Tales From Twelve O'clock High

An Analysis of Leadership

Leadership is often the most important success factor in Lean Manufacturing. The organizational paradigm shift required for Lean Manufacturing demands visionary leadership. Visionary leadership is quite different from management. While the necessary qualities may lie deep in the human psyche, even visionary leadership can be learned.

Archbury, England, 1942

The American 918th Bomber Group has just returned from another mission. The 918th's performance is dismal. The unit cannot put steel on target and is experiencing high aircraft and crew losses. The 918th's weak demonstrations contrast with other bomber groups' success. As a result, the 918th suffers from poor morale and a reputation as "The Hard Luck Unit."

So begins the classic World War II movie Twelve O'clock High. Many viewers, at first, find this film to be just another good vintage war movie. In fact, it is a superb treatise on "charismatic leadership". By studying General Frank Savage's conduct and actions, leaders can experience the U.S. Army's charismatic leader paradigm.

Notes On The Film

This film was directed by Henry King and stars Gregory Peck, Hugh Marlowe, Gary Merrill and Dean Jagger (Oscar, Best Supporting Actor).

Tales From Twelve O'clock High

Major Attila Bognar has written an excellent analysis of charismatic leadership as reflected in this film. It makes an excellent accompaniment to the film for study groups or individuals. We offer it a free download. The article is reprinted from the U.S. Army's Command and General Staff School magazine, "Military Review".

leadership in the 918th Bomb Group

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Tales From Twelve O'clock High

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