Reflection Essay on Women in Leadership: Movie Analysis – The Devil Wears Prada PG-13 Starring: Anne Hathaway, Meryl Streep, Stanley Tucci, Emily Blunt 20th Century Fox Directed by: David Frankel Produced by: Wendy Finerman By: Marsha Buehler 1. What are the most obvious leaderships portrayed? Miranda Priestly embraces her role as an authoritarian leader as Editor in Chief at Runway Magazine. She delegates with an expectation of perfection. She has a strong and demanding presence that spreads fear amongst the office personnel. Employees are hopping to please Miranda. Derogatory statements are commonality for Miranda.
The core staff has a fearful admiration of Miranda, they respect her obvious knowledge of the business of fashion as well as her well laid out network which enable some aspects of her success. The office atmosphere was chilly. It was obvious that Miranda was not interested in personal relationships; she was strictly business, and did not value relationships. Her staff was up to par regardless of their situation or they could find themselves unemployed at any given turn. This was a power that Miranda yielded upon her staff and reaped the benefits of everyone trying to be the perfect employee.
Miranda expects Andy to do more than her professional job, she has her buying gifts for her children and walking her dog. The way Miranda throws her coat and handbag on Andy’s desk is demeaning to Andy but Andy is determined to do whatever it takes, believing that if she can st ick it out a year that it will help her career. Andy learns to network and mostly is able to live up to Miranda’s unrealistic expectations. Miranda is controlling – she uses insulting criticisms to control her staff into trying to jump over the moon. Miranda’s opinion is the only one that matters.
Miranda puts Andy in the position of telling Emily that she will be going to Paris instead of her. Miranda delegates this unpleasant task to Andy and drives a wedge between Emily and Andy just as they are developing a better rapport. This creates a divide in the office and of the synergy that Andy and Emily had when they worked together. It seems as if Miranda is trying to justify her cold actions by making Andy make the tough decisions to succeed. Andy revives Emily’s faith in their relationship when she gives her all the clothes from Paris when Miranda decides she doesn’t want Emily to go to Paris.
Dragon-lady, career obsessed, Ice queen. – a description that Miranda Priestly uses herself to describe the view the world has of her. Towards the end of the movie when Andy over hears Miranda and her husband arguing, Miranda shows her human side and surprisingly shows some emotion when she confides in Andy about her divorce from her latest husband. After a brief show of her humanity, Miranda jumps back into the role of no nonsense business woman and keeps pushing forward with business even in the wake of heartache and personal drama. umps back into the role of no nonsense business woman and keeps pushing forward with business even in the wake of heartache and personal drama. Emily styles her leadership after Miranda’s authoritarian style. Emily is somewhat condescending and insulting, yet gives Andy some helpful tips and saved her from Miranda’s wrath on occasion, not really as much for Andy’s sake, but for her own – to make herself look better for saving the day as she throws Andy under the bus. Emily is relying on Andy to make her look good because she feels her reputation is on the line.
She does on occasion help Andy, but does not show compassion to her. Emily is efficient, but nervous. Emily thanks her when Andy can remember the Ambassadors name when she couldn’t. Nigel is respected and has years of service with Miranda. He helps Andy out with a pair of high heels, already anticipating what would help Andy have the outward appearance that he knows Miranda expects. Nigel calls Andy on her wining and gives a different perspective. He eventually softens his walls and shows some compassion to Andy.
Nigel has worked with Miranda for years he has gotten to the point to where he can anticipate her next whim. Nigel gets excited about a job opportunity being a partner with a designer, when the rug is pulled out from under him by Miranda Priestly in a public forum. He realizes this, but stays optimistic while Andy calls him on his statement that Miranda will pay him back at a later time. When she asks if he was sure about that and he answered honestly he didn’t know…But this optimistic attitude will help him to move on in a positive way and not let the disappointment and obvious betrayal bring him down.
Andy shows passion and is full of drive to succeed, but ignores the politics of the fashion industry until Nigel helps her improve her style. Andy realizes that Nigel can help her improve her style more towards the fashion world’s expectations. Andy embraces fashion and realizes the changes it can make in the way she interacts with the world at work and in life in general. Andy is determined to get Harry potter manuscript which she gets through networking in the industry. This shows Miranda that Andy is making big progress and she starts to show some appreciation and a little admiration of Andy.
Keeps using excuse – I didn’t have a choice, but eventually she realizes she does have a choice and she makes that choice at the end of the movie and walks away from Miranda. Andy gets the ultimate compliment from Miranda when she is asked for a recommendation on Andy and tells the editor that Andy was her biggest disappointment, and that he is crazy if he doesn’t hire her. Christian – Is charming and turns out to be a great connection who helps Andy out and gives supportive advice, but Andy finds out that he is highly involved in the politics of the fashion world and doesn’t want a part of the betrayal. . Is there a leadership theme? Fashion industry seems to worship and still dictate the cold, surface of the political atmosphere…There is an authoritarian theme throughout the movie. Driven from the top down, by Miranda Priestly. 3. What aspects of the leader made them successful or unsuccessful? No nonsense, authoritative, knowledge of business, respected by peers and industry experts. Miranda sets the stage for cold, get down to business leadership style and does not waiver.
It does keep her staff on their toes and they strive to do everything perfectly for fear of the backlash of insults and the ever present ominous fact that she could fire them at any time. Unsuccessful attributes – insulting, emotionless, dismissive behaviors hurt her relationships with her staff. 4. Which leadership theory stands out to you most? Delegation is the theme in this movie. Everyone delegates down once they realize their place in the political arena. 5. What is your overall assessment of the main leaders?
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