Manage like Bond… James Bond
4 Ways Any Business Person Can Be Like James Bond
Comparisons between James Bond and me are endless.
Ok, maybe not.
Spot the real James Bond (hint: look for the gun).
Alas, it takes more than a cool car and a tailored suit to be like Bond.
Here are 4 Ways That Any Business Person Can Be Like Bond:
The Royal Navy taught James Bond to be cool in the first place (After all, he is Commander James Bond.
Strategist Andrew St. George studied the Royal Navy for three years and concluded, “Never have I found a more cheerful, consistent and yet flexible and innovative working environment.”
Display these 4 characteristics and you too will be like Bond.
1) Cheerful: 007 is Licensed to thrill? James Bond is not a sour-puss or a sad-sack. He neither possesses nor displays a negative attitude. He does not whine or whinge. Even under adversity — especially under adversity— he shows a ‘can do’ attitude. That’s because nobody follows a pessimist (or pays to watch their movies.) Bond’s interactions with others (and with himself) are buoyant. He is constantly rising, never sinking.
Bond jokes, he negotiates with witticisms while facing bifurcation-by-laser [truly one of the great scenes in cinema Laser Scene from Goldfinger]. He banters with enemies at gun point. Always polite, never obsequious; always civil, rarely cordial.
He faces perilous circumstances head-on yet continually reframes his situation so as to give hope and optimism. His default position is ‘persevere and persist’ not ‘give up and surrender’.
That’s why people align with him and do as he suggests. Bond has no line authority in MI6; he operates by persuasion and influence. Therefore he interacts positively with all people. Even his enemies would agree that he’s not a pain in the ass to be around [these guys may disagree: Bombe Surprise].
2) Consistent: James Bond has been saving the world for 50+ years. Enough said. You always know where Bond stands, what he values, and where his allegiance lies. With Bond, you get what you see and you know what you get.
He does not deviate from his high standards. In From Russia With Love, a Soviet Union dossier describes Bond as “unbribable”. He can’t be bought.
He has sense of duty to something larger than himself. Bond is loyal but to England, not MI6. He’s patriotic but apolitical. He pursues justice. Bond is not a suck-up, people-pleaser, self-absorbed fool. He’s his own man (and manager). He thinks for himself; he does what’s right. And he does it all the time, consistently. Who wouldn’t want to work with a guy like that?
3) Flexible: When things don’t go as planned, Bond adapts. Set him down in any country, city, location, social class, or situation, on this planet, under its oceans or in outer space, and Bond finds a way to achieve the desired result.
A military officer friend told me that he admired the SAS because they’re so resourceful: “drop them on the moon and they’d find a way to walk home.” Finding a way. That’s what secret agents and good managers do.
When he’s in a difficult situation Bond uses all resources available to him, including crocodiles. That’s resourcefulness.
Bond’s real secret is that he’s not merely resilient; he’s tough-minded. The difference is: resilient means recovering quickly, springing back into shape, recovering fast; tough-minded means adopting a stronger, steelier, mindset.
Can the same be said of you?
4) Innovative: Bond is innovative because he frames problems properly. To innovate is to make changes in something established, especially by introducing new methods. Bond innovates not by using magical powers to get out of jams but by focusing the facts; he applies reason.
Get thrown out of an airplane without a parachute?
Bond doesn’t panic (he never panics). He calmly surveys his options, forms his body into a projectile, aims himself into the parachute-wearing bad guy, wrestles the parachute away from the villain in mid-air, straps it on himself, deploys it, and drifts safely to earth.
Are you that cool under pressure?
Bond’s ‘secret’ is not magic, faith or supernatural powers. It’s that he faces reality unflinchingly, focuses on facts, and applies his power of reason. That’s what gets him (and you) out of jams.
Bottom line: These 4 characteristics are learned, practiced behaviours. Bond wasn’t born cool; he learned and earned it. So can you.
Good News: We’ve already got a little James Bond in us. That’s good because Bond embodies the best in all of us. He fights for what’s right and does so on behalf of others. Isn’t that what good managers do? Admiring Bond leads us to our own inner competence.
“We always look for someone we can trust more than we trust ourselves, maybe because we know how often we betray ourselves. That’s the beauty of Bond, his ability to be true to himself no matter what” – Marc Forster, Director, Quantum of Solace
“hey you, get away from my car!”