Have you ever tried to jump the fence?

“There will be no escape from this camp”. Camp Commandant from the Great Escape

In the movie “The Great Escape”, Steve McQueen is the pivotal star of the 1963 action thriller based in part on an actual mass escape from a Nazi Prison Camp in 1944. McQueen is an American Officer in a group of mostly British POWs. His job or role is to distract, to be constantly trying to escape to keep the guards off kilter while the senior British Officers plan for a massive escape of some 250 prisoners. McQueen is successful at breaking out and does a ‘leader’s reconnaissance’ finding out things like where the local train station is. The irony is, his character is the most rebellious and independent and yet he spends most of his time in solitary confinement with his baseball and glove. The famous scene below is of his ill-fated attempt to jump the barbed wire fence.


“Steve McQueen from The Great Escape”


The Great Escape was an iconic movie based on a moving idea, that a group of people in dire straits, could have a vision and implement the vision. They not only wanted to escape, they wanted to tie up precious Nazi resources looking for them rather than fighting at the front. From an organizational point of view the theme of the movie is a great lesson for organizations. It shows the power when everyone rallies around a common goal.

Why is it important to think about a great movie now and then? Our culture and way of life, our point of view and how we see the world is partly shaped and formed by art and the movies have been a large part of that. Steve McQueen and his fellow prisoners were on a hero’s journey. We all go on a hero’s journey. What’s your story? Have you tried to jump the fence?