The Great Leadership of Be Know Do and 12 O’Clock High

By watching the movie “Twelve O’Clock High,” leadership is often the most important success factor in Lean Manufacturing. The organizational paradigm shift required for Lean Manufacturing demands visionary leadership. As findings in the reading from“(’clock_high.htm),” visionary leadership is quite different from management. While the necessary qualities may lie deep in the human psyche, even visionary leadership can be learned.

When the classic World War II movie, “Twelve O’Clock High,” many viewers at first find the film to be just another good vintage war movie. In fact it is a superb treatise on “charismatic leadership.” By learning General Frank Savages conduct and actions, leaders can experience the U.S. Army’s charismatic leader paradigm. It sure helps to have a star the caliber of Gregory Peck and a cast full of the finest character actors.

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When learning that Bomber Squadron 918 has lost five planes on their recent mission, General Savage (Peck) is dispatched to take over the platoon. That is when the previous commander, Colonel Davenport (Gary Merrill), has proven himself “too close” to the men in his group and is suspected of being too soft on them. When Savage begins his assignment, he meets the expected degree of contempt, but he quickly ends such behavior by scaring the soldiers. Then Savage slowly earns a few allies among his officers, most notably Major Stovall (Dean Jagger) – a “desk jockey” who turns out to be much more than a glorified secretary, taken from “(”

By watching this movie, most people would think that some of your finest war movies take place on the battlefields, by seeing this movie think again on that statement. As we would find in the movie, leadership is about influencing others, to take action and adapt behaviors that accomplish a goal or a mission. That is of course when I ask myself was Gregory Peck a leader. I ask myself which level of leadership he would follow under. There are different levels of leadership, such as Charismatic, transformational, relational, or transactional. I do believe he was transformational and transactional because through him taking charge and he followed through with his plan of action. Why researching “Twelve O’Clock High,” I found out this movie perhaps is a favorite male film of all times.


Darryl F. Zanuck presents, Starring Gregory Peck; Twelve O’Clock High- Fox war classics “1949”

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The Great Leadership of Be Know Do and 12 O’Clock High. (2017, Feb 28). Retrieved from