The Secret Service: Have You Something Up Your Sleeve?

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Kingsman: The Secret Service and Some Lessons I have Learnt from the Movie

Your true identity could be your biggest weapon

Kingsman: The Secret Service, is a spy action comedy movie that draws on a basic plot of a zero becoming a hero, with a storyline that offers viewers a refreshing twist. I was very cautious about writing this article, in order not to ruin the movie for anyone who has not watched it yet.

I soon discovered that that was going to be very difficult, since there are so many points to draw on from the plot. Our hero, Eggsy, is an unrefined, slightly arrogant young man who finds himself in the daunting position of potentially replacing a fallen Kingsman (a secret agent). He trains and competes against other promising candidates for this position.

Being the underdog in the group naturally evoked his inferiority complex, but as time progresses, Eggsy begins to embrace true Kingsman values and his innate character starts to shine. Watching movies like these always inspires us to do better. It draws on the fact that we hold so much potential, if only we were able to tap into them. Such movies denote age-old lessons of loyalty, hard work, and determination, reframed in new and refreshing perspectives. And of course, as with any good movie, one can draw a lot from it and derive useful takeaways in bringing out our inner Kingsman.

Background is irrelevant

Occasionally, we confine ourselves and set up limits that don’t really exist, all because we are stuck with the mentality that our past determines our future. Kingsman aptly shows us how inaccurate this thought is; it doesn’t matter where you came from, just where you want to go. In fact, this can sometimes be used to your advantage and become the key factor that sets you apart from the rest.

While his lack of formal education made him feel inferior initially, Eggsy’s street smarts eventually allowed him to get the upper hand on things. Never belittle your roots and your heritage, and don’t despise your small beginnings, because it could potentially be your true value.

Teamwork is crucial

In the process of becoming a true Kingsman, Eggsy learns a valuable thing or two about teamwork. It’s always good to remember your team; no good-standing individual leaves his (or her) members behind. Abandoning a team mate reflects badly on anyone, particularly when you are saving yourself at the expense of others. Similarly, focusing on your personal goals without consideration for the common goal could deviate the team from reaching a set target, therefore hindering the progress of the entire team.

Dress your part

Let’s not forget how important image and branding is. Eventually, there will come a time when you will have to dress your part, just as when Eggsy finally (and dashingly) clothes himself in his personally tailored suit. As much as you want to deny it, your image does play a role in defining who you are, particularly in the corporate or social scene, where first impressions are made and sealed within the first few seconds.

Perhaps it is time to suit up, and I mean that both metaphorically and literally. Dress in a way that will convey confidence, capability, strength, and style. Dressing suitably is a key factor in working your way to the top. This is of particular importance when you are a representative of the organisation you work for, or in the case of this movie, the secret enterprise you embody.

Choosing the right tool

Sometimes, in selecting your weapon, you don’t necessarily need the coolest-looking item in the box. No one instrument is catered to fit every single individual. Instead, consider your true identity when choosing your personal key tool. In a business sense, it is imperative that you gain a good self-awareness, and that you utilise your greatest assets. In selecting your tool of choice, what is important is that you find your strength and be comfortable with it. Are you good at communication? Vision setting? Innovation? Whatever it may be, find your key tool and use it to your advantage.

Be prepared

Always have something up your sleeve, or in Eggsy’s case, in your shoe. It always pays to be prepared for the absolute worst, be it when you’re facing an impossible deadline, when things turn against you, or when you find yourself face to face with an assassin with blades for legs. While it may be true that you can never be totally prepared, always having a back-up plan can save you time, trouble, and a whole lot of stress.

Think ahead, and always try to stay ahead of the game. In fact, at Leaderonomics, one of the things I am constantly reminded by our founder, Roshan Thiran, is to always be thinking about the future. It is actually part of our values - Build The Future. We should always be looking to the future, and regardless if there is a pandemic or in a tough spot, we need to be ready and always be a step ahead of the game.

Concluding thoughts

Perhaps some of us find ourselves needing to fill big shoes; it could be that someone or some circumstance requires you to adapt fast to reach a benchmark. Or maybe you are determined to accomplish a personal mission: to be the best you can be in order to reach the top. Whichever it may be, Kingsman teaches us many valuable lessons that can help us along the way of personal development. But if there’s one thing you can take away, it is that a true Kingsman exists in all of us and that it only takes dedication, the right attitude to learn, and persistence to bring it out.

May we discover our inner Kingsmans, and never lose sight of our true identities.

Must Read: How Spiderman and The Avengers Teach us That Pain Leads to Gains

The Author Kathleen Tan, accepting an award on behalf of her organisation, Leaderonomics, at the HR Vendors Awards for being the top leadership development firm offering innovative solutions to organisations across Asia Pacific. Click here to see more awards won

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Tags: Foundational Leadership

Kathleen Tan is a psychology expert who likes breaking stereotypes. She likes investing time in getting to know people better and firmly believes that every individual has a story to tell. Eager to learn, she welcomes any new experience and is constantly challenging herself to break out of her comfort zone. She also likes art, music, the beach, and cats. She is currently the Assessment Leader at Leaderonomics and a highly acclaimed expert in the assessment and people development space

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