What can happen when the boss does not accept his team members success?

Directed by Neil Jordan - 1995 - USA - 132 min

Michael Collins

2024 January 23 | by Arduino Mancini Boss and Staff member - Conflict - Leadership - Negotiation

In 1916, during the riot known as the Easter Rising, Irish revolutionaries surrendered after opposing for six days the overwhelming military power of the British army at Dublin’s post office headquarters.

Among the revolutionary leaders, only Eamon de Valera, an American citizen, is saved from the firing squad. Many followers, including Michael Collins and his close friend Harry Boland, end up in prison; and once released they become the new leaders of the Irish independence movement.

Collins jumps headlong into the political and military struggle against British dominance by traveling the country and proselytizing with his highly effective speeches and magnetic personality. After a violent clash with the Irish Royal Police, his wounds are cared for by Kitty Kiernan, a young woman whose beauty and independence attract the attention of both Collins and Boland.

Collins organizes a brave secret force – the Irish Volunteers – which launches attacks, coming out from nowhere, against the British army and police. The British fail to catch Collins, who openly rides his bicycle around Dublin, marshalling his troops and arming them to unprecedented levels.

De Valera travels to America to gain support for the Irish cause, taking Harry Boland with him. During their absence, Collins and Kitty fall in love. Back from the US, De Valera insists Collins go to London to negotiate with the government, although he feels more like a guerrilla than a political negotiator.

Unexpectedly, Collins returns from London with a treaty sanctioning the birth of the Irish Free State and demanding an Oath of Loyalty to the British Crown: the treaty is narrowly approved by the Irish Parliament but rejected by De Valera, who abandons Parliament with his followers.

Then the civil war breaks out again, but I will not tell you more about the plot.

Now watch the trailer, and then I will go into the points of the film that I find interesting.



How to watch the film

Michael Collins is one of the leaders of Irish independence.

This film portrays a man who fought for the independence of his land and on different occasions was a negotiator and a guerrilla fighter.

One aspect that I found interesting, and which I want to bring your attention, is the dynamics of the relationship between Micheal Collins and Eamon De Valera, leader of the Irish nationalists:

  • Can a boss accept that his staff member can achieve better results?
  • What respect does the staff member owe the boss who does not let him ‘blossom’?
  • What is the boss supposed to do when he realizes his team member is even more loved?
  • And how should he behave when the staff member performs even better?

A complex coexistence, the one between Michael Collins and Eamon De Valera, in which political objectives, the search for leadership, and personal identity blend into a blurred whole.

As you may have realized, this a film to watch while paying attention to the dynamics of the boss-staff member relationship.

Not to be missed!


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