Thinking Outside of the Realm

If you are a regular reader of this blog you’ll know of my interest in extracting workplace-applicable learning from dramatic texts.

Certain characters and in particular some of their characteristics can be studied to better understand aspects of work in a non-judgemental manner.

Watching the theatre production or reading the text of a play can furnish potentially new insights valid for the corporate world, if we choose to be open-minded.

Thomas Becket, as offered to us in T. S. Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral, could be said to represent a leader manoeuvring through a series of choices all with the power to impact on his organization (the Church), his staff (the priests based in the cathedral), his clients (the congregation in Canterbury), stakeholders in general (the people of England, King Henry II, the Barons, the Pope) and himself.

Being open to hearing various possible courses of action (from the Tempters) as well as unfiltered criticism (from the Knights) suggests a person prepared to listen beyond the circle of yes-men so often found around leaders. In management jargon, we can say he is looking ‘out of the box’.

The importance of Becket’s way of being for anyone can be summed up in the words of Robert Fritz: “If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is compromise.”

Thinking about your favourite play, book or film, what lessons can you extract looking at it anew, from a perspective of the workplace?

If you’d like to share your discoveries, I’d love to hear from you. In any case, please keep in touch.

Ciao for now.



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