Despite an established presence in the contemporary academic literature, leadership remains a concept that is not defined conclusively. Instead, it is characterized by exhaustive lists of traits. In most cases, they play an equally important role in the stories of personal success. The following paper identifies the leadership skills of Leigh Anne Tuohy, a character from the movie The Blind Side.
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Leigh Anne Tuohy possesses a multitude of traits and skills that can be considered essential for leaders. These traits can be viewed as belonging to two broad categories. The first category includes skills that deal with the emotional state of the people around her. Throughout the movie, Leigh Anne is noticeably open and honest every time she communicates with someone else. While this is especially noticeable in her conversations with Michael, she retains this trait in most situations. While such a trait may alienate some people who are uncomfortable with certain topics, on most occasions, it serves as a powerful device to garner the sympathy of peers.
For instance, in the line scene, after voicing her dissatisfaction with the quality of service, Leigh immediately gets a priority from a man in the line, who is clearly sympathetic with her straightforward approach. The same scene serves as an illustration of her other positive trait – confidence. Leigh clearly feels in the position of power whenever she enters a stressful situation and, thanks to this, is able to turn the tables in her favor most of the time. The third skill that is worth noting is her ability to recognize and admit her failures and shortcomings. The most prominent example is a scene where she is mocked by her husband, Sean, upon admitting that he was right. In leadership terms, such an approach may empower the leader’s team, boost their confidence, and ensure that their opinion is heard and reckoned with. It is also worth pointing out that this particular skill is clearly hard-earned since, in response to the mockery, she readily admits that such sincerity is difficult to maintain.
The second category can be broadly described as organizational traits and skills. The most prominent one is her ability to retain the vision of success instead of focusing on unimportant details. In some way, the entire story of her connection with Michael can be viewed as proof of this leadership trait. Admittedly, at the beginning of the movie, she is noticeably hesitant regarding the decision to adopt him, which suggests intuition rather than the conscious decision as a primary reason behind it. However, the ability to recognize the opportunity where the majority only sees hopelessness is an equally important skill for leaders and is commonly referred to as intuition by those who attempt to define it. Finally, in addition to seeing the potential herself, Leigh Anne is able to communicate her vision to everyone around her. Even more importantly, she is able to delegate her vision to Michael and empower him for development. In one scene, she uses familiar concepts to describe the preferred football strategy. This can be viewed both as an advanced communication skill and as the ability to customize the information for a specific individual, both of which are essential for leadership strategies.
Successful leadership cannot be defined by a narrow list of characteristics. Instead, it can be viewed as attributable to the set of beneficial skills and traits. In the case of Leigh Anne Tuohy, honesty, confidence, determination, vision, communication, and, to some extent, intuition can be considered the reasons behind her success and examples of positive leadership traits and skills.