Entrepreneurism from Tom Clancy and Alec Baldwin

by | Aug 22, 2013 | Point of View

The Hunt for Red October” is one of my all-time favorite movies.  I enjoy all of Tom Clancy’s books and I’m a big fan of Harrison Ford, but this first movie is still my favorite.  I can (and often do) quote whole sections of the dialog.

Alec Baldwin has “Glengarry Glen Ross” for sales, but THFRO is where Alec plays the entrepreneur.

In one of the pivotal scenes, Fred Thomson, as Admiral Josh Painter, tells Jack Ryan, played by a younger and svelte Alec Baldwin, that the rogue Russian captain  (Sean Connery)  has to have a plan because ”Russians don’t take a dump, son, without a plan. And senior captains don’t do something this dangerous without thinking it through.”

An epiphany occurs when Jack realizes that he doesn’t have to figure everything out first, he just has to seize the opportunity and move forward because someone else has already worked out the plan.

What does this have to do with being an entrepreneur?

Vision – Jack, like most entrepreneurs, sees a bigger picture that others cannot see because he has connected seemingly random data points.

Commitment – Again like an entrepreneur, Jack believed in his vision enough to ride a helicopter into the middle of a storm then jump out into a big, cold ocean just to have his message heard by the right audience.

Opportunity – Our hero seized critical opportunities to accomplish his goals like presenting to the Vice President and climbing into a Russian submarine.

Guts – See above. Seizing your opportunities is rarely easy.

Hard work – When you have the courage to move forward before all of the details are worked out, you might fail or your might have to start over.  Many entrepreneurs have experienced failure and they worked right on through it.

Seeing the bigger picture isn’t just a catchy phrase.  It’s a requirement for success, so be careful not to overlook the opportunities to learn from seemingly random data points.

For more information, or philosophical discussion of Cold War movies, shoot me an email (pun intended).

Relevant Links

  MediumGlengarry Glen Ross (1992) Directed by James Foley. With Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Alec Baldwin, Alan Arkin. An examination of the machinations behind the scenes at a real estate office.




The Hunt for Red October Directed by John McTiernan. With Sean Connery, Alec Baldwin, Scott Glenn, Sam Neill. In 1984, the USSR’s best submarine captain in their newest sub violates orders and heads for the USA. Is he trying to defect, or to start a war? http://youtu.be/Rb0QLxcvowk



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