Leadership Lessons from Jack Bauer

Jack Bauer is back

Basking in the warm familiarity of that ticking clock, I marveled at the recent return of Jack Bauer to our screens and how it was like he had never even been gone.

As the story developed – I suddenly realized that Jack Bauer displayed three key leadership qualities that we can all deploy to have ourselves recognized as great communicators and strong leaders.

In the field, there can be no room for error – no opportunity for ambiguity. Clarity is utterly essential – whether you are shouting for Chloe to “get out NOW” or prompting your team to close the project today – clarity is your best friend. When you introduce doubt or muddy the waters – the end result is no longer certain. Keep it clear.

Brevity is King. Why do so many people insist on taking ten minutes to explain something that could be explained in two?? The mark of a great leader is in his or her ability to trim the fat, cut the fluff and get down to the facts. Fast.

People buy confidence – but be careful. Confidence and Arrogance are very similar brothers!! In a nod to the battles of our past, we pick leaders who display a solid confidence. When we see it, we know it. When it’s missing, we run!! In a classic 24 scene, from the opening episode, we see Jack grasping one worthless “henchman” faced with four guns and a ruthless leader – a certain loss, right? Not according to our most confident Mr. Bauer:

“It may look like I’m at a disadvantage,” He explains, “but I assure you…I’m not”.

He wasn’t!!

In business, we may not regularly apprehend drug dealing henchmen, or drone hacking terrorists but when you can display confidence in your business dealings, you will always win respect and trust.

So, when establishing your brand of leadership, remember – be clear, be concise and be confident….and try to a bit be more like Jack Bauer and you will start to win more battles…and the best news of all is that you won’t have to waterboard Mike from accounts or torture Derek from IT.

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