Gotta love Twitter. After responding to the National Association of Hispanic Journalists South Florida‘s tweet, I received 2 free tickets to the pre-screening of Argo - released in theaters today – the Ben Affleck film about the six diplomats rescued during the Iranian hostage crisis (read here for a review).
The movie in one word: intense. Based on a true story (and mostly factually accurate), the tension was artfully crafted, from the opening scene in Tehran when the U.S. embassy was seized to the nail-biting end as the diplomats are disguised as a film crew and attempt to escape through Iran’s military security at the airport.
And, just in case you’re wondering, the title of this post is the most repeated one-liner of the movie. Just saying.
For your reading pleasure, here are the lessons I learned from this movie-going experience:
1. The “Canadian Caper” exemplified the importance of international collaborations.With their lives at risk during the Iranian riots and mounting paramilitary violence, it was the Canadian government, including its ambassador, who collaborated with the U.S. government and CIA in order to rescue the diplomats.
In short, we work better together when we are aligned with a common purpose. In Argo, each diplomat had a role to play in the cover of the fake movie in order to make it out alive – the scriptwriter, producer, director, production assistant. They were each responsible for knowing their role and together they pooled their talents to accomplish their shared purpose of getting out alive.
2. It took strong leadership to do the right thing. In the movie, Tony Mendez, a Latino CIA officer (played by Affleck) made several difficult choices, the most pointed one of which was to defy U.S. orders to call off the rescue by taking the diplomats through the airport.
Whether that really happened or not, the lesson is clear: good leaders have to make tough choices and we certainly don’t always know the outcome. Mendez made a tough choice when he was presented with the challenge of obeying orders and going home or standing up and fight.
He chose hope.
A little note on networking:
After the winners were announced, I tweeted to the group that I would love to meet them. The winners included reporters for The Miami Herald and Coral Gables TV (@VeroReport, @RoblesHerald, @CarolRosenberg). I was not going pass up the opportunity to connect with people in my field of interest!
I introduced myself and mentioned how cool it was to actually meet them in person. I said I was interested in journalism and would love to connect with them after the movie. Turned out that one of the reporters is a University of Miami alum (I currently work there and am in the process of applying to transfer).
Get out of your comfort zone (in my case, that meant my seat). You will surprise yourself.
What teams are you part of? What common purpose do you share? Have you made tough choices without knowing the outcome?