Monday, May 25, 2009

Law of Identity as demonstrated by Patrick Swayze

You may remember this old post :

Only read and watch this if you plan to lead a group sometime in your life or are currently leading a group or will soon lead a group. In other words the fact you are here means that this can apply to you.

The Law of Identity is a chapter from the book above.

I talked a bit about the Law of Identity. Sometimes the best teachers of concepts are movies with stars we might know. Please take the three minutes it takes to watch one of the more profound scenes in movies that I have seen. Watch it once then watch it again, then I will break it down after in the text after the clip. For better impact view the clip before you read the notes. See what you make of it before you take in Maxwell's teaching.


The clip is taken from a film called Uncommon Valor. A story that is based on Vietnam Vets in the 80's who return to rescue Prisoners of War left behind in the 70's. Movie came out in 1983. This is a more realistic Rambo: First Blood Part II which came out two years earlier.

The clip is part of a training sequence . You may notice Kevin Scott ( Patrick Swayze's character) is surrounded by older men. You can see they all resent him. Because in the beginning of the sequence they thought he was a snot nosed punk. The rest had seen combat. The rest were already a unit when Scott was still in elementary school. Who is this guy to tell them what to do? Who is this kid who thinks he is part of the team??? This guy has not bled with them . This guy has not lost like they have.

Well towards the end the undeterred Scott gets carried off by the same guy who was tormenting him moments before. Because they discovered Scott was in fact part of the team. He too shares values with the veterans. As explained by the concepts in John Maxwell's law of identity. The shared values was the glue. The mission was the magnet.


Important concepts from the John Maxwell chapter

Chaos is:
When everyone on the team has different ideas about what’s important

Just as personal values influence and guide an individual’s behavior, organizational values influence and guide the team’s behavior

Shared Values are like:
1. Glue
When difficult times come-and they do for every team –values hold people together
2. A Foundation
All teams need stability to perform well and to grow
3. A Ruler
Values help set the standard for a team’s performance
4. A Compass
When individuals embrace strong values, they possess a moral compass that helps them make decisions
5. A Magnet
A team’s values attract people with like values to the team
6. An Identity
What you believe identifies who you are

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