Essay on Differentiated Leadership in the Film House of Cards

Essay on Differentiated Leadership in the Film House of Cards

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According to Friedman's theory of differentiated leadership in which he defines as “a force that is not anti-togetherness that modifies the emotional process within any group’s togetherness so that a leader actually promotes community through the emerging self-differentiation of the other members” (p.25). I will be discussing how Friedman’s theory pertains to the actions of Kyle Bass in documentary House of Cards.
In the last half of the film House of Cards, Kyle Bass, the Hedge Fund manager foresaw the impending economic crisis and was able to position his company to profit from it. This was a smart move on Kyle’s behalf, he understood the concept of what goes up must come down. Friedman (2007) explains that individuals who are identified as self-differentiated leaders may possess characteristics such as having a universal perspective, adapts toward strength, focuses on strength, concern with one’s growth, and are challenged by difficult situations (p. 231). So how was Kyle Bass differentiated from others in the film? Kyle is a leader that knew the current situation with the housing market could not last forever and exhibited the characteristics that Friedman (2007) would identify as differentiated leadership and this kind of leader knows what they want.
Kyle’s actions I feel were very ethical mainly because he was concerned with the welfare of the common good. He could not understand how some of these loans were being provided to so many American’s. So, he decided to research how the government was allowing this to happen. His research took him to Wall Street where he was met with less then open arms from several companies. Kyle was more than shocked to hear that the current boom in the housing market would never end. The bank...


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...ning a strong sense of self is just as important.
In conclusion Kyle’s actions are well justifiable just as everyone’s actions in the film seem to be justifiable to them. It takes a strong leader to stand strong in the midst of adversity which Kyle exhibited, everyone had a part to play in the housing crisis and placing the blame will did not solve the problem. Kyle understood that he did not have the answers and had to learn to look towards the American people for insight, he had to be the one to take a look at the market and decide what could benefit the American people. Kyle’s wiliness to look into what was truly going on shows the strength of a leader through a difficult situation.



Works Cited

Friedman, E. H. (2007). A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix. Seabury.

Jacoby, J. (Producer). (2009). House of Cards. CNBC. Film Documentary.

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