The Jack Bauer Guide to
Ten Lessons for Leaders from "24"
by Rosemary Rein, Ph.D.
I'm a confessed "24 Fanatic". Given the choice between going out on the
town and watching Chloe's Personality Disorder - I'll take Chloe and CTU hands
As the 24 seasons have unfolded I have thought more than once about the
lessons that 24 has for today's business leaders running their own CTU. (Competitive
If only every business, had a Jack Bauer they could call, to get the mission
accomplished and lead field operations!
- Successful Missions begin with Good "Intel".
Jack never goes into a mission blind. The analysts at CTU send him the latest
satellite updates and intel so he knows exactly what he's getting into and
can develop his entry strategy. If only your sales team, had that intel before
talking to a prospect.
- Field Operations need Communication and Support from Command.
Jack is never out there alone. He is backed up by a team that provides constant
tactical support. Does operations support your team in the field?
- To get things done - you need a direct line to the President.
Jack has on more than one occasion had to call the big guy to remove a road
block and so will you when things get messy! Do you have quick access to
your President when and if you need it?
- People with Personality Disorders sometimes have the greatest talent
- Put up with it.
Your business may depend having the best person for the job. Chloe and Edgar
won't win you over with their communication skills, but that's not what their
there for, they are the best at what they do .
- Every organization needs protocols - Rules of the Road for what to
do in those worst case scenarios and when to call Division.
How familiar is your team with the rules that provide the playbook for problem
- Good Leadership entails a calm, non-emotional response to crisis.
We saw it in President Palmer but in later episodes, when Air Force One went
down, I didn't feel too safe with President Keeler at the helm. Did you?
Remember that when we're angry or emotional our IQ drops a whopping 50%.
Good decisions never happen at 50% brainpower.
- Watch out for Traitors on your own Team.
They are doing the most damage to your operations. Do you have Nina or Mrs.
Palmer on your team sabotaging your mission? Sometimes covert and sometimes
not, these 'inside terrorists" are diverting your resources and attention
and are most likely at the root of your unit's negativity and team morale
issues. Root them out. It's not okay to be a traitor.
- Sometimes Leaders just never get a life!
Poor Jack. Hero yes, but we never see this guy eat let alone have any kind
of life. Even Heroes are Human. Just one time, wouldn't you love to see Jack
at home with nothing to do, his shoes kicked off, eating popcorn and watching
TV? It'll never happen but make sure it happens to you.
- Know the Enemy: Be they Terrorists or Competitors.
They've got plans, technology and they don't follow rules, which make them
- A good agent like Jack Bauer is a problem solver with diverse competencies.
He or she is loyal, confident, calm in crisis, and knows protocols. A good
agent like Jack Bauer gets dirty and sometimes does break the rules in order
to accomplish the mission but they are always guided by core values and a
commitment to do what's best for the country!
So, maybe you have more in common with Jack Bauer than you thought? In which
case, take 24 hours just for you and for your family. Your Country, Your Organization
needs you well rested for the next mission.
Rosemary Rein, Ph.D is the Founder of Costa Rica Learning Adventures and
Retreats, Costa Rica. Dr. Rein hosts Leadership Safaris in Costa Rica and
locations throughout the United States, Canada and South America. Visit www.costaricatraining.com
for additional information.
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