My nephew and I went to see Mission: Impossible last night for his birthday treat. We loved it. I was excited to be two beats ahead of Tom Cruise at some points in the plot, but he was way ahead of me all the way through when it came to hard running, stunts, abseiling, being blown up, beating and being beaten up, jumping out of the tallest building in the world, escaping from prisons, saving us all from nuclear explosion, etc.
I continue to learn so much from popular culture. Did you see Tom Cruise on Jonathan Ross during December? He was promoting the film, looking fantastically fit and trim and Jonathan was ribbing him quite hard. He took it, but he didn’t get it. He seems almost devoid of humour, except on screen where I think often that his comic timing is excellent. And he is very earnest. I have a beloved client who we tease is very earnest (her own choice of word about herself) and she’s gone a very long way on earnest, as has Tom. Good on them both and long may they continue to thrive and flourish. It must be said that my client has a fabulous sense of humour to add to the mix.
Jonathan’s joking around with Tom was all around the name of the films. The Missions are clearly not Impossible are they, Tom, since you manage to do them every time? How about renaming the films Mission Quite Hard, Mission Nearly Impossible, Pretty Tricky Mission etc. It was funny. I laughed. Tom pretended to.
He takes his work seriously. That’s what I learn from him. He’s the consummate professional and there’s something very exciting about that on film. Our £10 cinema ticket is packed with value because he took his physical training for his latest film, his acting and the role very seriously indeed so we get a better experience. Yes, that may make him dull or just plain weird and unappealing on the chat show couch, but on screen – where he belongs, in his own milieu – it makes him one of the best and most compelling cinema actors in the world to me, especially in the M:I films. Anything where he runs hard, frankly. Love that running that action heroes do these days, me.
This is about sheer entertainment value. And that’s Tom’s business.
There were many ways to enjoy Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol; the action sequences, the acting, the gadgets, the humour, the glamour, the cars, the stars, the locations and so on. We visit The Kremlin, Dubai and Mumbai and you don’t get to do that every night of the week, do you?
And what I learn from a night at the cinema can be extrapolated to my real life and to all our endeavours. Sure, the Mission before us looks Impossible at times. But is it? Mostly not. Mostly we find a way to achieve the end goal. And, of course, we don’t need to take it quite so seriously as Ethan Hunt because we are not trying to save the world from imminent destruction as he was last night at a cinema near you.
I do think we can learn a great deal from Tom’s professionalism. He’s put in way more than the Outliers’ 10,000 hours to achieve mastery of his craft. He goes above and beyond at some personal sacrifice so that we, his customers, still get a top notch experience of his business and his craft, even after all this time. He still cares.
Many people I know and care about allow themselves to be put off Tom Cruise by completely irrelevant opinions and gossip about his Scientology and how he lives his personal life. This is absolutely none of our business, it just sells papers. What is our business is does he still deliver celluloid gold to us in the dark at the movies? And yes, he does, unequivocally.
How can you deliver gold to your customers in your business by modelling Tom’s professionalism about his work or the hero that is his alter ego, Ethan Hunt?
Your Mission, should you choose to accept it, is to enjoy the following two minutes of Tom doing what he does best and allowing it to excite your inner hero today. Cue the M:I music…and light the fuse!