Inspirational Leadership: Personal Transformation
The Best Leaders Can Adapt When They Need To
I'm sure it's a matter of personal taste, but most movie buffs have their own opinion on the best on-screen performances of all time. For me, there are two performances I think stand above the others I've seen, and it's because the actors were able to completely transform themselves for the roles.
By an actor, my vote for best all-time performance goes to Billy Bob Thornton in "Sling Blade." In that flick, Thornton portrays a mental patient who befriends a boy and his mother in small-town Arkansas. The movie is very good... but the performance by Thornton is outstanding. See "Sling Blade," and then see any other film which stars Thornton ("Bandits," "The Badge," you name it)... and you'll see what I mean. He absolutely transforms himself in the "Sling Blade" role in a way that makes it almost impossible to tell that's him up on the screen.
Best performance by an actress, in my book, goes to Charlize Theron in "Monster." In the film, Theron plays real-life serial killer Eileen Wournos. Wournos was a thoroughly ugly person. Theron is a glamorous babe. Again, see her work in other movies, then see her in "Monster," and you won't be able to tell it's the same person. She literally transformed herself into something completely alien from her "real" self for that role.
Now, I'm no expert, and you might have a different opinion which is just as valid as mine. That said, I was a professional actor years ago (though never anything close to a big-time movie celebrity) and have written a number of theatrical reviews. Those experiences have taught me something about what it takes to transform yourself - for an acting role or otherwise - and that's what makes me respect these two performances so much.
I don't know, but I'd be willing to bet that neither Thornton nor Theron found these two roles to be their most challenging. Rather, I'd bet it was each performer's NEXT role that was most difficult to pull off.
Why? Because in order to create such convincing characters, they had to truly let those characters deep inside them. Carl Childers, the character in "Sling Blade," had to get all the way under Thornton's skin; the same for Eileen Wournos with respect to Theron. Every momentary mannerism, characteristic, or choice came from the character, not the actor. And once you let that sort of character under your skin, it's hard to exorcise it, which is precisely what each star had to do to play the next role.
There's a lesson there for all of us in today's business world. Some business owners have to literally exorcise an inner Victim before they can release the inner Entrepreneur. Many of my clients have to get rid of a mindset of poverty before they can embrace a mindset of abundance - they must literally reset their inner "thermostat" of self-worth before they can achieve the great things of which they are capable. And there are investors who must shed a deeply-ingrained paradigm of reliance upon traditional financial vehicles before they can develop the courage to execute the new-world trades that will build and protect their wealth in the coming global economic disaster.
And it's hard.
You are meant for abundance, for wealth, for a fulfilling and joyous life. But you may be "possessed" by a different character, and that character may be mired in a mindset of scarcity, of poverty, and of misery. It won't be easy to step back into your true self after wearing such an alien costume for so long. But you can do it. Be the successful entrepreneur you know you want to be... then you will do what such people do... and then you will have what such people have.
Be a great actor. Take the action necessary to propel yourself to a new life of prosperity, regardless of the storm clouds that gather around you. Just like great actors such as Billy Bob Thornton and Charlize Theron, your true character will come from deep inside you.