Farrar's Faucet: A psychologist’s candid, productive and often humorous take on principled business behavior and better business outcomes.

The King's Speech

We have just seen "The King's Speech", a movie about George VI and an Australian speech therapist, the man who helps him find his confidence and ability to rally the English during the second world war.  

It's a great drama about the royal family and their crisis as Edward VIII abdicated and the shy Prince Albert found himself the leader of what the film describes as "a quarter of the world's population."

Here's what I took away from the movie:  If you are having difficulties dealing with the demands of your position you can do a lot worse than getting yourself an Australian coach!

Ok, that's a little tongue-in-cheek and a more than a little self-serving, but what the heck.

Geoffrey Rush captures the Australian archetype really well.  Faced with a prince and heir apparent to the British crown he nevertheless insists he's Lionel, and the prince will go by Bertie, just as he does with his close friends and family.  

When Prince Albert argues about the course of the therapy Lionel insists "my castle, my rules."  And when Prince Albert and the future Queen Elizabeth, (The current Queen Elizabeth's mother), doubt Lionel's effectiveness he lets his results recorded on a gramophone record speak for themselves.

Despite the professional chasm between the worlds the two individuals inhabit they come together as equals in the coaching process.  Lionel and Bertie struggle through ups and downs together, but one thing the future king never has to doubt is that Lionel is definitely on his side.

The speech therapist's one mis-step in the movie comes when he oversteps the boundaries of their relationship and presumes to give advice on the throne and how to run the kingdom.

I work with partners in big city law firms, CEOs, senior executives and very successful entrepreneurs:  I know my stuff, but I sincerely hope they never think I believe I can run their business better than they can!

I really liked the Lionel Logue character.  I almost wish every management consultant and coach had to watch this film and critically compare their practice with the trusted Lionel Logue…I wonder how many  would fall short.

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