Talk about a landmark movie moment. In Jaws, Martin Brody, the Police Chief of a small New England summer resort town, utters one of the most quotable lines in film history when he gets his first up-close look at the shark that he, Captain Quint and Marine Biologist Matt Hooper are hunting. Slowly backing into the cabin of Quint’s boat, with a shocked expression on his face, he says, “You’re going to need a bigger boat.”
Call this the prototypical ‘Brody Moment’: a shockingly unambiguous realization that current-course-and-speed will lead to failure and is no longer a viable option.
As an organizational leader, you’ve probably experienced a few Brody Moments over the course of your career, and you’ve probably got a few more coming. What you do as a result and how fast you do it can turn a Brody Moment into a defining moment - for better or worse.
Ray Kroc, as portrayed by Michael Keaton in the movie The Founder, has a Brody Moment when he goes up to the takeout counter of McDonald’s Hamburgers for the first time and orders a hamburger, fries, and a Coca Cola. He pays and is immediately handed his order. “What’s this?”, he asks. “Your food” answers the young man behind the counter. “No, no, no, I just ordered…”, he starts, “…and now it’s here” interjects the young man. “You sure?” … “Where’s the silverware and plates?” … “Where do I eat it?” Kroc’s questions and the bemused look on his face say it all: Everything has changed for him and he can’t pretend otherwise.
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