Monday, February 29, 2016

Review : The Finest Hours

Great Leaders Show Great Transparency – Webber, played by Chris Pine, told his fiancee Miriam, “We all get scared out there.”
The Finest Hours, I would say that it was a good movie. The movie tells a story of a true event about a true life rescue operation on the oil tanker, SS Pendleton

The event was set off the coast of New England, the movie was based on the true event which happened in February 1952 when a sever storm arose and the two oil tankers, The SS Fort Mercer and the SS Pendleton were both literally ripped in half, trapping more than 30 sailors inside. The first assistant engineer became the captain in charged for SS Pendleton, and he soon realized that he need to take charged of the half-ship and bring the remaining team together to to ride out one of the worst storms to ever hit the East Coast.

The Pendleton resulted in the sinking of its fore section and the loss of its commanding officers and radios. The SS Pendleton ship was divided in half because of the storm. The half of the ship and the crews were struggling to direct the half-ship to the shore before it sinking. Though the Pendleton was not able to send the signal, the half-ship was miraculously discovered and the Station Officer of the Massachusetts Coast Guard, Daniel Cluff has instructed Coast Guard Captain, Bernie Webber to choose his team to lead the rescue mission.

Despite overwhelming rejections and ignorants from other coast guards, 3 men have volunteered and lead by Coast Guard Captain Bernie Webber (Chris Pine), set out in a wooden lifeboat with an ill-equipped engine, poor navigation the team was determined to rescue the ship and facing frigid temperatures, 60-foot high waves and hurricane-force winds. Miraculously, they manage to find the almost sinking ship despite of losing the compass of the small boat and surprisingly the team managed to rescue almost all of the ship crew member despite of the small boats they have.
Webber and his crew arrive back safely at their base with 32 of the Pendleton's survivors on board the Coast Guard motor lifeboat.  EN3 Andrew Fitzgerald is on the bow ready to handle the tie up at the pier. Photo by Richard C. Kelsey, Chatham, Mass.  Photo credit: Cape Cod Community College. -Picture credit from the website -
Overall, the film was great with great effect. If you want to watch it, you will want to watch it on a big screen. The swirling vastness of the crashing ocean was almost real, the looming mountain of the crippled ship can make you breathless and the story leaves you a bit cold seeing the ocean waves hitting the actors in the film.

Casey Affleck as Ray Sybert acted well in the film and he's the one that i like the most, besides Chris Pine as Bernie Webber. Those who likes watching true event or based on tru events or true story, this film is breathtakingly interesting. You can feel the high motivations from the rescue team to rescue other human beings.

More stories about this true event can be found at :
What we can learn about this movie in terms of Leadership: (Credit to : The following are 18 Leadership Quotes And Lessons From The Finest Hours:
  1. Great Leaders Show Great Transparency – Webber, played by Chris Pine, told his fiancee Miriam, “We all get scared out there.”
  2. Smart Leaders Give People A Sense Of Security During Times Of Crisis – The Pendleton’s captain and executive officer were killed as a result of the ship splitting.  As a result, Sybert, played by Casey Affleck, was pressed into leadership.  As he struggled with the self-confidence needed to lead a panicked crew, a shipmate advised him, “You know the boat better than anyone…They’ll listen to you…They may not like you but they’ll listen to you.”
  3. There Are Times When Leaders Do Not Have Time To Prepare – A sinking ship does not afford leaders time to “get ready”.  Because of his wisdom and experience, Sybert was prepared to lead.  John Wooden once said, “When opportunity presents itself, it’s too late to prepare.”
  4. A Smart Plan Gives People Confidence In The Leader – Motivational speeches are not enough.  People require a roadmap showing the goal can be achieved.  Sybert did not have a relational foundation with the crew, but as he laid out his plan for survival he gained immediate credibility.
  5. Leaders Must Be Willing To Pay A Heavier Price Than Others – Everyone wants the perks of leadership.  Few are willing to pay the price of leadership.  Webber said, “The Coast Guard says you got to go out.  It doesn’t say you have to come back in.”
  6. Great Leaders Are Not Passive.  They Press Into Issues – Webber was advised by other sailors to take his boat out into the bay, sail around for a few hours pretending to search for the Pendleton, and then return.  Otherwise, they would likely die.  Webber chose instead to press into the issue and attempt to save the crew.
  7. Good Plans Always Hit Unexpected Waves – Sybert’s initial plan for survival was immediately altered when the ship was hit by a rogue wave.  As a leader, have you been hit by a “rogue wave” recently?
  8. Great Leaders Do Not Put Their Team In Harm’s Way – Chief Warrant Officer Daniel Cluff, played by Eric Bagna, sent Webber and his crew on a suicide mission and then refused to call them back in when everyone’s fears were confirmed.
  9. Intuitive Leaders Understand Pace And Timing – What kept Webber and his crew alive as they hit severe waves was knowing when to speed up the boat and when to go into neutral.  As someone who works with churches, the number one mistake I see pastors make in terms of raising money is not understanding pace and timing.  They go into neutral (do nothing or wait too long) rather than press forward.
  10. Great Leaders Have Authority But Are Also Under Authority – It is one of the reasons they utilize their authority so well.  Describing her fiancee, Miriam said, “You know Bernie.  You know he won’t get lost.  You know he follows the rules.”
  11. Successful Leaders Focus On What They Can Control – Sybert told a crewman, “I’m scared too.  I just don’t see the point in sitting around and talking about it.”
  12. Great Leaders Call Their Teams To Greater Levels Of Commitment – One of Webber’s crew said, “Maybe we should just go back?”  To which he responds, “Not on my watch.  Do your job!”
  13. Great Leaders Own The Results.  They Do Their Job. – Miriam was told, “It’s Bernie’s job to go out.”
  14. Great Leaders Are About Others And Their Success – The most successful leaders find their success in the success of others.  Webber said, “We can’t leave them out there alone.”
  15. Great Leaders Make Courageous Decisions – Everyone crosses the finish line together.  Webber continued, “We all live and we will die.”
  16. Great Leaders Are The Last Ones Off The Boat – Sybert was the last person to be rescued from the Pendleton.  Great leaders put the needs of others before themselves.
  17. The World Is Run By Tired Leaders – Both crews were literally exhausted and could barely stay awake as they approached shore.
  18. A Leader Who Does Not Celebrate Is A Leader Not Worth Following – When Webber and all the survivors returned, there was an incredible celebration from the town’s people.  However, Cluff remained back at base.

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