Sunday, March 24, 2013

Making the Executive Decision: What The Avengers and Argo Have in Common

Two movies I watched recently dealt with a theme not for the faint of heart -- the executive decision. In Avengers, the Council declared to Nick Fury (played by Samuel L. Jackson) that the best way to deal with the precarious situation involving Lokey (a demigod bent on evil) and his army of otherworldly robotic aliens, was to blast Manhattan with a nuke. The move would hopefully take care of the evildoers, but millions of New Yorkers would go down in the process.

In Argo, CIA agent Tony Mendez (played by Ben Affleck)  is faced with a real-life precarious situation. He's sent to Iran to rescue American hostages, under the guise of making a Canadian film. Somewhere along the way, as Mendez was prepping the hostages in Iran with their new identities as planned, decision-makers in D.C. decided to ditch the plan.

Fury worked for a fictional government agency, Mendez a real one. In both instances, as the guys chosen to  lead the effort, they were faced with situations in which they had to follow orders...or do what they felt was right.

These moments resonate with me because these are the moments that separate the men from the boys, the women from the girls. The courage that's shown is less about accepting the thought, the possibility of failure. It's more concrete than that. It's knowing that -- in the event you are wrong, in the event the plan crashes and burns -- you will accept the consequences.