What does it truly mean to be a leader? There is a difference between telling people what to do and being a great leader. Sometimes, you don't even have to be in charge to be a brilliant leader. Come join us today as we cover the many different ways people lead, and the most effective ways to influence other people for good.
This podcast is owned and sponsored by Invisible Mansion Pictures. For more resources, visit us at: www.invisiblemansion.com
What does it truly mean to be a leader? There is a difference between telling people what to do and being a great leader. Sometimes, you don't even have to be in charge to be a brilliant leader. Come join us today as we cover the many different ways people lead, and the most effective ways to influence other people for good.
This podcast is owned and sponsored by Invisible Mansion Pictures. For more resources, visit us at: www.invisiblemansion.com
Ep. 38 - How to Lead a Film Set, Whether You're in Charge or Not
[00:00:00] Kent Thalman: [00:00:00] Hi, I'm Kent
[00:00:01] Anna Thalman: [00:00:01] and I'm Anna,
[00:00:01]Kent Thalman: [00:00:01] and this is film and family, a podcast about feature filmmaking for professionals in the film industry with families hit subscribe to to never miss an episode.
[00:00:09] Anna Thalman: [00:00:09] Let's jump right in today. We want to talk about what leadership and parenting have in common. These are topics we've both been thinking a lot about would like to have a conversation about and share some of the things we've each been learning. Some of which we have not talked to each other about yet. So
[00:00:28] Kent Thalman: [00:00:28] oh my gosh
[00:00:29]Anna Thalman: [00:00:29] you'll get to hear it for the first time.
[00:00:31] Kent Thalman: [00:00:32] Whereas if we had talked about it, you'd be hearing it for the first time.
[00:00:36] Anna Thalman: [00:00:36] Well, yeah it's probably better that we save some conversations for the podcast.
[00:00:41]Kent Thalman: [00:00:42] Yeah. Yeah. Well, but we have discussed a lot of it just off hand, but yeah, I don't know everything that you're going to ask me. That is often the case in the podcasts. Well, this is something I think we've wanted to record in a podcast for awhile. we might even start creating some coursework around this subject in [00:01:00] terms of leadership for parents. I don't know why we don't think of it that way, but I've studied leadership books, not enough. And I've studied parenting books, not enough. I've got lots of books to read left in my life, and I really do feel like they teach a lot of the same things and it, it's so easy to compartmentalize these principles that you're learning, but I've often thought the clear, concise communication required to parent a child that seems completely illogical is the same clarity and conciseness required to lead a team or direct a movie or write a screenplay. Like you need clarity, you need communication. You need, respectful culture to be able to successfully do these things. So really, those are all just principles of leadership among, , other principals. But I just found that there's so much bleed over I think that's why we've both felt this would behoove us and [00:02:00] our listeners and our members.
[00:02:01] Anna Thalman: [00:02:01] Yeah, there's definitely crossover. And basically they both are about influencing other people who are within our stewardship, whether you're a department head, a director, a parent. I think most of you are leaders in some way, in some capacity, even just among your peers, and so
[00:02:21]Kent Thalman: [00:02:21] I would argue that all human beings in some capacity are leaders.
[00:02:25] Anna Thalman: [00:02:25] I definitely believe that. And so leadership is a valuable skill to learn, but especially if you're going to lead a team, making a creative endeavor, you know, that is something that separates film from other arts is that, it's a huge team effort. It's not something you can go do by yourself in a room and present later it requires a lot of people working together, communicating together. And, can't be done in a vacuum.
[00:02:49] Kent Thalman: [00:02:49] Yeah. Unless
[00:02:50] Anna Thalman: [00:02:50] I guess it could be done in a vacuum.
[00:02:53] Kent Thalman: [00:02:53] You're a blogger or a stay at home Lego stop motion artists, which there's nothing wrong with that.
[00:02:59] Anna Thalman: [00:02:59] yeah I [00:03:00] shouldn't say can't,
[00:03:01] Kent Thalman: [00:03:01] but
[00:03:01] Anna Thalman: [00:03:01] it doesn't usually,
[00:03:02] Kent Thalman: [00:03:02] usually there's some collaboration that exists. so. What do you think leadership is Anna?
[00:03:10] Anna Thalman: [00:03:10] Well, I've been trying to define this, so I actually Googled it this morning. and I was reading quotes about leadership.
[00:03:19] Kent Thalman: [00:03:19] Some very interesting looking quotes.
[00:03:20] Anna Thalman: [00:03:20] Yes. I'm pulling them up now. there were some of these quotes that I disagree with and I kind of want to start with those because I actually feel like I believed this before I made this feature film. And even while we were making this last feature film, I think I believed that this is what a leader was and I don't believe it anymore. Or at least I think there's a lot more to it.
[00:03:45] Kent Thalman: [00:03:45] I'm really curious now.
[00:03:46] Anna Thalman: [00:03:46] So here's one of the quotes. It says "leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality." Sounds pretty good. I think to some degree that's true, but it has nothing to [00:04:00] do with people. And I really think that leadership is about people you're leading people. And so having a vision and translating it into reality is something you could do by yourself. Or you could do with a group and you could do it as a terrible leader, or you could do it well.
[00:04:18]Kent Thalman: [00:04:19] yeah, I mean, some would argue that Hitler was a really good leader and even people who disagree with what Hitler did and how he did it might still say, yeah, but he was a really good leader, guess in my mind, the word leadership would not include. What Hitler did, frankly, I mean, and other people who are dictators, forceful leaders, people who lead through fear, I don't think that's true leadership. I think that's what you're saying. Yeah, that does technically kind of bring about a vision and bring it into reality. but is that truly leading, you know, [00:05:00] scaring a bunch of people and I mean, to some degree, there are things you can learn from him, I suppose, but, yeah, is that really true leadership? It doesn't last, it didn't work. It failed. Ultimately, as most of these sort of false pseudo leaders, their stuff might have this smoke and mirrors for a flash in the pan effect, but it won't really sustain.
[00:05:21] Anna Thalman: [00:05:22] Yeah. here's another one that I. Somewhat disagree with now. And I'll explain why this one says "the secret of leadership is simple. Do what you believe in, paint a picture of the future, go there. People will follow." So yeah, sometimes people will follow. And I do think that that can be a powerful aspect of leadership to create things, to have a vision,
[00:05:45] Kent Thalman: [00:05:45] to pioneer,
[00:05:46] Anna Thalman: [00:05:46] to pioneer. Exactly. I think that's a huge part of being a leader, but I don't think it makes you a good leader just that you do that.
[00:05:54]Kent Thalman: [00:05:55] Yeah, you could, like before it's like you could lead someone to anywhere or anything.
[00:05:59] Anna Thalman: [00:05:59] Yeah.
[00:06:00] [00:06:00] Kent Thalman: [00:06:00] Yeah.
[00:06:00] Anna Thalman: [00:06:00] And also I think back to even the podcast, we did our first impressions on our first feature film. And I remember saying, and I kind of, repent of this now, but saying that I felt like my job as a director was to hold onto the vision even whenever and disagreed with me and plow forward. And I think a lot of people think that's what leadership is. Even if people think you're wrong, you just hold onto that. And you preserve that. I think that is important to know what you believe and hold on to it, but not just plow forward, not just blaze past everyone, but you convert them to it. You're able to communicate it and get people on board and, lead them in that way. And we just watched the film Moneyball
[00:06:45] Kent Thalman: [00:06:45] super good
[00:06:47] Anna Thalman: [00:06:47] somewhat recently. And we were talking about leadership in regards to this film. So quick synopsis,
[00:06:54]Kent Thalman: [00:06:55] billy Bean is a former major league baseball player for the New [00:07:00] York Mets and he's sort of jaded, but now he's working a couple of decades later as their general manager. And he's sort of the young guy on the team of Scouts who are all old guys. Who've been doing this for way longer than he's been alive and he cannot seem to win the championship games , or they always lose an elimination match. Even after a really good season and
[00:07:22] Anna Thalman: [00:07:22] because of money they're competing,
[00:07:24] Kent Thalman: [00:07:24] they're competing with like $33 million against something like 140 plus million dollars for the New York Yankees ,
[00:07:29] Anna Thalman: [00:07:29] the good teams just
[00:07:30] Kent Thalman: [00:07:30] you know
[00:07:30] Anna Thalman: [00:07:30] buy all the good players that everyone wants
[00:07:33] Kent Thalman: [00:07:33] and so , he kind of discovers this new approach with this character. That's personified by Jonah hill. the actors, Jonah hill, I don't remember the characters name and they sort of team up and say, what if we just changed the whole game of baseball by, Playing the numbers based on this algorithm that Jonah hill has come up with where everyone's guessing as to, who's going to be a great player and they're sort of staffing these dream teams and it's like fantasy football, [00:08:00] but it's an archaic sort of emotional game that they're playing with money. And the only way to really win consistently is to see who can get on base and who as a team will get the numbers to work so that you can sort of get on base and score points and, win baseball games. And so,
[00:08:21] Anna Thalman: [00:08:21] yeah, based on the system, there were a lot of players who were had the most runs, but people weren't considering them because they were getting old or because they'd had an injury or whatever, or,
[00:08:31] Kent Thalman: [00:08:31] they weren't you know, sexy home run hitters, you know, they weren't the superstar sort of a profile,
[00:08:38] Anna Thalman: [00:08:38] but if you were going solely by the numbers, They
[00:08:41] Kent Thalman: [00:08:41] got on base and
[00:08:42] Anna Thalman: [00:08:42] they were the ones who got the most runs. So, that's sort of setup of the story. Good little synopsis there. It's a good film. I enjoyed it. , and so this guy, what's his name? Billy
[00:08:53] Kent Thalman: [00:08:53] Billy Bean,
[00:08:54] Anna Thalman: [00:08:54] Billy Bean who is the general manager sets forward with this plan. And he's blazing a [00:09:00] trail. He's being a pioneer. He's having to go against a lot of people who disagree with him,
[00:09:04] Kent Thalman: [00:09:04] including the coach of the team,
[00:09:05] Anna Thalman: [00:09:05] including the coach. And it doesn't work at first. And the coach is very against, what he's trying to do, he won't cooperate with him.
[00:09:14] Kent Thalman: [00:09:14] He won't play the players that they've told him to play. They're putting other people up to bat and playing outfield and stuff
[00:09:20] Anna Thalman: [00:09:20] and no one believes in him and the numbers are not supporting it because
[00:09:23] Kent Thalman: [00:09:23] they're losing games
[00:09:24] Anna Thalman: [00:09:24] because the coach isn't supporting it. And so it's not going to work unless everyone can kind of be on board. So on the one hand, that's inspiring that he. He eventually kind of forces his way.
[00:09:36]Kent Thalman: [00:09:36] Yeah. He fires some people. He trades a lot of players. Like if this coach keeps playing players that he didn't want, he'd just trade them so that he couldn't keep playing them. And he had to play the players that he wanted to put on the field.
[00:09:49] Anna Thalman: [00:09:49] so He forces his way until it starts to work. And then everyone's like, oh, okay, what's this method. And they jump on board and they want to pay them lots of money. And, suddenly everyone trusts him [00:10:00] because he's super successful. But at first everyone was against him and he had to fight and blaze forward. But I do think as I watched that film. That he could have done a better job of explaining, at least in this, narrative. I don't know what the real person was like, cause it's based on a real story, but
[00:10:18] Kent Thalman: [00:10:18] right it's based on a real story, but they took, I'm sure plenty of
[00:10:21] Anna Thalman: [00:10:21] lots of creative Liberty, but, just based on the film, at least I think he could have explained himself more explained what his method was and why he was choosing the players that he was, and not expect people to blindly follow him, but help them to see the way he sees and, get on board. I think that would have been a lot better than just blazing forward. And then later people want to work with him.
[00:10:46] Kent Thalman: [00:10:46] So those quotes that you're saying we're kind of like mentioning vision. They were mentioning, pioneering, which he kind of takes a vision and makes it into a reality. He does just go forward and pioneer and [00:11:00] eventually. Other people, especially other teams get on board and you know, he becomes the guy who gets a job offer that would have made him the highest paid general manager in sports at the end of all of this, because they realized that he was the guy who had figured this out. And then in the end, everyone just kind of copied his system anyway. But, what he didn't do was what you were saying, which was focused on the people. He didn't paint that vision for anyone but himself and maybe a few people, but not as whole team. He didn't. Now I will push back against that because in the movie he paints the vision for the players. He starts to break his own code because he never, travels with the team. He never talks to the teammates because he's the general manager. He's the guy who has to say, you're packing up your traded to another team and we're bringing in another player and he doesn't want to be emotionally connected to them, but he eventually kind of breaks that and he starts to explain to them. This is how you're going to play the game based on the system we're doing, and you are going to focus on [00:12:00] runs and you're not going to bunt it this way, you're going to swing it this way, or you're going to hit this way. And he just explains the vision. Like this is why we put you on this team, was to do this thing that you do. And so at that part, I think there was some great leadership going on, but man, his Scouts hated him. His coach bought him and he never, he really didn't. He just kinda, pushed, it just pushed it, right. You just bulldozed right through them. And, there might be a time and a season for that, but, at least in the movie land,
[00:12:29] Anna Thalman: [00:12:29] it's just interesting that the one person who opposed him the most, which was the coach and could have almost single-handedly brought down the whole project was the one person. I didn't feel like he ever explained the vision to.
[00:12:41] Kent Thalman: [00:12:41] Yeah. He never, at least in the movie,
[00:12:43]Anna Thalman: [00:12:44] at least in the movie,
[00:12:44] Kent Thalman: [00:12:44] we recognize that this is based on true story. And we aren't making any statements about the actual people who were involved in that story. And, You know, whatever he did at work. And so he might've actually done a better job of this in real life than the movie portrayed, but we loved the film. It was such a good movie.
[00:12:58] Anna Thalman: [00:12:58] It is very good, yeah.
[00:12:59] Kent Thalman: [00:12:59] It's so well written. [00:13:00] I think it's one of my favorite performances I've ever seen Brad Pitt act in his, some of his best acting and, yeah. Great, great movie.
[00:13:08] Anna Thalman: [00:13:08] So I do have some quotes that I found that I actually thought were really nice, and valid
[00:13:13] Kent Thalman: [00:13:13] hit me.
[00:13:13] Anna Thalman: [00:13:13] Okay. So the first one is Martin Luther king Jr. And he was a great leader. As we know civil rights movement. He said "a genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus, but a molder of consensus."
[00:13:29] Kent Thalman: [00:13:30] That's yeah. That's not the typical vinyl plaque. What do you think of that?
[00:13:36] Anna Thalman: [00:13:36] Well, I think. I agree with it because I think being a leader is not looking for everyone to agree with you all the time. This is the tricky balance, right? It's not just finding people who agree or bending what you believe in to match
[00:13:50] Kent Thalman: [00:13:50] for calling for a vote. Every time there's a disagreement kind of a thing
[00:13:54] Anna Thalman: [00:13:55] it's molding consensus. It's helping people agree by [00:14:00] sharing your vision clearly and addressing their doubts,
[00:14:03] Kent Thalman: [00:14:03] unifying everyone behind a vision.
[00:14:05] Anna Thalman: [00:14:05] You don't just find them and lead them. You, kind of create them.
[00:14:09] Kent Thalman: [00:14:10] I think in theory, that sounds really nice. Honestly, part of me wonders if there's a give and take there, you know, because I'm thinking about filmmaking, thinking about staffing a crew and being like. Hey, so like, I'm going to hire you. I don't know. I'm just thinking of random examples, random DPS. And they're like, yes. I only work with 35 millimeters and 50 millimeter lenses. I'm actually quoting an actual DP who DP a really big movie that you probably saw in theaters. I have no issue with that, by the way, but if this was like a Carol Ballard film about a little boy on an island with a horse, and we were like, we're going to get as far away from the actor as possible and shoot on super long telephoto lenses and just make it very documentary that DP might not be the best person to hire. And so at that point, I'm like, maybe I am searching for consensus. At least searching for [00:15:00] someone who's inclinations are already not going to require me to you know, like do a lot of conversions, you know? but at the same time, once you have staffed it, it is your job. I think, especially with Martin Luther king, he was saying, uh, to your point, , To really inspire a mutual understanding of this is what we're all doing, and this is what I need your help as a team to accomplish. And this is why it's going to be so great and why it matters so much and painting that vision for everyone , in a way that they can understand it.
[00:15:28] Anna Thalman: [00:15:28] . Well, and I also think followers, like following is elective. It's a choice. And so if you're clear upfront with the expectations and the vision, then people who electively choose to follow will hopefully be trusting and supportive of their leader, or they can leave, but I don't think it's the job of the leader to change people or force them to follow. It's just, if you're going to follow me, this is, what we're doing. and this is my vision and, being able to [00:16:00] communicate that clearly so that even a follower might have doubt, you know, a follower might wonder at times, About what the leader they're following is doing and a good leader, I think can address those doubts.
[00:16:14]Kent Thalman: [00:16:14] Yeah.
[00:16:15]Anna Thalman: [00:16:15] I don't think I was necessarily a good leader on this film to be honest. So I I've learned a lot of this through my mistakes. And now my perception of it has changed a lot. I think there's a lot more I could have done on set too, to help people understand what I was trying to accomplish. And if they disagreed instead of just blazing forward and saying, well, I'm doing it anyway. And you don't understand, to take the time to acquire understanding.
[00:16:44] Kent Thalman: [00:16:45] Yeah. think a lot about Jordan Peele who directed get out, in DGA podcast interview, he talks about. Kind of both of those situations where his norm on set [00:17:00] was exactly what you're explaining. if there was an actor and the actor wasn't getting there, or things weren't clicking in the scene, he would just step aside and just walk, it out with them. And he said, I acted as this, we had all day, which we didn't, but I treated it like that. Like, listen, let's just talk it out and figure it out. And I've actually experienced that as a cinematographer on a short film, when I got really frustrated because I had made some promises and I had practiced and practiced and then rigging started to fail and I felt really upset. And I felt like I was failing, the film . I was failing the director. I was failing people and the movie and that director stepped me aside and said, Hey, look. This is what's happening and we can't stop it. The thing isn't working and we're not going to get it to work and we don't have time to go fix it or change it or swap it out or buy something. We don't have the money to fix the problem. So what are we going to do? He didn't even ask what we're going to do. He says, here's what I think we should do moving forward. Let's just do this part handheld because this rig thing isn't working and I think it'll work really nicely and we can make [00:18:00] it work and we'll tell the story. but he walked me off set, and walked with me. until I felt like I could calm down and say, all right, this is the new direction that the leader has set forth, sort of a thing. And I can get behind that. Let's do that and then step back into it. And then the team kind of comes back together and we can do it. And that's kind of a Jordan Peele described. I just, I think, that's creating. What's it, what'd he say consensus it's that like helping people feel comfortable and unified. and on the other side, Jordan Peele talked about a day where his AD just came to him and said, listen, we can't do this today. , this is what we have to get to make our day. And he said there was one scene where the whole cast basically was like, this makes no sense. And he said, you're just going to have to trust me. I know this is going to work. We've been doing great work all the way up to this point. You're gonna have to trust me. Let's just give it a try, but we've got to do it. We've just got to do [00:19:00] it. And if it doesn't work, it doesn't work, but it will work. This is going to work in the story. And he say, the whole cast revolted on him. They were just upset with him until They did it. And then he said it worked and that was when I realized I was director is what he said, which I thought was really interesting. And so was kind of the money ball thing and the Martin Luther king thing, you you just have to, sometimes I think there's times and seasons and his norm is the Martin Luther king thing. It's creating the consensus and working with people. But when you've established two weeks of that on set, you might be able to afford to take a day and say, listen, you're just going to have to trust me because you've got two weeks of mutual kind patient understanding built up. But if you try and do that on day one, I don't think you're going to get very far and you might even succeed on day one, but on day two and three, you're going to be starting behind. And people are going to start the day already upset with you already feeling like you're just doing your own thing and they're going to start to feel useless. Like I'm just a robot here and I'm just going to take orders. And I guess I don't really [00:20:00] matter. And so, anyway, Hopefully that wasn't too much of a tangent, but I'm trying to synthesize all of this.
[00:20:06] Anna Thalman: [00:20:06] I think that's a great contribution. I love that, story. It's I think the great challenge of leadership and I dare say the greatest challenge I faced on this feature film was that balance between doing what you believe is best. And people disagreeing with you and, trying to get them on board or trying to help them understand. And, that requires being able to communicate clearly. But even if you communicate clearly, sometimes people will choose not to trust you. you could say that take was good, we got it. And they just might not believe you. And you might not have time to stop and look at it every time you might not be able to. Wait or take the time to convince them, you might have to move on to get everything. And so it's a huge challenge. And I think it astounds me how many directors I've [00:21:00] heard talk about this challenge since who have had such immense resources at their hands as far as time and money and talent. and yet it's still a challenge there's still that compromise. It's always the compromise that
[00:21:15] Kent Thalman: [00:21:15] did we get it. Do we move on? Is everyone mad at me?
[00:21:19] Anna Thalman: [00:21:19] yeah, there's Always something you have to compromise and you have to know when do I compromise this take or this scene or the time that we have today. And when do I compromise, the potential trust that I've built up with my team or my actors, , It's very hard, very hard,
[00:21:38]Kent Thalman: [00:21:38] well, let's talk about parenting. Can we move on to that? Or did you want to read a couple quotes?
[00:21:42] Anna Thalman: [00:21:42] I have a few more quotes that I think will relate well to parenting, to help us transition there. I'll just read them all. And then we can just talk about them all. So quick quote, reading. This is Ronald Reagan. He said " the greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is [00:22:00] the one that gets the people to do the greatest things." Again, I love that because it's focused on people and not just on what you do, which you could do by yourself and or what you convince people to do or force them to do. It's that you inspire people to do great things.
[00:22:16] Kent Thalman: [00:22:16] You know, that reminds me of this basketball player whose name escapes me, whose team escapes me some really influential MVP player said, So I'm paraphrasing, obviously, because I'm really reaching back in the recesses of my, long-term memory. but I just remember him saying that his success was not defined by his accomplishments. It was defined by his teammates accomplishments. that's kind of what that Ronald Reagan, I think it's Reagan, Reagan, you know, phonetically Regan would make more sense. I wasn't alive in the eighties, so I just I'll never know anyway. but yeah, that's what that quote reminded me of. And I've, thought about that quote often, and that makes me think, I gotta say this while it's [00:23:00] relevant, because I've been thinking about it. That to me, leadership is investment. I've really, feel like investors that in still just talking about movies, still investors that invest in me as a filmmaker. Those are people that are willing to risk for another person's opportunity. That's a huge deal to me. And then once I have those resources sort of allocated to my project, that I am steward over, I am now investing in the DP and in the director and in the writer and in the actors, all the people that I staff on that film in conjunction with other department heads, you know, like I'm investing in those people in a way, I'm giving opportunities, job opportunities, and also creative opportunities to vocalize and articulate themselves through this medium, through the department, through the, you know, that part of the craft that they are stewards over.
[00:23:49] So I'm, I'm risking on them. And, that, I've been thinkin' so much about this lately. We've been talking about it all week when it's all coming together. That idea of believing in someone [00:24:00] believing in them so much that you're going to sacrifice for them there. You're going to make huge risks for them. That to me is where real leadership rubber hits. The road of reality anyway, it's, that willingness to invest that willingness to risk on another human being. There's something there to me about leadership. And I just think about the movie Hobson's choice. Please go watch it. If you haven't seen it directed by David Leen, I believe it was 1953.
[00:24:28] Anna Thalman: [00:24:28] can't go wrong with David leen
[00:24:29] Kent Thalman: [00:24:29] David leens, so, so good. So good. And Hobson's choice is my favorite David Lee movie, the one hardly anyone has ever seen. And, the other one we watched was my fair lady. My fair lady was an interesting one because the investor was sort of a massogonist and it was kind of strange, but my, Hobson's choice is just this person who. I mean, basically risks her whole life on this person, on this guy, , she sets out to marry him. She sets out to start a business with them. She sets out to educate him. He can't even read because she just believes in [00:25:00] him
[00:25:00] Anna Thalman: [00:25:00] when he doesn't even believe in himself.
[00:25:01] Kent Thalman: [00:25:01] Yeah. It's like a total shift of self-concept for him to believe any of this stuff. And he's trying to fight the whole endeavor until he realizes that this lady is sincere and that she does love him. She does believe in him. She truly believes he's the greatest boot maker in all of, you know, Manchester area and all this stuff. And that movie we watched the transformation that happens in that other guy, she Maggie the characters name is like the greatest leader in cinema history. She's so amazing. And it's just, that movie is a joy to watch. And I just think that has become at least for my heart. What I am starting to feel like I want to be as a leader, like someone who gives other people opportunities and just invests hard time and money and risk in other people believing that they're going to raise everything up. And I have found that that has made me more money saved me more time. Made me look more good. I don't know if that sentence makes [00:26:00] sense, but it works in, you know, anyway, the clause might not make as much sense, but it works in the context of the whole sentence makes me look more good than anything I could do to invest in myself, like pay myself more money or try and save myself more time or work faster or trying to make myself look at grandizing or good. And that's kind of what Jesus teaches, right? He's a base yourself and lift others and you'll be exalted. But if you try to exalt yourself, you'll be a based, because. I mean, who likes being around a person who's like, I'm the best all the time. Right?
[00:26:29] Anna Thalman: [00:26:29] Well I do think That's what some people think leadership is. And I think that's where it fails when people are like, I want to be in the spotlight. I want it to be about me. I want everyone to serve me, but really the greatest leaders are servants and they're all about, I want to serve you. I want your success.
[00:26:45] Kent Thalman: [00:26:45] Was that the Daniel pink thing you were talking to me about?
[00:26:48] Anna Thalman: [00:26:48] yeah, Daniel pink teaches a masterclass on persuasion and he talks about
[00:26:52] Kent Thalman: [00:26:52] he writes a lot of books too
[00:26:54] Anna Thalman: [00:26:54] how to map out the dynamics, that a conversation with multiple people. And he actually takes a scene from a [00:27:00] film and maps out this conversation. And who's talking to who and, talks about who's the most powerful at that table, the most powerful influencer. And there was someone at that table who was talking a lot and at first glance she might seem powerful because she's speaking a lot. But he points out that usually the person who's trying to speak the most is trying very hard to be persuasive, but they actually, aren't
[00:27:26] Kent Thalman: [00:27:26] they're trying to be the leader of the most influential person in the room.
[00:27:29]Anna Thalman: [00:27:29] they're the one who's trying the hardest, but the one who's actually the most influential is usually very quiet. And yet they're the person who everyone else is speaking to and taking note of. And,
[00:27:41] Kent Thalman: [00:27:41] and when they do open their mouth, that's when everyone like shuts up and listens and you can sense it. And I've seen this in Hollywood reporter round table interviews where you see this whole table, people talking and then Alfonzo, Koran, who's coming off of the best director, when on, gravity, says one word and everyone just goes and just gets quiet and listens to what he has to say. [00:28:00] And there's other people at that table really throwing their weight around, trying to like, seem like, yeah. Trying to seem really bright and amazing. And , anytime he just says a small little comment. It's kind of profound and everyone's like, oh, I gotta listen to what Alfonso has to say. and I've seen that in several different Hollywood reporter interviews there's like one director that everyone has the most respect for around the table. And then there's like one or two that are just verbally trying to win a game. they're trying to seem like the bee's knees, you know? So that's such a reality. I feel Daniel pink is pointing out there. And
[00:28:33] Anna Thalman: [00:28:33] it's such an interesting thing where we, if we think that leadership is all being in the spotlight and glory and praises, then we won't achieve it. But if we understand that leadership is servant. Serving and being a servant and helping other people and glorifying other people. That's really where you become a great leader.
[00:28:53] Kent Thalman: [00:28:53] Yeah. And it comes with a lot of responsibility. Like it's not now I'm the biggest leader in the room and some people don't want to be leaders, [00:29:00]or have that responsibility probably because they understand it a little better. But the people who seem to think that it just means everyone does what you tell them to do. Without questioning you are wrong, no matter how respected and loved and admired a leader is they get tons of resistance. I don't know if there's like a single more beloved president, than Abraham Lincoln, who historically, can anyone look back and say oh, he was the worst. everyone pretty much agrees that he was a great leader. he has aged well with history and yet at the time he probably had to face more opposition than anyone in the world. He had to preside over the civil war. Like no other president has been so hated that half the country declared war, you know? And I mean, he was assassinated. He had more resistance than any other leader.
[00:29:47] Anna Thalman: [00:29:47] Same with Christ.
[00:29:48] Kent Thalman: [00:29:48] Yeah. Same with Jesus Christ. Same with pretty much all great leaders in history. And Gandhi was assassinated. Martin Luther king was assassinated. these are the people that everyone like admires and loves almost universally [00:30:00] now. And at the time that leadership was. Like, you're gonna have to go through hell, right? Like you've got to go through just massive, massive opposition and you have to lead teams that are sometimes reluctant and you've just got to do your best.
[00:30:14]Anna Thalman: [00:30:14] and that's why, that's why I love that film. Oh, what is it? The Martin Luther king film.
[00:30:19] Kent Thalman: [00:30:19] Selma,
[00:30:19] Anna Thalman: [00:30:19] Selma. I love that film because it was the first time when I watched it, that I had considered that he, as a leader did not know he would be successful. , you know, he received resistance. He had his own doubts and he had to kind of stand up and try to believe that this would work in the face of a lot of people who did not believe it would work. And, a lot of circumstances where it seemed like it wasn't working. And it's so easy for us to look back now and say, of course, that was going to work. Of course he was right. But for him in that day, he faced so much resistance and it was hard to be a leader and to hold onto what he thought would work and just try it [00:31:00] and see it all the way.
[00:31:00] Kent Thalman: [00:31:00] Same with Moneyball. The thing that Moneyball does so well as a script is that you get to a point where I as an audience member, at least I got to a point where I thought, I think this is going to blow up in his face. I think at the end of this, it's going to fail so hard. , it's going to seem like it's working, like it's failing and then it's maybe working and then it's going to fail so hard that it's just going to ruin him. And he's going to have to learn this hard lesson about not being a bully or something. I don't know. I wasn't sure where the film was going, but it really convinced you that there's no way you could believe that this is going to work and he's afraid to admit that maybe it couldn't because you see that When he's alone, he's experiencing major self doubt, but when he's in front of everyone, he's like, I believe this thing it's going to work. It's a hundred percent. He's having to talk to the owners, right? The guys that are investing in him that have hired him, the owners of the team. And, he's like, yeah, of course this is gonna work. It's gonna work great. And then he's alone. And he's banging his head against the steering wheel, you know, like, and it reminds me of David McCall talking about history. And he said, you realize that people in the past didn't think that they were [00:32:00] living in the past. They didn't walk around saying, look at our powdered wigs and look how quaint we are, you know, walking around in the past. And he said, they didn't know that the 1776 revolutionary war was going to be successful. for them, this was life and death. And they had no idea what was going to happen, but they signed the declaration anyway. And he said so much of it was determined by the decisions and the personality of a single person. I just love that the David McCullough points that out. You've got to remember that history. Wasn't history to these guys. , it was clear and present danger. It was real life. Right. So I think just to your point with Selma, yeah. Like it was
[00:32:37] Anna Thalman: [00:32:37] real leadership is going to feel that way. Yeah. No matter who you are, even if you're Christ and you're perfect.
[00:32:44] Kent Thalman: [00:32:44] And yet, sometimes it helps me to think, I think that way about it. When I look back on this, sometimes I think if I was looking back on this as my future self and everything feels like it's raining down on me and it's all crumbling to pieces. I think my future self looking back is going to say, this was a story [00:33:00] to tell, , one day, all this opposition, all this difficulty, one day, I'm going to look back and say, I'm going to tell this story and be like, Look at this lesson I learned. And what will the lesson be that I want to say? And I'm just going to say, this is a time where I need to believe the vision I had, or this is a time when I need to listen to these people. And, maybe you opened up my mind and, that just kinda helps me see things clearer when I pretend like I am looking at the past, maybe against what David Mclow was saying people actually experienced in their life. So,
[00:33:28] Anna Thalman: [00:33:28] Yeah. I'll read a few more quotes here. This is John Maxwell. I'm not sure who that is, but he said "leaders become great. Not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others. " So along those same lines, Alexander din Hier said, when I talked to my managers, I get the feeling they're important. When I talk to leaders, I get the feeling I'm important. Made me think of Mr. Rogers, actually.
[00:33:57] Kent Thalman: [00:33:58] it's like this feeling of [00:34:00] Inspiration. don't you feel inspired when the leader is speaking to you, you feel like inspired. I think the feeling of feeling inspired is like, I have a role to play in this great thing we're doing. I'm important to this thing we're doing. And maybe I feel for a moment that it all depends on me, if you're an actor or if you're a DP or if you're a director, it never all depends on you. It depends on everybody. but when you feel that for a moment, sometimes it's a good feeling. Like someone just inspires you. Like this is worth fighting for, this is worth working for, this is worth sacrificing for him. That's a cool quote. I like that.
[00:34:32] Anna Thalman: [00:34:32] Yeah.. Okay. I saved the best for last. At least for me, this quote helped me the most to feel like I could apply it to parenting and to filmmaking and everything. and I actually don't know who said this quote, so
[00:34:44] Kent Thalman: [00:34:44] it was just a big black Pinteresty looking box.
[00:34:46] Anna Thalman: [00:34:46] Yeah. I just liked it.
[00:34:47] Kent Thalman: [00:34:47] Maybe, maybe some random like personal hallmark came up with it.
[00:34:51] Anna Thalman: [00:34:51] Well, it's kind of nice because I feel like real leaders are. Are quiet. Like you almost don't know that they did it because they convince everyone that
[00:34:58] Kent Thalman: [00:34:58] anonymous.
[00:34:59] Anna Thalman: [00:34:59] They [00:35:00] convince everyone that the team did it. you actually feel like you accomplished it because they believed in you and supported you the whole way.
[00:35:07] Kent Thalman: [00:35:07] That's true.
[00:35:07] Anna Thalman: [00:35:07] I feel like some of the best leaders are that way. They're kind of invisible
[00:35:10] Kent Thalman: [00:35:10] well to the quote,
[00:35:11] Anna Thalman: [00:35:11] to the quote, which says "leaders don't create followers. They create more leaders".
[00:35:16] Kent Thalman: [00:35:17] I love that. Quote, honey,
[00:35:19] Anna Thalman: [00:35:19] it's simple, but I've just, it stuck with me.
[00:35:22]Kent Thalman: [00:35:22] Yeah, it's deceptively sort of platitude ish or simple, but I don't think it's platitude. I think it's really profound actually. It's I could think about that all day tomorrow. Anything,
[00:35:33] Anna Thalman: [00:35:33] you know this actually changed the way I parented today and I know I'm just starting to apply it, but all day today, I thought about my kids and I thought if I'm a good leader, I'm creating leaders, not followers. I'm not just saying, okay, if she bothers you, come talk to me about it and I'll solve the problem. I'm going to teach my children how to work this out themselves. I'm going to show them how to be a leader so that [00:36:00] when I'm not around, they know what to do. And I don't know it, it's hard to explain the difference that it made, but I just felt like I was creating independent little people instead of expecting them to rely on me, which I don't actually want. I don't want to have to always be the one to step in and solve the problems and do things. I want them to be independent. I want them to know how to do things on their own. And I'm a better leader. If I do that, if I actually teach them this is what I would do, this is why I would do it this way. Here's how you can do it this way. And they start to understand. whether it's working things out amongst themselves or even stuff like this is why I cleaned the house. This is why I choose to eat healthy. This is why, it's good to wear new underwear every day was the conversation I had with Marshall. And if I believe that he's a leader, that conversation looks different than when I think I'm the leader. And I have to [00:37:00] teach him. It's hard to explain.
[00:37:02] Kent Thalman: [00:37:02] Yeah. Well, because it's not always teaching, if you're not teaching them to lead themselves, then you're not teaching them. You're just trying to make them follow you. You're trying to make them blindly do everything you ask them to do. Gosh. And sometimes there's a time and a place for that. Not just as a leader, but as a follower there's times when I just have to say, you know what, I'm going to put my faith in this leader and do exactly what they say. And I have no idea why, and I might even have my doubts about it. But I have sometimes found great power in that. And there are times and places for that,
[00:37:31] Anna Thalman: [00:37:31] but I did want to touch on that.
[00:37:33] Kent Thalman: [00:37:33] But most of the time I agree with what you're saying. Well, we want them to learn how to lead themselves. we want them to become masters of themselves. And so you teach them why they need to wear a new underwear every day. Right. So it becomes their decision, not just your decision.
[00:37:48] Anna Thalman: [00:37:48] Yeah. I don't want them to believe in me. I want them to believe in truth
[00:37:52] Kent Thalman: [00:37:52] and in themselves
[00:37:53] Anna Thalman: [00:37:53] and in themselves and in the principles That I believe in that I want teach him
[00:37:58] Kent Thalman: [00:37:58] like the principle
[00:37:58] Anna Thalman: [00:37:58] passed them on
[00:37:59] Kent Thalman: [00:37:59] of clean [00:38:00] underwear.
[00:38:00] Anna Thalman: [00:38:00] Well, he didn't understand why that mattered. And we talked about it.
[00:38:03] Kent Thalman: [00:38:03] And how on earth would you assume that they would, it's not like they're born with this knowledge of what germs are. That's actually, I've realized kind of a complex concept to explain to a child it's like microscopic animals. Microscopic means like, they're like little tiny bugs. You can't see and they make you sick somehow by magic.
[00:38:22] Anna Thalman: [00:38:22] I want to buy a microphone and look at all the germs in the bathroom,
[00:38:26] Kent Thalman: [00:38:26] a microphone. He said,
[00:38:29]Anna Thalman: [00:38:29] anyway, I really liked that quote. I feel like when you see others as leaders, you see them as equals you see them as like, there's this mutual respect for that person that may not exist. If you just see that as someone who works for me or someone who is helping me or following me. But if you say like, this is a leader, And I'm going to treat them that way. I think that they feel that respect and they're more likely to step up to that. [00:39:00] and I think that Christ is a good example of that as well. Perfect example of servant leadership, but also he ministered to his followers. He had people who didn't follow him and he, didn't really regard them. He moved forward with what he knew and what he was teaching. And he, taught his apostles to be independent leaders when he was gone so that they could stand on their own.
[00:39:23] Kent Thalman: [00:39:23] And that took a lot of work.
[00:39:24] Anna Thalman: [00:39:24] It was a lot of work
[00:39:25] Kent Thalman: [00:39:25] like, they were like little children. He even called them that sometimes. And I don't think he was trying to be condescending. I often feel like a little child sometimes like I'm faking it or I don't understand what's going on or I'm trying to figure stuff out. And then the simplest simplest thing suddenly makes sense. And I go. Oh, I've just had this major breakthrough, but it wasn't like I figured out a calculus problem. It's like, I figured out one plus one, you know, I feel like that. And like last week, you know, like I feel like I've, I'm having these things that I'm just starting to understand. And so, yeah, that's, what we're doing. We're trying to help people become leaders on their own. And I think that that's awesome. it's just Great.
[00:40:00] [00:40:00] Anna Thalman: [00:40:00] So I think, just really quick, on the flip side, we kind of said, we'd touch on this as followers, because we all are also followers. We choose to follow people. We choose to join together with people. I think we also have a responsibility to trust and a lot of people have this idea that trust has to be earned. Which usually means if you meet my expectations, I will choose to trust you.
[00:40:24] Kent Thalman: [00:40:24] Or if you somehow impress me or seem smarter than me or whatever.
[00:40:28] Anna Thalman: [00:40:28] Yeah. Or if you have a history, which makes it really easy to trust
[00:40:32] Kent Thalman: [00:40:32] what people want, they
[00:40:33] Anna Thalman: [00:40:33] want to make it really easy for me to trust you. And then I'll trust you,
[00:40:37] Kent Thalman: [00:40:37] which trust it actually is an investment. It has risk and it can be, you can doubt it and it can be a little scary sometimes. Yeah. It's,
[00:40:46] Anna Thalman: [00:40:46] that's how you invest in people.
[00:40:47] Kent Thalman: [00:40:47] But that's true. Leadership is follow-ship following, like just like
[00:40:53] Anna Thalman: [00:40:53] back and forth
[00:40:54] Kent Thalman: [00:40:54] and that I've heard so much that to be a good leader, you must first become a great follower. And I've always wondered what that [00:41:00] meant. And like, going back to Jesus, he talks about how he's done nothing. Save his father had commanded him. he's like, I don't do anything. I'm always just following the father kind of a thing. I'm not doing it of myself. And, , you know, I, still see this in Hobson's choice, she's not trying to lead everything and be the biggest, best everything she's trying to put this person that she believes in, in front. And she does it in the movie. Like they even cause David Lean's a genius. He blocks it so that she will be in the background doing all the talking, but he will be in the foreground kind of, simultaneously being the front man for the business and hearing what she is saying about him. Cause she's selling him, she's touting him. She's putting him up on the pedestal and saying how great he is. And he's starting to believe this stuff that he's, that she's saying about him, which is like, in that moment, changing his self-concept is like, wow, that's who I am or that's who she thinks I am. , and [00:42:00] how that's transforming him. While he is sitting in front of the investor, who they're asking for , you know, all this money and it's just she is following him by basically saying like, I'm going to die for this person. I believe in him so much. I will follow them to the ends of the earth And yet she was kind of, she really was the leader
[00:42:21] Anna Thalman: [00:42:21] that's this whole thing. Leaders don't create followers. They create more leaders because
[00:42:24] Kent Thalman: [00:42:24] she knew she was the leader. She created this man out of nothing.
[00:42:27] Anna Thalman: [00:42:27] she was a leader because she was a follower because she was willing to say, you can be a leader and I'm going to be your faithful follower. And I'm going to stick with you and believe in you and invest in you and take a risk in you.
[00:42:40] Kent Thalman: [00:42:40] And she did things before he knew how to read before he knew how to lead before he knew how to talk and, speak and speak in front of a group of four people, you know? And she believed before he quote unquote earned her trust. She gave him, she invested her trust in him because, [00:43:00] she believed in what he could become and, shoot, man that it's so mind blowing. I can't remember what I was going to say next, but it's so good.
[00:43:10] Anna Thalman: [00:43:10] So I think that that's an important thing to realize as followers. and as leaders who are creating leaders and being followers in that way too, is that trust is a choice. We choose to trust someone and no matter what the odds are, you can choose to trust someone. And no matter what the successes are, you could choose not to trust someone. but I feel like if you're going to follow, then I see no upside to following someone and not trusting, not choosing to trust them.
[00:43:41] Kent Thalman: [00:43:41] Yeah. Not fully investing your trust in them, risking your trust in them.
[00:43:46] Anna Thalman: [00:43:46] If we Go back to the Moneyball example. the coach who didn't trust in him almost single-handedly destroyed the whole project because if not everyone was participating in onboard it wouldn't work. You have to believe in it and really [00:44:00] try it all the way through for it to work. And when it's a team dynamic, that's often the case, one person. By not believing or not trusting could bring it all down.
[00:44:11] Kent Thalman: [00:44:11] So true. and one quote, I remember, it might've been from John Maxwell, that guy, you didn't know who he was, was the only thing more contagious than a positive attitude is a negative one. Negative attitudes are infectious. If you start to complain about a director on set behind that, director's back, you really can destroy a film. it's possible to just ruin the whole thing. And it is poisonous. I was warned about it by producers and by teachers in school, they were like, do everything you can, if you're on a crew, if you are a grip, do whatever you can to stop negative gossip because it will infest a crew so fast and ruin stuff. And I think that's true in life. That's true. You know, that's why, I just don't believe in like, [00:45:00] Ever saying anything bad about my parents. I just, don't believe in complaining about them. My parents had way worse parents than my parents, and my parents' parents were pretty. I mean, I actually love my grandparents, at least on my dad's side. I didn't know my grandparents on my mom's side. And my family history is kind of complicated and there was even some history of abuse and stuff, not from my parents. but to my parents, mainly my mom. that's why I don't know my mom's side, but just, I only bring it up because my parents have given me this life that I had no right to receive from someone who was raised under. Poverty abuse, sort of just you know, there were various degrees of people working with addictions. wasn't like all bad, you know? especially my dad's family, wasn't all bad, but it was pretty complicated stuff. And so, what, what good would it do for me as a, child to complain and gossip with my siblings about them, when really they've, done more than I'll ever be able to pay back. And I think that's the case with [00:46:00] these are people, these producers, these directors, your department heads, whoever they hired you, they they're risking on you. You need to trust in the fact that they hired you is a risk. So you in turn. Yeah, they've already earned your, trust by risking, by risking on you. So now you need to risk on them and fight for them. And one more leadership masterclass go watch or rewatch and do whichever case you're in the hunt for the red October and watch the behavior of, ramus played by Sean Connery. His first mate, who has to believe in this guy, who's trying to do something very difficult defect and give a nuclear submarine to the United States of America. and watch Rameus is what he's willing to do and what he will not do as a leader and how he leads that whole movie is like a masterclass on leadership. But I think watch the first main watch how the first mate takes the weight of defending his leader, even when he does not understand [00:47:00] his captain's decisions, he will fight and defend the captain's decisions to all of the rest of his officers and crew. Even when he is himself doubting and confused, that to me shows the first mate is incredible leader because he's fighting for the captain and without him, the whole operation would have failed without that first mate, the operation would have failed.
[00:47:23] Anna Thalman: [00:47:23] Yeah. So I think as a follower, it's important to be careful with criticism. it's really, probably not responsible to continue with the team if you, if you're going to criticize or if you're going to tear down or doubt. and just also that doubt has to exist. If everyone agrees, then there's no trust. There's no need for trust leaders are people who have to convert believers and believers have to choose to trust when it isn't easy. When there is room for doubt, when maybe you don't have a history of success when we haven't tried this [00:48:00] untraditional method before, whatever it is, stick with it. If you're going to do it. Stick with it and don't criticize it and see it through to the end because otherwise, you know, I'm afraid if I, didn't do that, I could be the one that sinks the ship. I could be the reason that it didn't succeed because I complain or because I
[00:48:19] Kent Thalman: [00:48:19] and the bitter truth, the bitter truth that gossipers and complainer's have to face is that they probably secretly want the ship to sink because they know that the person in leadership is going to be the one that takes the blame and the, takes the fall for it. So what they're trying to do is they feel resentment or they feel anger, or they feel bitterness toward the leader. And they're thinking this is failing because of them and to prove themselves, right. They are sort of undermining the project and trying to cause it to fail, to prove that that leader is causing it to fail, which seems to them that it's going to work out. There's a part of that inside all of us. So I'm not trying to point anyone out or say that like everyone in a [00:49:00] sort of a position where they're able to follow a leader, like, is that way I'm saying that this is something that all of us have to leaders and followers because everyone's a leader, right. And everyone's a follower. all of us need to learn that skill of recognizing that inside of us, that desire to blame and bring people down who are maybe over us so that they can take the fall, which is secretly us trying to make the whole thing seem like it's, a very, pernicious cycle.
[00:49:31] Anna Thalman: [00:49:31] Well, we've talked about briefly the shame blame cycle. How, if we feel shame, we have a tendency to then blame because shame doesn't feel comfortable thinking it's our fault. Doesn't feel good, even if we're just involved, oh, I chose follow this person and now it's going to fail. You might feel some fear that it won't turn out. And in your defense, in that fear, you might try to, be right. I try to say, oh, this is going to [00:50:00] fail before it does, as if that somehow protects you, but really it it's to your detriment. If it sinks the ship, it's, it's not going to protect you. It's actually making it more likely that it will fail. but it's an easy thing to do. If we feel fear to try to blame, I think it's important on team efforts to not try to point any finger of blame, just try to say, what do we do? What's the solution something happened, maybe we can say it's someone's fault. Maybe not regardless. Let's move forward and make the best thing we possibly can. Given the situation,
[00:50:34] Kent Thalman: [00:50:34] keep faith, keep believing and know that this is something that happens to every project. This is something that happens in every family.
[00:50:41] Anna Thalman: [00:50:41] every person makes mistakes.
[00:50:42] Kent Thalman: [00:50:42] Parents, I think will often feel like failures. And we just have to, at some point, when we feel like we failed beyond repair, just say, listen, every great movie has a story like this, where they thought that all was lost. Every great parent has felt like a failure, you know, or they feel like their kid is irretrievable, you know? [00:51:00] And it's just not true. So just keep believing, keep trusting, keep investing, keep, you know, leading and keep following. So, yeah,
[00:51:08] Anna Thalman: [00:51:08] and I think if you're on the receiving end of criticism, I would say, first of all, don't let that derail you I mean, if it's someone who's following you and they're really concerned, then you can have a talk with them and try to understand and try to maybe be humble and see what you can improve. But if someone who, if it's someone who's not following you or who, is contrary, that's where you probably need to stick to what you believe and what you believe about yourself and be able to say that person is wrong about me and that's okay. People are going to be wrong. They're going to misunderstand. They won't know all the details and people who criticize usually have not been in that same position before. Really. Nobody has ever been in your same position before. your same exact circumstances. One last thing, I heard this on a, another Hollywood [00:52:00] table. Read
[00:52:01] Kent Thalman: [00:52:01] Hollywood reporter round table.
[00:52:02] Anna Thalman: [00:52:02] Yes. Thank you. I knew you would remember jamie Fox was talking about running into. Bush George Bush. And that he asked him , would you ever say something bad about Obama and George Bush was like, no way, never. Cause I've been in his shoes. I know how hard that job is. I know how hard that position is. And I feel like I experienced that, making this film, my respect for directors after becoming one race significantly, regardless of what they've directed. It's like, yeah, that first film you made was awful and it didn't actually turn out how you wanted, but you made it that's amazing. And I just realized what a huge job it was and how difficult it was. And I think people who, do understand will not criticize because, they understand and if you're criticizing, maybe consider that. [00:53:00] You know, you haven't been in that position. You don't know what it's like, you don't know all the details and, criticizing doesn't help.
[00:53:09] Kent Thalman: [00:53:09] Yeah. I don't know if this is related, but something just came to my mind. I feel like it's related is that, I remember being an employee for a few years before we decided to kind of break out on our own and become self-employed and I think I needed to be self-employed and be the direct point of contact with all of my clients for a few years to truly learn how to become a great employee. And I really do feel like that taught me, like I don't think I understood being an employee. I didn't understand the point of having a job or having a boss. And I still don't want to do that ever again, but not because it was like the worst thing in the whole world I had some really great jobs. I had some wonderful bosses, one in particular, but I really just felt inclined to [00:54:00] self-employment for some reason. it's just a personal thing, but after doing it for so long, man, I started to go, I could be such a great employee because I know what the employer is going through now. And it's just like what you're saying, like that director position. I don't, want to just be all bagging on them and like making things harder for them because I'm realizing the weight on their shoulders. Especially a first time director. It's like, man, you want to just invest in believe and trust that person to the ends of the earth, because that's what they need. They need someone who's going to do that. And that's what you feel like you need when you're doing it. And so you've talked about ADing potentially some feature films after this, just because I think it would be so wonderful to have someone who's like. You know, Hey, look, it's like that first mate on hunt for the red october. It's like, I will die for you. Like, I will
[00:54:49] Anna Thalman: [00:54:49] I will be that person, right? Yeah.
[00:54:51] Kent Thalman: [00:54:51] You and absorb all that negative energy and like invest in you. And, I think everybody needs someone like that. And [00:55:00] most glittering, glorious, amazing stories that we hear about people who just explode out of nowhere and they achieve huge success somewhere behind the scenes. There's a person like that. And I have always talked about how everyone needs a Suzuki because Suzuki was high on Miyazaki's producer from the beginning who came off of a, I think he was working on Monga or like publications on a newspaper. And he ended up believing in me as AKI as an animator. He was like, he's so good. And he has a really interesting story sense. And he. Started developing projects with Miyazaki and then Suzuki was the guy in all of the rooms going to bat for me as AKI Miyazaki was the guy who got famous. And this is not a dig at Miyazaki. I love Jaime Zaki and his work, and I love his leadership style. And I've learned a lot from him. Not personally. I wish I could [00:56:00] drop his name and talk about how I know how Haiami Zaki, but I don't. he had Suzuki, Suzuki going to bat pitching all of his movies, getting the funding and believing in him. And I remember when I watched sort of that little document, kind of a cheesy little documentary talking about the history of studio Ghibli. that's I think when it hit me that I was like, I could sit around and hope to become Haiami Yazaki, my whole life and hope that someone's just going to believe in me my whole life, or I could decide to be as aSuzuki and I could. go out and make 10 Miyazaki's or a hundred.
[00:56:37]Anna Thalman: [00:56:37] I think that's the key. Like you have to be a good follower to be a great leader.
[00:56:42]Kent Thalman: [00:56:42] yeah. A great investor. I'm not super rich. I can't fund people's movies, but I have something I have time. I have belief. I have love, I have some talent, and whatever I do have, I'm going to invest it and I can invest it in other people as hard as I can. And when I believe [00:57:00] in someone, I believe in my capacity to bring that person up. and that has actually increased, I think my own self-confidence and belief in myself more than I ever could've done trying to do that for myself for the last five years. I think I would actually probably be in some sort of a depressive slump. If that's what I'd been trying to do for the last five years, , I'd be alone and I'd be I'm still trying to convince everyone why I'm so great and why they should invest in meeting me. And that's really hard. I don't really think it works. And if it works, it's not sustainable or it's just not a happy way to live. So,
[00:57:36] Anna Thalman: [00:57:36] yeah. I just had this image in my mind of an upside down period pyramid.
[00:57:43] Kent Thalman: [00:57:43] I think a period would stay right side up or upside down. It's
[00:57:46] Anna Thalman: [00:57:46] yeah, it's getting late , an upside down pyramid and someone at the bottom, lifting people on top. And instead of trying to be a leader at the very top on top of everyone else, like servant leadership being an [00:58:00] upside down pyramid, and the more people you lift up and hold up above you, the stronger you are versus like, if you're just holding yourself up, you're weak. Like if you're climbing on top of other people to stand at the top, You're actually weak, but when you lift people up, you become this pillar of strength. And I don't know that just like image popped into my head,
[00:58:24] Kent Thalman: [00:58:24] but at some point as a leader, I also found myself realizing that I am on top of the pyramid. Not because I'm great, or I have all this power, but because if all these supports were gone tumbling to realize where I'd be, and that's something else I've thought about in terms of pyramids, all these people here collectively supporting this vision, supporting this thing that we are creating, that I am leading. all these people are to some degree investing in trusting in me. And that is humbling. Like if you forget what put you at the top. [00:59:00] that's when revolution happens, where or when humility happens, whatever you want to call it, you just, it will fall apart. So well, I've learned a lot. I'm really glad that you prepped some quotes and, led this discussion.
[00:59:15] Anna Thalman: [00:59:15] I've learned a lot too, and I'm sure that our ideas on this will continue evolving as we practice.
[00:59:20] Kent Thalman: [00:59:20] We didn't even cover everything we've talked about with each other this week. We might want to do another episode. We ain't even talking about parenting nearly as much as I would like.
[00:59:28] Anna Thalman: [00:59:28] And we might still have to split this into two episodes cause it's gotten pretty long, but, it's a good start to this conversation that is increasingly important.
[00:59:38] I think as our careers grow and, and we start to be in positions of leadership more than we ever have before. Okay. I
[00:59:46] and i
[00:59:46] Kent Thalman: [00:59:46] just think all people it's increasingly important because the world needs more leaders because everyone. Is a leader and everyone is a follower. So yeah, we all need it.
[00:59:56] Anna Thalman: [00:59:56] Yeah. We need people who believe in us and we need to believe in [01:00:00] other people. And that can be hard to do. Can be kind of scary.
[01:00:05]Kent Thalman: [01:00:05] Awesome. Well, thanks you guys for joining us. we really appreciate your listenership and we hope you join us on the next episode.
[01:00:13] Anna Thalman: [01:00:13] Yup. And if you want a successful career making feature films and a happy family at the same time, visit invisiblemansion.com forward slash film and family to apply for our next enrollment window in the film and family academy, which closes July 1st, 2021. We only accept a select group of qualifying filmmakers each quarter.
[01:00:37] Kent Thalman: [01:00:37] If you qualify, you will receive private mentorship. In addition to lifetime access to our library of courses, our alumni are already realizing major career milestones and seeing dramatic transformations in their personal relationships. So if you don't want those results, don't apply.
[01:00:53] Anna Thalman: [01:00:53] If you do visit invisiblemansion.com forward slash film and family and click apply before July [01:01:00] 1st of this year. thanks so much. We'll see you later.
[01:01:03] Kent Thalman: [01:01:03] Bye
[01:01:04] Anna Thalman: [01:01:04] bye.