadership that runs Hollywood. The downfall of pseudo leaders like Harvey Weinstein are a testament to the changes society is making. Followers have grown tired of the coercive power approach, and want to work in an environment where people can share positive ideas. The creative process should be void of preconceived thoughts, and be free to allow artistic expression.
Lauzen, M. (2018) The Celluloid Ceiling: Behind the scenes employment of women on the top 100, 250, and 500 films of 2019. Celluloid Ceiling.
Northouse, P. (2016). Leadership Theory and Practice. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.