Balance of Power

A few weeks ago, I had a chance to see The Phantom Thread in the screening room at The Hospital Club. Paul Thomas Anderson’s film has received rave reviews, including from The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw.

Daniel Day Lewis’ portrayal of celebrated dressmaker Reynolds Jeremiah Woodcock is fascinating. On the surface he can be controlling and almost tyrannical, even with his beloved muse Alma, wonderfully played by Vicky Krieps. As the only man in the 1950s fashion house, he initially appears to rule the roost. He’s frequently irritable and dismissive with both staff and Alma. However, over the course of the film, we realise that Woodcock’s veneer of authority is flawed. His sister Cyril, played by Lesley Manville, is the real power behind the business throne … and in matters of the heart Woodcock becomes vulnerable and eventually a willing participant in Alma’s schemes to weaken him with poisonous mushrooms.

Strip away the superb acting and sumptuous sets and this is a story about power – and the struggle to gain the upper hand. It’s a very common theme in intimate relationships where there can be a constant ebb and flow of power between lovers.

There’s also a parallel in business as all commercial relationships are essentially between people. Whether it’s between talent and agent, consultant and client, brand and agency, advertiser and music rights owner, there is a balance to be achieved around the fulcrum of a deal. What’s interesting is that it’s not always about the size of one party versus another. It’s often more about need, urgency and exclusivity – the same elements that govern how personal relationships work, especially romantic ones.

Smart deal makers use emotional intelligence to consider not only the hard commercial points but also the soft issues – essentially how both they and the other side feel. Is it a one-time deal or part of an on-going relationship? This may affect how the parties behave. Ultimately we do business with people we like, so finding the right balance of power is essential.

What can you learn from The Phantom Thread that can be applied to your business life? Do let me know.

ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “Balance of Power”

  1. Viagracheap March 14, 2018 at 10:54 pm

    Alma- och Hannahemmet I offentligheten cirkulerar uppgifter om att de politiska gruppordförandena i Kimitoöns kommun beslutat inbegära offerter i avsikt att sälja seniorhemmen Alma- och Hannahemmet. Vi undertecknade gruppordförande anser detta vara en klar förvrängning av våra beslut. Vi har beslutat inbegära anbud för en bättre bild av hur åldringsvården i kommunen kunde lösas och vilka alternativ som står till buds. Vi har ställt en rad olika villkor och önskemål på vad eventuella anbud i så fall bör innehålla. En eventuell försäljning av Alma- och Hannahemmet utgör bara ett möjligt scenario bland många andra. Vårt beslut om anbudsbegäran kan inte med bästa vilja reduceras till enbart en försäljning av de befintliga åldringshemmen. Och till vårt beslut fogades som en central del ett klart och tydligt konstaterande att denna anbudsfrågan inte på något sätt binder kommunen i framtida beslutfattande. Vi beklagar att vår ärliga vilja att medverka i försöken att lösa vårdfrågorna i Kimitoöns kommun förvrängs till okännelighet. Johan Sundqvist gruppordförande, Socialdemokratern Kalevi Kallonen gruppordförande, Centern Tomy Wass gruppordförande, vänsterförbundet

Leave a Reply

Your Name *
Your Email *

Contact Resilient

Get in touch today to find out how Resilient can help you buy music smarter

Phone: +44 (0)20 3137 0324
Email: hello@resilientmusic.com

Subscribe to the Insider