Critical Doer Movie Review: Taken 3

A Critical Doer capitalizes on opportunities to be better 

This past weekend, my son wanted us to catch a movie as a family.  To my delight, he chose Taken 3.  If any movie has Liam Neeson, I’m in from the word “go.”  The action and the story were awesome, but as I watched it dawned on me that there were a lot of critical doer lessons happening right there on the big screen!

Here are the three Critical Doer takeaways from Taken 3:

  1. Actually learning “lessons learned.” Continuity is a great enabler of doing as it captures both good and bad to capitalize on the positive and correct/reevaluate the things that didn’t work.  The kidnappers in all Taken movies could have benefitted from a good continuity book on target selection.  A page with a flow chart that goes something like this would have been helpful:  Step 1—select target, Step 2—is the target a relative of Liam Neeson, Step 3—if you answered “yes” to step 2 stop the checklist now and save yourself.  Lesson learned…the hard way!  Remember, a critical doer applies critical thinking to ensure work is done smartly and not wasted repeating preventable mistakes.
  2. Continuing to grow your skills. One of Liam Neeson’s famous lines is “I have a particular set of skills, skills that I have acquired over a long career, and those skills make me a nightmare for people like you.”  If you’ve seen the movies, it’s obvious that Liam Neeson worked hard to maintain and even expand those skills over time.  We should learn from his example because changes in circumstances, technology, product demand, strategy, etc. can make a particular set of skills less relevant over time.  A critical doer knows the only future we have is the one we’re willing to make for ourselves…and a key driver in that is being proactive in adapting our skills for relevancy in the contemporary environment.  If you’re not working to improve your skills, educate yourself to increase your knowledge, and studying what’s beyond the horizon to prepare for tomorrow…you are playing Russian roulette with your career, business, and the future of those you lead.
  3. Networking pays. In Taken 3, Liam Neeson’s character has a set of faithful friends with common skills, values, and interests.  In the real world, we might call that a network.  If you haven’t established a strong network of people for support and collaboration, your capacity for doing will not equal the potential of your thinking.  If you’re not taking advantage of professional associations to network with people who have a common occupational interest or civic organizations to network with people who have a common community interest, you’re making a deliberate choice to play the team sport of life by yourself.  Grow your network of thinkers and you’ll become a more powerful doer.

Overall, Taken 3 gets the coveted “Critical Doer A++” rating and I highly recommend it if you’re looking for some great practical examples of thinking critically and doing passionately.  It’s what a critical doer would…do!  “Good luck…”


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Updated: January 16, 2015 — 2:13 am

1 Comment

  1. Although I appreciate the examples of Critical Doing portrayed in the move, I won’t be among those viewing it. Although Neeson character may possess the qualities of a Critical Doer, sadly, Neeson himself does not only lack the qualities of a Critical Doer, he lacks even the qualities of a Critical Thinker. Portraying a character and promoting movies fraught with violence by firearms by that character, then going on a tirade about gun ownership in the U.S., thereby alienating much of his fan base, isn’t very forward thinking. Not only has Neeson lost much of his fan base for lack of critical thinking abilities, he has lost the sponsorship of Para Arms, the company who provided firearms for his movies. This WAS a good example of Critical Doers by Para Arms. By denouncing Neeson, they have picked up quite a few new customers from Second Amendment supporters who were alienated by Neeson and applauded Para Arms decision. Neeson only used poorly thought out words. Para turned well thought out words into actions.

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