The Hangover Dude Inspires My Leadership Plan


Zach Galifianakis

Zach Galifianakis

Call me a cheapskate, but I didn’t want to pay Zach Galifianakis – OK, his messed up Hangover character Alan – 10 bucks for a group selfie on the Vegas Strip a few months ago.  Some dude fabulously dressed down as Alan was ready to be snapped and openly demanding not less than 10 greenbacks for a moment of his time.

Fast forward to last night, where up pops Galifianakis playing mouse-like Marty Huggins in the premiere of The Campaign.

No spoilers, I promise, although the movie is about a pair of wealthy CEOs who fund Marty’s political campaign, seeking to install him as their local congress person, opposing well-known congressman Cam Brady, played by Will Ferrell. Yup, you know you’re going to laugh.

The movie, ripe with funny twists and turns and as much backstabbing as The Real Housewives of Vancouver, came on the heels of Julia Gillard’s heartfelt op ed on party politics, government purpose and her passion for Labor’s future.

The Guardian’s timing is spot on, with Gillard’s exposé set against the brewing barney or tousle between Anthony Albanese and Bill Shorten for Labor’s top job. One thing’s for sure: leadership is the new black. So, with all this political stuff happening, I’m posting an action plan to facilitate positive change.

It’s an action plan for leaders everywhere.  Leaders in businesses, non profit organisations, health groups, government, professional bodies, religious groups/institutions, community groups and everyone in positions of authority.

My three point action plan (take note Jaymes Diaz) for head honchos in Australia and globally is:

1. Act with integrity Always act with a firm set of principles, both personally and for the good of the group you lead.  Acting with integrity means bringing truth to your words and actions. Marty Huggins eventually grows a set and shows personal integrity when he exclaims, “Stand up and tell the truth.  It’s what you deserve!”  (I promised no spoilers this time, so there’s no context).

2. Build trust and respect Build trust and earn the respect of the people you lead.  Shortly after winning the nation’s leadership, prime minister elect Tony Abbot, widely touted as the least popular leader of an incoming Australian government, announced to his party that they hadn’t yet earned the trust of the people, meaning they have work to do.  Indeed.

3. Take positive action Driven by integrity, act in the interest of many or where the greatest positive impact can be made.  As every newbie first aider – like me – learns, the golden rule is to do the greatest amount of good with the time available.

My three-point leadership plan sounds easy peasy, maybe even mom and apple pie, yet I’ve come to learn that the truth is always simple.  Leaders sometimes complicate things. Now that “Australia is open for business,” according to Abbott, I’m tempted to email him my three-point plan or recite it over the phone; are you taking notes yet Jaymes Diaz? And, like millions of Aussies, I’ll hold Abbott responsible for and accountable to the words of his beautifully crafted victory speech, heralding his idea and vision of positive change:

…A government that says what it means and means what it says.  A government of no surprises and no excuses.  A government that understands the limits of power as well as its potential.  And a government that accepts that it will be judged more by its deeds than by its mere words…

  • Which leaders inspire you? Why?
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