When you meet Richard Olivier, the obvious question to ask is what it feels like living with the knowledge that his father is a legend. But Richard, son of actor Sir Laurence Olivier, takes this in his stride. He kept the audience spellbound in his address at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit.
To sharp questions from Suhel Seth of Counselage, India, who chaired the session, Leadership Lessons from Shakespeare’s Henry V, Olivier made it quite clear that he was very different from his father. His mission was to make Shakespeare relevant in modern times. He felt that assessing the past and envisioning the future, hitting obstacles and then adapting to them were the keys to success.
He felt that we all have those moments of the long, dark night of the soul. And you may feel you are the right person in the right job, but it is not always the truth. A clear reference to the flawed king, Macbeth.
Being good at your job is not only about strategy, implementation and competence, but also about human challenges. Olivier said the leader should know what he is talking about.
He sees Henry V as a role model for a modern manager. The imperialist warrior king, when flagging in battle, uttered, “Once more into the breach” to win an impossible confrontation.
The session with Richard Olivier focused on how he has been able to bring his theatrical skills into management and draw on Shakespeare. He had it all, says Olivier, presentation technique, leadership skills and creativity. A winning combination.