Coach Carter: Reflection Questions

14 April 2011

1. What are some examples in the movie of a leader focusing on terminal values such as liberty, equality, and justice? What are some examples in the movie of a leader focusing on instrumental values such as responsibility, fairness, and honesty? How were those terminal and instrumental values communicated?

In the film, Coach Carter demonstrated values such as liberty, equality, and justice when he allowed the players on his team the liberty to choose to play, to choose to achieve, to choose to sign the contract of behavior. He showed respect and high expectations instilling equality among the team. Coach Carter also demonstrated justice when he expected and upheld the contract and did not allow anyone to get around the contract. All were held to it. Coach carter engaged with the team "in such a way that leaders and followers raise on another to higher levels of motivation and morality." (Johnson p 168)

At times, I believe Coach Carter used transactional leadership tactics such as responsibility, fairness, and honesty but only to further his vision which more characterized by transformational leadership. For example, locking the team out of the gym, or making the boys responsible for doing their pus-ups and suicides. These tactics aided the overall vision to empower and develop the team members.

2. What are some examples in the movie of idealized influence? How was that influence communicated?

Idealized influence is apparent when the team (Cruz and others) begin to trust, respect, and ultimately admire Coach Carter. They begin to realize that he truly believes in them and is 100% driven to help these boys get to college and have a better life. Cruz comes to Coach Carter's house in the middle of the night after his friend gets shot because he seems now to intrinsically know that Coach Carter will help him. The Coach is someone he can trust because his behavior has been consistent with his values and message.

3. How was inspirational motivation communicated and enacted in the movie?

Coach Carter motivated his team by helping them to visualize and realize their potential as athletes and their potential as students. He helped them see that they could make themselves a a successful life if they went to college, but they had to work at it. Little by little this carried meaning as they went through hard things in their lives and Coach Carter was able to step in and show them that things could be different. he instilled meaning for them in sports and academics.

4. Were there examples of leader providing intellectual stimulation to followers in the movie? Were there examples of missed opportunities for intellectual stimulation? Wheat were differences in outcomes, if any, of these different leadership processes?

When Coach Carter required the signing of contracts regarding behavior and academics, he was helping the team to set new standards and recreate their image. he inspired re-framing this view of themselves as a team member, a student, and a potential college student.

I think the missed opportunity for intellectual stimulation was maybe not enough innovation and creativity being stimulated. Coach Carte was rather regimented, but it did allow for questioning assumptions and approaching old problems from new perspectives.

5. How was individual consideration communicated in the movie? What were some particularly moving examples of this leadership behavior?

Coach Carter's goal was not to win all the games, but to foster personal development of each of his players. He provided the opportunity for all to rise to their potential by having everyone sign a contract and then he provided the environment for being supportive.

Once Cruz fell short of his 1,000 suicides and 2,000 push-ups, the supportive environment Coach Carter was beginning to instill, caused all other players to step up and help Cruz finish his task. his players, all of them, had learned a lesson ad this was the culmination of Coach Carter's mentoring and coaching to respect each other coming to fruition.