BySamanga Amarasinghe
 Rambo  a returning Special Forces                                       veteran is exposed to the realities             ...
 Themovie begins with John J                                       Rambo, searching for one of his                       ...
   Despite being saddened by the news                                              and realizing he was the only         ...
 All Rambo wanted as he asked Sheriff Will Teasle (Brian Dennehy) while being spotted and escorted out of the town was “s...
 Butthe authoritarian type Sheriff                                              would not hear of it, instead            ...
   Teasle arrest Rambo for not                                                complying with him and                     ...
Source : Author Obtained from Rambo First                        Blood Movie, 1982   Subsequently Rambo who was once a PO...
    After Rambo’s escape from the                                    sheriff’s department what follows is                ...
•   What started as a hurting, lost and                                               lonely human trying to find some    ...
   Defined as “the formal framework by which job                                    tasks are divided and grouped and    ...
“If one of my deputies... gets out of                                                  line with a prisoner then the priso...
   Will Teasle, himself was also insecure of his    leadership, and was paranoid, also he believed    that the LAW was hi...
Colonel Trautman                             Rambo                          Ortega,   Barry                               ...
Will Teasle                                                      Sgt. Arthur GaultDeputy Mitch               Deputy Ward  ...
Source : Author Obtained from Sri                                            Lanka Army Official Site   Organizational cu...
   Same times It involved lots of trust and dependability                                 as a member of Rambo’s organiza...
   As stated by Edward Maguire, the    organizational culture of a Police force    can be seen as a place Where the    ch...
   Since it is not military like Rambo’s the sheriff’s                                    department is linked with a civ...
   As the sheriff Will has big responsibility for                                   the community and human links therefo...
   Rambo was also given an                                                      Organizational challenge, what           ...
   Will was self motivated for the wrong reasons, hence    he couldn’t motivate others they were not motivated    to do t...
Source : Author From Obtained from Rambo First Blood Movie 1982.   Colonel Trautman was the only one that was able to mot...
 “His   friends dying in front of                                              him and the way he was                    ...
   Communication being a big part of any                                         organization and it’s success Lack of   ...
   Failed to communicate with his teams in                                         getting the given task by doing the ri...
   No one cared or communicated properly with                                         Rambo until colonel Trutman arrived...
   Throughout the movie we see that the sheriff’s                                         department despite trained bein...
   Rambo called to do what he was trained to do                                         and done many years before 1982, ...
   Stress Explained by Dr. Hans Selye to be “A                                          response our bodies let out when ...
   Being exposed to the brutalities in                                         Vietnam as a POW and in the Jail when     ...
   The colonel however, never seemed stressed                                         despite in many ocations as the tim...
   Due to Lack of communication and Hierarchical Based    leadership, what was a simple problem of a out of Towner in a  ...
While leaders do the right thing, Manager do things “ Right” .
1.   Bickerstaff, L. (2008). Stress. New south Wales: ReadhowYouwant     Publications.2.   Blanchard, K. (2007). Leading a...
   Maguire, E. R. (2003). Organizational structure in American police    agencies. Albany: New York State University Pres...
   Poole, M. S. (2000). Organizational change and innovation    processes: theory and methods for research. New York: Oxf...
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What can Rambo Teach us about Leadership?

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A presentation on Leadership and Group Leadership based on the Movie Rambo First Blood.

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What can Rambo Teach us about Leadership?

  1. 1. BySamanga Amarasinghe
  2. 2.  Rambo a returning Special Forces veteran is exposed to the realities of post war United States, the movie is set in 1982, in small town called Hope WashingtonSource : Author Obtained from RamboMovie (Kotcheff, 1982).
  3. 3.  Themovie begins with John J Rambo, searching for one of his combat buddies named Delmare Berry,  Upon locating his house RamboSource : Author Obtained from Rambo finds out that Delmare berry hadMovie died the previous year from cancer as a side effect of “agent orange” (Kotcheff, 1982).
  4. 4.  Despite being saddened by the news and realizing he was the only surviving member of his platoon, Rambo continues on and come across the small town of “Hope” with its badly managed sheriff’s department and the deputies.  The Sheriffs uses extensive force inSource : Author Obtained from The WhiteHouse Commission on Remembrance, trying to subdue Rambo to complyWebsite with the false arrest on the charges of “Resisting Arrest and Vagrancy” (Database, 2010).
  5. 5.  All Rambo wanted as he asked Sheriff Will Teasle (Brian Dennehy) while being spotted and escorted out of the town was “something to eat” (Kotcheff, 1982).
  6. 6.  Butthe authoritarian type Sheriff would not hear of it, instead gives his story on how “ Town of Hope Hope is a small town, and it would be boring for Rambo.  Additionally how he as the sheriff is paid to keep it that Source : Author Obtained from Rambo First Blood Movie 1982. way”, furthermore he indicates that “Drifters” as Rambo are unwanted by telling him to go to a dinner 30 miles away to eat something (Kotcheff, 1982).Source : Author Obtained from Rambo FirstBlood Movie 1982.
  7. 7.  Teasle arrest Rambo for not complying with him and returning to town.  Then at the sheriff’s department an old school sergeant sheriff named Art Galt (Jack Starrett)in trying to assert his ownSource : Author Obtained from Rambo FirstBlood Movie, 1982 authority use excessive force against Rambo in trying to get the “paperwork done”(Kotcheff, 1982).
  8. 8. Source : Author Obtained from Rambo First Blood Movie, 1982 Subsequently Rambo who was once a POW (Prisoner of War) in Vietnam and was suffering from PTSD, due to ongoing harassment from Galt and the other deputies through verbal threats, to physical abuse reach a climax and escape from captivity as Deputy Mitch said “ Like a Ghost” (Kotcheff, 1982).
  9. 9.  After Rambo’s escape from the sheriff’s department what follows is a tug war between the sheriff’s department trying to restrain Rambo and Rambo using all his expertise as a CQC (Close Quarters Combat) specialist and a Jungle warfare specialist to escape the perusingSource : Author Obtained fromRambo First Blood Movie, 1982 sheriffs who are by now using excessive force which include firearms (Kotcheff, 1982).
  10. 10. • What started as a hurting, lost and lonely human trying to find some food on his journey ended as a millions of dollars worth property damage, numerous casualties and the Source : Author ‘s Personal Collection loss of a life. • Giving a great theme to observe the effects of Organizational management gone wrong due to lack of communication, leadership failures and pyramid based hierarchical system (Hesselbein &Source : Sri Lanka Special Task force Cohen, 1999).Official Website
  11. 11.  Defined as “the formal framework by which job tasks are divided and grouped and coordinated” (Caplow, 1964).  Rambo comes from a very tight knit organizational background with Colonel Trautman as the CEO, however this organization empowers an individual to act and do whatever it takes to get the job done, which Rambo did very well.  “In Vietnam his job was to dispose of enemy personnel. To kill! Period! Win by attrition. WellSource : Author Obtained from Rambo was the best” (Kotcheff, 1982).Rambo First Blood Movie 1982.
  12. 12. “If one of my deputies... gets out of line with a prisoner then the prisoner comes to me with it. And if I find out its like he says I kick the deputys ass! ME! The LAW!” (Kotcheff, 1982).Source : Author Obtained from Rambo First BloodMovie 1982. As Blanchard stated the sheriff’s department was full of “Quakers” quaking to the top (Blanchard, 2007). Everyone was given a chance to correct problem before it went out of hand, but except for Mitch (David Caruso) who questioned the methods of handling the issue everyone else just obeyed to do things right (Williams, 1999).
  13. 13.  Will Teasle, himself was also insecure of his leadership, and was paranoid, also he believed that the LAW was him (Kotcheff, 1982). As the leader of the sheriff’s department, he didn’t report to anyone but everyone else reported to him which was a very Transactional Form of leadership MBE ( Manage by exception), Manage by Contingent reward (Northhouse, 2010). Has the ancient pyramid based hierarchy than the Wheel of fortune typed organization chart where everyone is interdependent and the CEO has the least power as it is delegated (Hesselbein & Cohen, 1999).
  14. 14. Colonel Trautman Rambo Ortega, Barry Krakauer Baker Team Leader Messner, Jurgensen N Coletta Source : designed by Author From the Information Obtained from Rambo First Blood Movie 1982.In combat all are equally relied all inputs are valid, and all decisions are made together , as each carry a different specialty and all need to be united to accomplish a Task or Mission (Robinson, 2004).
  15. 15. Will Teasle Sgt. Arthur GaultDeputy Mitch Deputy Ward Deputy Lester Deputy Kern Source : designed by Author From the Information Obtained from Rambo First Blood Movie 1982.
  16. 16. Source : Author Obtained from Sri Lanka Army Official Site Organizational culture according Joanne Martin is “ how things are done around here” in other words the way which the officers are arranged, jokes they say, how much personal items are involved, and in simple the work atmosphere (Martin, 2002). Rambo’s organizational culture involved jungle, and camaraderie as he was part of the special forces during Vietnam, also this culture also involved being able withstand what any other person would call pain in any form (Moore & Csrnko, 2007).
  17. 17.  Same times It involved lots of trust and dependability as a member of Rambo’s organization trust, dependability, survival is the baseline, as if you cannot depend of your team mate, or trust your team mate in a foreign jungle, along to finish a mission (Task) a life can be at risk (Robinson, 2004).  “An expert in guerrilla warfare, with a man whos theSource : Authors Personal best, with guns, with knives, with his bare hands. ACollection, PSD Training man whos been trained to ignore pain, ignore weather, to live off the land, to eat things that would make a Billy goat puke” (Database, 2010).  “FOR YOU! For me civilian life is nothing! In the field we had a code of honor, you watch my back, I watch yours. Back here theres nothing!” (Database, 2010).
  18. 18.  As stated by Edward Maguire, the organizational culture of a Police force can be seen as a place Where the chiefs rely on a rigid system of centralized internal control. In many cases not receiving support from their reporting authorities as the political power, a police chief is compelled to walk a thin line between internal and external control (Maguire, 2003). Organization cultural flow moves through lots of Bureaucracy, everything is paperwork as Maguire quotes “Bureaucratic centralization of command and control” (Maguire, 2003).
  19. 19.  Since it is not military like Rambo’s the sheriff’s department is linked with a civilian type life and a small level of militaristic mannerisms such as reporting to authority, use of authority which as in the case of the movie makes for bad leadership methods as too much directive support, or more task orientation (Northhouse, 2010) (Maguire, 2003).  “You think this kid just waltzed into town,Source : Author Obtained from announced he was a Medal of Honor winner, andRambo First Blood Movie 1982. then I just leaned on him for the hell of it? I tried to do him a favor; I treated him like he was one of my neighbors kids. I did my job, Dave; I booked him for vagrancy and resisting arrest” (Kotcheff, 1982).
  20. 20.  As the sheriff Will has big responsibility for the community and human links therefore one can argue that he followed Problem analysis segment of Organization change, to keep “drifters out” (Poole, 2000).  However e omitted to do Knowledge exploration where one identifies problems and alternative methods to solve it (Poole, 2000).Source : Obtained from RamboFirst Blood Movie 1982.  Furthermore he didn’t involve his teams with 2 way communication on the decisions he was to take with regards to the problem which laid ahead “Capturing Rambo” (Poole, 2000).
  21. 21.  Rambo was also given an Organizational challenge, what he was used to doing as a soldier he could not exercise as a civilian, despite being unjust he according to law was called to submit to will (Morrell, 1972).  However, once in the jungle he was back in his organization and acted and did what he wasSource : Author Obtained from Rambo First BloodMovie 1982. trained in to the best, keeping the enemy at bay (Morrell, 1972).  “In town youre the law, out here its me” (Kotcheff, 1982).
  22. 22.  Will was self motivated for the wrong reasons, hence he couldn’t motivate others they were not motivated to do the task because it was the right thing, but it was a “blood Hunt”, to avenger Arthur Gault’s death which Rambo had nothing to do. “Why dont you go out there and take a look at whats left of my men? Youll see how motivated I am” (Kotcheff, 1982). Gault fell from the Helicopter in trying to assert his authority to the pilot who warned him that the chopper will be unstable if he went down further (Kotcheff, 1982). If you dont fly this thing right, I swear to god Im going to kill you (Kotcheff, 1982).
  23. 23. Source : Author From Obtained from Rambo First Blood Movie 1982. Colonel Trautman was the only one that was able to motivate another, that other was Rambo; he motivated him to surrender himself and do the right thing. He was able to do it after he used active listening and letting Rambo get his emotions which were attached to the problem out. Rambo’s problem for the outburst was the horrors he faced became too much and without a release he exploded with will’s actions.
  24. 24.  “His friends dying in front of him and the way he was treated upon his return”.  “Im tryin to pull him off, you know, my friend thats all over me! Ive got blood and everything and Im tryin to hold him together! Im puttin... the guys insides keep coming out! And nobody would help! Nobody would help! Hes saying, sayin "I wanna go home! I wanna go home!" He keeps calling my name! "I wanna go home, Johnny! I wanna drive my Chevy!" I said "With what? I cant find your legs! I cant find your legs!" (Kotcheff, 1982).  “It wasnt my war! You asked me, I didnt ask you! And I didSource : Author Obtained from The White what I had to do to win! But somebody wouldnt let us win!House Commission on Remembrance, And I come back to the world and I see all those maggots atWebsite the airport, protesting me, spitting. Calling me baby killer and all kinds of vile crap! Who are they to protest me? Who are they? Unless theyve been me and been there and know what the hell theyre yelling about!” (Kotcheff, 1982).
  25. 25.  Communication being a big part of any organization and it’s success Lack of communication was the biggest problem was what caused the whole problem (Sidle, 2005).  Will didn’t communicate with Rambo from the beginning as he assumed a lot about Rambo and took action such as assuming he was just like “Another Drifter, and he was trouble” (Kotcheff, 1982).  “Rambo: Is there a law against me getting something to eat here? Teasle: Yeah,Source : Author From Obtained from me.Rambo: Why you pushing me? Teasle: Rambo First Blood Movie 1982. [haughty] what’d you say? Rambo: I said why you pushing me, I didnt do anything” (Kotcheff, 1982).
  26. 26.  Failed to communicate with his teams in getting the given task by doing the right thing.  He didn’t listen to Mitch when he asked to talk to will after seeing Rambo’s scares (Kotcheff, 1982).Source : Author From Obtained from Rambo First Blood Movie 1982.  He didn’t talk to Rambo but just ordered him around and bullied Rambo, even after finding out Rambo was a soldier “ O harry here is a soldier” (Kotcheff, 1982).  He didn’t even listen to his Boss or the sheriff when he was asked not to shoot nor gave a reason (Kotcheff, 1982).
  27. 27.  No one cared or communicated properly with Rambo until colonel Trutman arrived and he contacted Rambo. Nevertheless when they tried the sheriff’s teams were not communicating but were more ordering Rambo to surrender (Kotcheff, 1982).Source : Author From Obtained from  The helicopter Pilot didn’t communicate to the Rambo First Blood Movie 1982. teams on the ground about the accident (Kotcheff, 1982).  National Guard Leader didn’t use communication in defusing the situation with Rambo instead he also used excess force such as RPG (Rocket propelled Grenade) in trying to kill Rambo which made him more mad (Kotcheff, 1982).
  28. 28.  Throughout the movie we see that the sheriff’s department despite trained being exposed to an autonomic routine based work environment had lost the ability to be creative.  In subduing Rambo there were many ways creativity could have been used, first be friendly on the first encounter, listen to himSource : Author From Obtained from Rambo First Blood Movie 1982. and provide his basic physiological need based on Maslow and Hutchinson “Food”, “water” (Maslow, 1943).  Then during the second phase of the problem, treating Rambo as a soldier “with respect” would have defused all the situations to come as that was the problem Rambo was facing Lack of respect for what he did in Nam (Goldstein, 1970).
  29. 29.  Rambo called to do what he was trained to do and done many years before 1982, used creativity in subduing his pursuers.  He didn’t want to kill any one despite having ample opportunity hence he use the tact of fleeing and usage of none lethal weapons as the “rock” he threw at the helicopter, self made traps which will take out the enemies legs, and also the spear which he made out of his combat knife (Kotcheff, 1982).  Also he used distractions a lot, one occasion is when he was after Will in the town he blew theSource : Author From Obtained from Rambo First Blood Movie 1982. Gas station up to divert attention to the direction he wanted, also blowing up transformers to distract Will (Database, 2010).
  30. 30.  Stress Explained by Dr. Hans Selye to be “A response our bodies let out when stressors or demands are made on us” (Bickerstaff, 2008).  In the movie Rambo First Blood the stressors varied but were ample, Rambo had to face a new kind of challenge, which civilian based combat where he knew he couldn’t killSource : Authors Private collection everything and anything like Vietnam “Did whatever I could to get the Job done” (Kotcheff, 1982).  Furthermore Rambo’s basic needs were not met which was food, shelter, also he was tired as Colonel Trautman explained to will this added to the stress (Kotcheff, 1982).
  31. 31.  Being exposed to the brutalities in Vietnam as a POW and in the Jail when similarities reoccurred triggered a PTSD attack ( Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) which led to him fleeing the threatened area (Kotcheff, 1982).  Will and his team exposed to aSource : Author From Obtained from Rambo First Blood Movie 1982. situation they never were exposed as bad boys of Village with not understanding of the world around, the nature of Rambo escaping and winning the battle added to the stress.
  32. 32.  The colonel however, never seemed stressed despite in many ocations as the time when Rambo was in the cave had doubt he never let it get to him. • “Its good to hear your voice Johnny; its been a long time. Look John, youve done someSource : Author From Obtained from Rambo First Blood Movie 1982. damage here, they dont want any more trouble. Thats why Ive come. I want to come in there and fly you the hell out. Just you and me. Well work this thing out together. Is that fair enough?” (Kotcheff, 1982).  At all times he was calm and stern when dealing with the situation. • “I dont think you understand. I didnt come to rescue Rambo from you. I came here to rescue you from him” (Kotcheff, 1982).
  33. 33.  Due to Lack of communication and Hierarchical Based leadership, what was a simple problem of a out of Towner in a town became a Blood bath, We as leader everyday when we fail to use the process in influencing a person or a group to obtain their goals as a leader (Northhouse, 2010), fail we “Draw the First Blood” on our followers and everybody around us (Kotcheff, 1982). Leadership is the empowerment of other and not the rule of one, as explained by Blanchard “teaching others to soar like eagles while killing the quacking ducks (Blanchard, 2007).
  34. 34. While leaders do the right thing, Manager do things “ Right” .
  35. 35. 1. Bickerstaff, L. (2008). Stress. New south Wales: ReadhowYouwant Publications.2. Blanchard, K. (2007). Leading at a Higher level. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Prentice Hall.3. Caplow, T. (1964). Principles of organization. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World.4. Database, M. (2010). First Blood. Retrieved August 31, 2010, from International Movie Database: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083944/5. Goldstein, W. (1970). The Lessons of the Vietnam War. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists , 41-49.6. Hesselbein, F., & Cohen, P. M. (1999). Leader to Leader. New York: Drucker Foundation.7. Kotcheff, T. (Director). (1982). First Blood [Motion Picture].
  36. 36.  Maguire, E. R. (2003). Organizational structure in American police agencies. Albany: New York State University Press. Martin, J. (2002). Organizational culture: Mapping the terrain. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications. Maslow, A. H. (1943). A Theory of Human Motivation. Psychological Review , 50,370-396. Moore, R., & Csrnko, T. R. (2007). The Green Berets: The Amazing Story of the U.S. Armys Elite Special Forces Unit. New York: Skyhorse Publishing. Morrell, D. (1972). First Blood. New York: Warner Books Group. Northhouse, P. G. (2010). Leadership Theory and Practice. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
  37. 37.  Poole, M. S. (2000). Organizational change and innovation processes: theory and methods for research. New York: Oxford University Press. Robinson, L. (2004). Masters of Chaos: The Secret History of the Special Forces. New York: Public Affairs Publications. Sidle, C. (2005). The leadership wheel: five steps for achieving individual and organizational Greatness. New York: Pilgrave Macmillan. Williams, K. (1999). Introducing management: a development guide. Burlington: Butterworth Heinemann.

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