Leadership in "Remember the Titans."

Essay by pamlumUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, October 2005

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"Remember the Titans" is a movie about an American high school football team integrated with black and white players who, under great leadership, inspire a town to "trust the soul of a man rather than the look of him." Set in 1971 Alexandria, Virginia, where "high school football is life", the school board is under court order to integrate the schools. Reluctantly, they replace Bill Yoast, a white coach, with Herman Boone, a reputable black coach, as head coach for T.C. Williams high's new football team consisting of black and white players, the "Titans". However, Yoast, under invitation from Boone, accepts the position as assistant coach for the Titan's defensive line and together they give inspiration to a "city on the verge of exploding" from racial tension and defy the saying "[black and white] can't work."

Boone and Yoast's management of the Titans reveals abundant leadership principles and values that allowed the Titans to develop a common desire to win and a respect for each other that prevailed over the rampaging racism of southern America.

Their contrasting approaches to taking charge, strategic visioning, team building and communications revealed insights into what truly makes a good leader. They also teach a lesson on how a man can motivate with strong direction, garner respect through integrity, and, most importantly, inspire change through vision.


A true leader takes charge by managing conflict, delegating tasks, taking responsibility and making key decisions. Boone's leadership was a forceful dictatorship, enforcing an environment of "zero-fun" that conveyed to the Titan players that he ruled with a tight fist. He did this to magnify the seriousness of their situation as one of the first integrated football teams and their need for perfection and a desire to win together as a team. In...