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Jerry Maguire
Cameron Crowe
Starring: Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr.,
   Renee Zellweger ...
Length: 139 minutes
Rated: R
Studio: Columbia TriStar

I recently asked a group of coaching students to watch this film and to look for coaching issues or topics in it. Itís remarkably full of topics that coaching students can unravel and learn from.

Probably the deepest question that this film tries to answer is, what does it take to step into your authentic self? Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) is on the hunt for his authentic self, the self he aspires to be, and it doesnít come easily. Point. Does it come easily for anyone these days? I donít think so.

Jerry is a sports agent, a job that is dog-eat-dog competitive, built on political connections, savvy, money, and broken promises. He finds it exhausting to stay ahead of the game.

Early in the movie he makes a public declaration about the kind of working world he wants to be a part of. He shares it with his whole company, and the whispers in the hallway say that he has pushed too big a button this time, and that heíll be Ďoutí within a week.

And he is. He has his vision, though, and his resolve. He has the unexpected support of one of his coworkers, beautifully played by Renee Zellweiger. She recognizes his passion and realizes that his passion is something that inspires her. She is a single mom who quits her secure job to support Jerryís vision.

And so the movie goes. There are numerous obstacles on the path to authenticity, false starts, false seductions, unexpected outcomes. But Jerry stays the course as best he can. He finds some useful supports in expected and unexpected places, and discovers something pretty wonderful Ė love. Love as a foundation for his work. Loving his clients. Loving giving service. Loving helping others be all that they can be. Feeling the loyalty of his clients and his supports. And he finds love in his life.

Iíd say that by the end, we see a much more lovable and authentic Jerry Maguire. He is definitely on his path.

Self-Observation Questions

  1. Jerry spoke up by writing his vision of what would make work-life better. Notice when you feel like speaking up. Do you speak up? What have been the consequences of your speaking up?
  2. Think of a time when you spoke up and voiced an opinion that was contrary to others in your group. What happened? What supported that or suppressed it in further conversation.
  3. Jerry created a vision and made a declaration that he wanted things to change. When have you made a public declaration? What happened? What got set into motion? How did making a declaration help you?
  4. Jerry overcome many obstacles to be able to step into his vision. In what ways are you living your vision? How often are you doing what you really want to do? Notice during your days, for the next two weeks, how much of your activity really satisfies you or makes you feel gratified.
  5. Jerry wanted to create a new way of working and living. He had a dream but no design, and even so, he did create something different for himself. If you can accept the concept that you can truly design your life, what aspects of your life fit your idea of your life design, and which ones donít? What steps can you take to live a life that is truer to yourself?
  6. It is very difficult to transition without support. Jerry had some support (and probably could have used more). Notice the supports in your life. How do they help you? How often do you rely on them when you are feeling alone?
  7. Jerry eventually began to act from love. While most would say he has more learning to do, the question is valid: how often do you act from love? Notice that over the next two weeks. Are you showing up as a person who comes from love?


Click here for a coaching practice related to the theme of this movie.





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