Yesterday was Valentines Day and one TV channel offered the movie “SPEED” (1994) which I loved very much in the 90´s. And by now I know “why” I loved it so much – it´s a movie about fast and permanent decision making!
What was the problem? A bomb in the bus 2525.
It turned active the moment the bus reached the speed of 50 m.p.h. on the Highway. The involved trouble was that no one was allowed to leave the bus and the time was ticking. The goal of the criminal was to get 3.7 Mio. dollars to stop the explosion of the bomb. Only 3 hours were left to act. As a reaction to this “offer” the police decided to not accept it and rather solve the problem on their own to eliminate its power.
The moment the bus was speeding above 50 miles and the sexy police officer was on board, the whole movie script continued about on-going decision making every time a new hurdle showed-up:
- traffic on the Highway – fast decision: take the next exit!
- Next decision: pass the red light and trigger traffic collisions – no matter what happens as long as everyone stays alive, drive on!
- Driving downtown was fine only for a while before the police decided to lead the bus onto a new Highway which was supposed to be finished but not open yet. Fine! They took the exit to the new Highway, but the helicopter pilot notices, too late, that there´s a road construction ahead – the Highway was not finished yet as the map showed. Trouble ahead!
- Next decision? SPEED! Speed up to 70 Miles per hour. It was risky but all alternatives would have meant “sudden death” – so they decided to try what was in their hands, making it to jump over the gap in the Highway.
- The next decision was to leave this new highway and enter the Airport area! Unfortunately the time started ticking by now faster, since the bus was lacking gas.
- Luckily the police officer found out that there must be a camera in the bus and they quickly decided to manipulate it to fool the criminal who still had all strings in his hands. It worked out well! By manipulating the camera´s broadcast (taping 1 minute of what happened in the bus and put this 1 minute in a loop) they were able to follow ……
- ….their main decision to the rescue all passengers from the bus.
- The following and last decision was to leave the (by now empty) bus and to risk that the bomb will explode at the airport without any big damage…..
There are quite a few lessons to learn here:
we decide by clearly following a goal or two.
The goal from the SPEED script was to stay alive and to rescue the passengers somehow with the aim that nobody is going to die.
- The first chapter for all participants meant to keep on driving without ANY hesitation to keep the speed above 50 miles per hour. To follow that goal they needed a driveway which was clear for them: no stops, no traffic, no potential U-turns involved. It worked “quite OK” for a while.
- The second chapter which kept the actors busy was find a save way to evacuate the passengers. They tried to deactivate the bomb with no positive ending. Suddenly they quickly needed a Plan B! But there was no plan B…. It took them some thinking, some analysis to find a gap to slip through! The camera – that was their only eye of the needle to freedom from the criminal, the blackmailer.
Making decisions against the “ideal” plan of someone else challenges us in life as well! Any competitor comes up with such a challenge. First you follow the rules of this plan or game, once pressure gets it going – just to survive, but to stop the plan or game you need to find the little eye of the needle, the tiny bit which was supposed to be a secret or something new which will be your backdoor, and then either destroy this secret or slip throu´ the backdoor to push the stop button. GAME OVER!
Some decisions in life might be risky and when life & death is involved, it´s always risky. Be SMART !
Find the stop button.
BE A DECISION MAKER. BE OUTSTANDING.
rita jaskolla – Leadership Architect –