16 Heroic Facts About 'Erin Brockovich' | Mental Floss
The release of the popular film Erin Brockovich. The woman who fearlessly convinced lawyer Ed Masry to challenge Pacific Gas and Electric Company. Based on a true story, Erin Brockovich starred Julia Roberts in an Brockovich recalled of a conversation she had with lawyer Ed Masry. A test screening audience member did take one issue with the film: “The first 99 times. Born Erin Pattee in Lawrence, Kansas, to an outspoken, her boss, Ed Masry, ( played by Albert Finney in the film) unless she came up with $, led to her decision during her second unhappy marriage to have breast.
Smircich and Morgan argue that certain styles of leadership emphasize the right or obligation of one person to provide direction for others. In every case the style of leadership utilized makes a significant impact on the company or project Peters and Austin, This essay focuses on the transformational and the transactional forms of leadership as demonstrated in the movie Erin Brokovich This description is one method of illustrating the visionary elements that comprise the transformational form of leadership.
Transformational leadership is defined by the capacity of the individual to not only engage with the issues at hand, but convince others around them that there is a genuine cause for continued effort Northouse, Some researchers identify elements of this approach as a form of Charismatic leadership that is fraught with potential harm to the company Ouimet, As with the main character, Erin Brokovich, her qualities of women leadership exude confidence and unwavering ambition, serves to provide those around her with a sense of purpose and direction Gardner, Further her aspect of altruism helps her to reach out to others Ouimet, Not only has the leadership created a potential future but this person has provided a reason for the effort Northouse, This sense of purpose is credited with driving the agenda for any project under this form of leadership.
As with Ms Brokovich the character, the transactional leader brings a form of intuition and basic enthusiasm to the table, which in turn fuels the entire effort Schoemaker, Krupp, Howland, There is no sense during the movie of a form of servant leadership; Ms Brokovich was centre on her goals, excluding any diversions Schoemaker et al, Coupled with the gender gap that Ms Brokovich contends with throughout the movie, there is a real sense of her having to fight for every single effort Virick and Greer, However there is a perception that there is no correct situational leadership style leading to success, it is a combination of factors coupled with Ms Brokovich personal drive Virick et al, A distinct detriment involved with the transformational approach outlined by Golemans leadership theory as clearly demonstrated by Erin Brokovich, was the headstrong opinionated statement of ideals regardless of the surroundings.
As was the case when Ms Brokovich spoke her mind in the courtroom and lost her accident claim, there is very real potential to harm an on-going effort with a poorly founded assertion. Yet, there cannot be a turning away from a potential issue through the advent of fearing failure McCullough, As in the model Simon outlined there is a rational model that allows for the person to choose the best alternative.
The uncovering of these links led to a transformation of the case from a routine operation to a case that yielded substantial gain and reparations for every party involved. As the Ann Brown evidence demonstrated knowledge is critical for progress.
The process of critical thinking directly leads to higher forms of literacy and argumentation as well as sophistication Brown, Transformational leaders have the capacity to invoke charisma and personal attributes in order to attain their goal Goleman, Utilizing at least some feminine wiles, Ms Brokovich was able to convince the keeper of the county water records to not only allow her unfettered access, but extended her every personal nicety possible.
This quality of contact and ability to connect with those involved most closely with the case provided further opportunities for this form transformational leadership to play a pivotal role Goleman, It was the personal outreach of Ms Brokovich that enabled the initial claimants to realize the connection between the water company and the sicknesses that that family was experiencing.Erin Brockovich (4/10) Movie CLIP - I Thought We Were Negotiating Here? (2000) HD
The stimulation that Ms Brokovich provided allowed the pieces of the puzzle to come together in such a manner that the truth could emerge Gardner, This demonstration of continued research and determination is a critical element of the transformational approach to leadership. Others cite the high instances of failure due to the lack of support offered to potential leaders during crises Lawerence, There is an innate instinct to choose a successful leader, and a person that does not consistently show wise decision making can rapidly lose their following.
A transformational leader will possess the capacity to encourage the group to action Gardner, This is a critical component any operation, the ability to bring the clients to focused action. As Ms Brokovich discovered, it was necessary to enlist nearly every one of the potential claimants in order for the claim to go forward against the water company.
It was her personal connection, intuition and knowledge of the situation that enabled the lawyers to create a case that would be capable of winning in court Gardner, Yet, depending too much on these personal relationships can become a detriment in the event the core person or knowledge is lost or corrupted Golemman, Despite the fact that Ms Brokovich possessed the capacity of personally remembering each and every element of each and every case, there was the real potential for oversight, which is a substantial weakness of the transformational approach to leadership Northouse, Finally, the transformational leadership approach is cited for inspiring the long term effort Gardner, Yet, when it fails others describe this form leadership as wreaking tremendous consequences on any underlying company Northouse, Following the initial success Ms Brokovich inspired those around her to seek out others in similar situations, thus creating a long term effort to correct the illegal acts of large corporations.
In a very real way, it was the leadership style of Ms Brokovich that first identified, then researched and then made possible the settlement against the water company. Lacking such a person playing this key role, there would never have been an awareness of the issue and many families and individuals would be worse off.
What Erin Brockovich did next
In this case, transformational leadership, while showing some weakness, supplied the impetus for positive resolution and personal success. Resting on the twin concepts of reward contingent on effort and stability of the status quo, the transactional form of leadership provides incentives to the employee workforce.
With the act of offering her a job as a form of reward for her perseverance and ambition, the transactional leadership style of Mr Masry was illustrated Gardner, Despite his initial reluctance to give her a position, he was led to the act by the actions of Ms Brokovich.
Further, this element allowed Mr Masry the luxury of maintaining the status quo at work, providing another illustration of the transactional philosophy at work Avolio and Yammarino, Trying very hard to maintain a business that operates smoothly Mr Masry is very concerned with reducing any outbursts or unsightly scenes at the workplace.
Avilo et al outlines the argument that the only truly effective form of leadership rests in the combination of the transformation and transactional format. Others cite the highly unstable nature of the transformational style and cite instances that misinformation and lack of information has led to failure on the part of companies employing these methods Gardner, The literature supports the contention that the transactional form of leadership is effective and adaptable, capable of being utilized in nearly any environment Avilo et al, Yet, the Chhokar, Brodbeck and House literature disputes this assertion assigning the transactional approach to be best used only by temporary management during transitional phases.
The next example of the transactional form of leadership espoused by Mr Masry rests in the firing of Ms Brokovich following her initial foray into research. The managerial approach in this instance equated the actions of Ms Brokovich with the deliberate abandonment of duty, thereby resulting in termination Chhokar et al, This reaction was in direct response to the attendant attitudes of the other employees in the office as well as a direct effort to maintain tranquillity in the work place.
The role of the transactional leader is to determine what is in the best interests of the company and provide the best employee centred solution Northouse, She exhibits an extraordinary capacity for perseverance. Her personality and effort evoke magnificent responses from life. The nature of her accomplishment complements her character and life. She is a born fighter who has learned to stand on her own and stand up to opposition, so she confronts a challenge that requires strength and stamina of considerable magnitude.
She is one who believes that life and society are nonsupporting, heartless and even cruel so she discovers just that aspect of life in her investigative work. She is one who feels abused, exploited and mistreated and so she comes into contact with a large number of people who are in precisely that predicament.
Life brings her opportunity, but it comes in a form that reflects her own consciousness. This is a true story of phenomenal accomplishment by a remarkable individual who had sunk to the lowest level of desperation and then was propelled to national fame. It demonstrates that aspiration and determination are the real determinants, not external circumstances and opportunities. Erin's aspiration created its own opportunities and it brought about all the conditions needed for its fulfillment.
It is significant that life became so desperate before it turned around. It takes tremendous faith, courage and perseverance to keep striving in spite of insurmountable obstacles. Erin's story shows that it is precisely these difficult conditions that are the crucible for tremendous accomplishment. Everything depends on how we respond to them. The spiritual truth is that we get precisely those conditions which are necessary for our progress.
The only thing that matters is how we respond to the circumstances life presents us. Erin's accomplishment is the result of a combination of factors -- her personality, her external initiatives and life's response to that personality and initiative.
Erin has the energy, aspiration, drive, intelligence, skills and organizational capabilities for high accomplishment, but they are circumscribed by her rough, unpolished behavior, her defensive and offensive attitude towards life and other people, her lack of social qualifications and the demands of raising a family as a single parent.
Much of her energy and efficiency comes from the fact that she does not bother to relate positively to people, does not strive to forge positive human relationships and does not care what society thinks of her. It is not that she has risen above society, but rather that she feels alienated from it and therefore does not try to conform. Maximum Effort Still a major obstacle stood in the way of successfully prosecuting the case.
Unless corporate is implicated, any final settlement would be grossly inadequate to compensate all the victims. In order to proceed with the case, it was also necessary to obtain signed legal statements from each and every household, an enormous, time consuming and very costly task.
Realizing that the outcome was now in her hands, Erin then took it upon herself to make the Herculean effort to secure the required signatures. Though she prides herself on her independence and self-reliance, Erin realizes she needs help to manage the family during this strenuous period.
She makes amends with George and he return to support her efforts.
Erin Brockovich | My Story
In the days that followed, she worked relentlessly, visiting every victim in the Hinkley area to secure the signed documents.
When life offers great opportunities, it also demands great perfection. Her ultimate accomplishment issues from these psychological factors as they express in and through her actions and evoke responses from life. Her major initiatives are listed below: She tries and fails to get a job -- Her aspiration for work and self-reliance and her effort to get employed are genuine, but her lack of qualifications and personal characteristics make it difficult.
Her repeated failures raise her energy level and break down her social behavior so that she can assert herself regardless of society's response.
Car accident -- The accident signifies that she has come to the end of her energy and her reserves and is pressed to the point of desperation. Court case -- The verdict is society's response in favor of a respected physician and in condemnation of a woman living on the fringe of respectability. Her effort to solve her problem by the lawsuit fails because laws are intended to support the social norm, which the physician represents. Having rejected society, she cannot benefit by its organization.
Can't get job -- Again she tries and fails to get a job. Life is demanding of her extreme measures of resourcefulness that do not depend on the sympathy, charity or goodwill of others. Demands a job -- She demands a job from Masry and gets it on the sheer strength of her determination and pushiness, without qualifications or any legitimate claim.
Pro bono case -- The case coming to her is a life response to her aspiration for high accomplishment. Once she has found a place in society, that aspiration opens a big door.
Decides to research it -- Many in her position would have been content to do the work 9 to 5 and take home a regular salary. She aspires to rise. Her drive is for accomplishment, not mere survival.
Therefore she takes initiative to research the assignment and discovers a hidden opportunity. Trip to Hinkley -- Her effort at this stage can be termed extraordinary -- above and beyond the call of duty. Extraordinary effort leads to extraordinary results! UCLA -- In addition to her physical effort, she exercises her mind as well and consults an expert on the hexavalent chlorine. Water Board -- Further initiative. Back to Hinkley -- She takes extraordinary efforts to win the confidence of the people of Hinkley and gain their support.
Personal Relationships -- Now for the first time she starts building positive personal relationships with all her clients, getting to know them, sympathize with them and feel committed to their success. Kurt's law firm -- Here too she has the courage to speak up and confront the arrogance of her professional colleagues and demand that they respect her.
There failure in handling the clients shows that she has converted her lack of professional qualification as a strength in dealing with them. She has transformed a limitation into a capacity by her resourceful attitude. Life Responds But effort alone is not enough. When Erin totally exhausts her capacities, life takes over and delivers a bonanza.
One evening after another exhausting day of collecting signatures, Erin stopped at a Hinkley bar for one last signature. A strange looking man sitting at the bar approached her. He said he had been watching Erin and decided she was someone he could trust implicitly.
He then revealed to her that he had been ordered to shred documents implicating corporate, but that he had not destroyed the crucial documents. He subsequently provided Erin with all the evidence needed to win the case! Maximum effort evokes a response from life.
For the long-suffering people of Hinkley, it was the acknowledgement that a great wrong had been perpetuated, which they were now being handsomely compensated for. As a result of their success, Masry and Erin are able to sign on several other similar cases that are even larger than the Hinkley case. For Erin Brockovich, it meant the end of her life of struggle — of poverty, insecurity, and low self-esteem -- and the beginning of an entirely new existence.
Masry had agreed to pay Erin generously in the event they won the case. In view of her extraordinary efforts and contribution, he decided that the amount Erin had asked was too small. Summary of Life Responses Erin meets Masry as the result of her car accident. In a moment of bravado, Masry promises to win the case which he fails to do. His broken promise becomes an excuse for Erin to demand a job from him later.