Thursday, November 11, 2010

Remember the Titans: Remember the Leaders

     In life, there is a need for leaders—persons who will take up responsibility and be the trendsetters that others can follow. As Reed Markham, PhD, stated, Successful leaders see the opportunity in every difficulty rather than the difficulty in every opportunity”. “Remember the Titans” is an inspiring movie that teaches the truth about leadership and positive influence.
     Among the many examples of leadership portrayed in this movie is Gerry Bertier, captain of the TC Williams football team. Gerry showed qualities of leadership by taking charge and following through with his responsibility. One of the ways he did this was by dropping Ray, his best friend, from the team due to the fact that Ray was not playing defensively on behalf of his Negro teammates, which resulted in the injury of one of them. Even though this decision threatened his friendship with Ray, Gerry still fulfilled his responsibility. Another quality of leadership Gerry shows is open-mindedness; he connected to all of his teammates—even the black ones. In fact, he became very good friends with Julius Campbell, one of Gerry’s black teammates. Despite the racism and tension in the air, Gerry made it his duty to be positive and lead the Titans to victory.
     While speaking of Julius Campbell, it should be mentioned that he too portrayed leadership in “Remember the Titans”.  Julius exhibited fairness when he informed Gerry of Ray’s discrimination against the black players. He was also cooperative; he showed this when he was patient with Emma (Gerry’s girlfriend) who at first was not open to black people.  In addition, Julius displayed loyalty by standing by Mrs. Bertier at Gerry’s funeral ten years after the Titans 13-0 season, despite the fact that she too was once opposed to blacks. In the end, Julius’ influence on these two women, as well as others, broke the ice and made everything more peaceful.
     “Remember the Titans” is not only a commemoration of the breaking of racial barriers in Virginia, but also of the true meaning of leadership. Julius Campbell and Gerry Bertier, as well as many other people in this movie, prove the viewers that leadership is about being a trendsetter, standing for what you believe in, and having a positive influence. Successful leaders look for opportunities, not obstacles.