Movie Message: Living By Words

“What if we had a code of conduct, the management equivalent of the Hippocratic oath?  What if we actually lived up to our billing and became leaders who don’t just make a difference in the world, but make a differencefor the world? – Max Anderson, Cambridge, May 2009
What could a fictional character from a high-energy action movie possibly have in common with Harvard Business School graduate students?


Both have decided to live by words.


In the movie The Transporter (2003), we are introduced to Frank Martin, a highly-effective “driver” whose former Special Forces training gets him in and out of trouble. But what I love most about the Transporter movies (there are now three) is how Frank Martin’s character has been designed. Each movie follows the exploits of this mercenary driver – a “transporter” – as he moves all kinds of people and products from one place to another.
Although Frank Martin began the first film driving a customized BMW 7-series, and finished Transporter 3 driving an Audi A8, his uniquely-designed character traits have remained the same.
What separates Frank Martin’s character from most others is his adherance torules.
He follows, rather, lives by a strict set of rules.
For example, Rule One is never change the deal.
Rule Two is no names – Frank Martin doesn’t want to know who he’s working for or what he is transporting.
Rule Three is never look in the package.
These are some of the rules that define Frank’s character – not just his fictional character, but his fictional character’s character.

In Transporter 2 (2005), we get a further glimpse into Frank Martin’s character and howthe words he lives by continue to define him. When the wife of his wealthy diplomat client wants more than a shoulder to cry on – and she seeks out Frank Martin to fill the void in her soul left by her absentee husband – only a strong commitment to his rulescan save them both from the consequences. The following dialog from Transporter 2illustrates the kind of character that heroes should aspire to live into. In this scene, Audrey Billings has come into Frank Martin’s cottage and, using her body to seductively push Frank Martin against a wall, is shocked by his resistance:

Audrey Billings: “You said if I needed anything…”
Frank Martin: “I can’t.”
Audrey Billings: “Why, because of who I am?”
Frank Martin: “It’s because of who I am.”

While average men might dream of this kind of encounter with a beautiful and wealthy woman, it is clear that Frank Martin is not an average man.
From living by rules – his governing principles – he has become the kind of hero who is focused on his mission.
Frank Martin also shows that respect for another’s family begins with developing respect for oneself.
Audience members watching Transporter 2 were able to witness something almost unheard of: how a single man’s principles and accurate moral compass could save a family from the consequences of infidelity. By modeling this positive behavior, we can gain inspiration and courage to be “more than mere men,” even if we still need to learn some more rules.
Frank Martin – yes, a fictional character – was also able to offer a growing population of unfathered and unmentored young men a powerful lesson on how to be honorable and respectable in relationships with women.
Stay tuned for part II of real-life heroes.
About the author:
  Tiger Todd is the founder and CEO of Hero School and Heroes Inc. He is a motivational speaker, a business consultant, and a powerful changemaker. For the past 10+ years, he has been devoted to solving the issue of homelessness.

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  1. a fantastic read

    Movie Message: Living By Words

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