Three Billboards, Social Intelligence and Leadership

The extraordinary film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri delivers a text book example of the power and complexity of humans and the value of Social Intelligence in leadership.

A key character in the film Chief Willoughby (portrayed with devastating effect by Woody Harrelson) writes to his colleague Jason Dixon: ‘I do think you’re too angry, though,.. ..And I know it’s all since your dad died and you had to go look after your Mom and all…But as long as you hold onto so much hate then I don’t think you’re ever going to become… What I know you wanna become…A Detective. Cos you know what you need to become a detective? And I know you’re gonna wince when I say this….But what you need to become a detective… is Love. Because thru Love comes Calm, and thru Calm comes Thought. And you need Thought to detect stuff sometimes, Jason. It’s kinda all you need. You don’t even need a gun. And you definitely don’t need Hate.’ Good words to remember: Through love comes calm and through calm, thought’.

Chief Willoughby displays Social Intelligence as a leader, as a father, a husband and as a friend. It is not the only theme in this complex tale of sorrow and redemption but it is a powerful example as how it is done and how easy it is to enact.

Image: 3 Billboards outside of Ebbing, Missouri  – Willoughby (left) and Dixon


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