The latest James Bond film, Spectre, is playing in the UK and will open in theatres around the world next week. Bond’s character has been played by seven actors in over 20 films during the last sixty years. . Daniel Craig is the most recent gentleman to tackle the role of the world’s greatest spy and, to say the least, Craig doesn’t think too highly of the brooding, sexist, boozy, and violent character he gets to play. Fair enough. James Bond is without a doubt an interesting and entertaining cinematic case study and is also a terrible person who you should never try to emulate. Here are 007 ways that emulating James Bond will ruin your career.
He drinks too much
“Shaken, not stirred” is a phrase that inspires eye-rolling bartenders to spit in your drink and is one of Bond’s most famous lines. Downing enough booze to supply the Sterling Cooper Draper & Pryce holiday party makes the following day of work really hard and yet Bond seems to drive cars, ski down icy-death-mountains, and expertly snipe bad guys with at least 11 martinis in his system. Not only is it ill-advised to write emails while intoxicated, but a recent study by the Center for Disease Control (reported by The Toronto Star) found that Canadian hangovers – as well as at-work-drunkenness – costs our economy more than $7 billion per year.
He is a misogynist
James Bond sees women as objects and, from time to time, human shields. To say the least, he is anything but a feminist role model. Avivah Wittenberg-Cox argues that the “women in leadership” discussion needs to be re-framed because the days of men running the world are coming to an end – women are graduating from university and being hired into better roles with higher pay at rates that outpace men of the same age; 40% of American households have women as a primary breadwinner and a recent study found that companies run by women outperform those run by men. Being sexist like James Bond isn’t good for business or for your career.
He always breaks his gadgets
Let’s put ourselves in Q’s knife-wielding, telephone-shoes for a minute. The man turns billions of taxpayer dollars into cutting-edge, life-saving gadgets and vehicles into flaming piles of rubble. During times of economic turmoil – like the ones we’re in now – employees must be thoughtful stewards of their equipment; for example, I would never take my company laptop mountain biking or let my son play with my phone. The business world is trending towards zero waste, as opposed to reckless wasting, Mr. Bond.
He doesn’t follow orders
I’ve researched and written about Respected Rebels before and James Bond is not a member of this club. Particularly in the recent films starring Craig, Bond “goes rogue” to follow a hunch or settle a score that falls well outside his mission’s prerogative and his organization’s mandate. Though gifted, he is a terrible employee to manage, especially since there are many ways to productively disagree with your boss and many more ways to incorporate disagreement and dissent into healthy workplace culture. Challenging authority is important, but you need to know when to take direction, too.
He sucks at collaborating
Just imagine working with this guy. If he’s not getting you murdered in Bolivia he’s stealing your jet boat or using you to further his agenda. To use the parlance of Adam Grant, James Bond is a “taker” – he lives to further his own means by taking time, energy, money, and the spotlight from others. Taking might sound okay (because you get stuff when you do it!); however, Grant has determined that “givers” are actually more successful in work and life. Be more generous and likeable and less of a brooding loner like James Bond.
He takes ridiculous risks
Sure, through 23 films James Bond has rolled the dice (sometimes literally) and his gambling usually pays off, even if people die while economic and environmental capital burn. One of my favourite trends in the world of work is that the best organizations are finding innovative ways to reframe failures as learning opportunities, allowing employees to reach their full potential. James Bond not only take risks that are too big – playing million-dollar poker hands with government money, for example – but the only thing that he seems to learn from his mistakes is that he’s awesome and everything pretty much works out in the end (both sorta true, by the way). Organizations are in search of people who understand the holistic nature of risk by looking beyond the laser-spewing satellite or bikini-clad damsel affecting a particular moment.
He makes work personal
While it is unrealistic to expect human beings to show up to work as anything but our whole selves, it’s an entirely other thing to have our personal relationships drastically affect our performance. His love of Vesper Lynd and M have inspired Bond to quit his job, lose his cool with colleagues, wreak havoc in Venice and the middle of Latin America, and engage in countless other unsanctioned adventures/assassinations. Enhancing your wellbeing means bringing your whole self to work and aligning with workplace etiquette basics; it also means not taking everything personally. In other words, murderous vendettas spawned from nefarious plots to control the world’s water and/or laser supply are vigorously frowned upon in the majority of workplaces.
Photo: Sony Pictures