For almost two years Harry Callahan created results prefer nobody else. In fact, he to be so unbelievable productive, he had his very own brand name: Dirty Harry. Yes, Dirty take care of the police detective played by Clint Eastwood in a collection of box office access time from Warner Brothers: Dirty Harry (1971), Magnum Force (1973), The Enforcer (1976), Sudden Impact (1983), and also The Dead pool (1988).

You are watching: A man has got to know his limitations

bother was no what friend would call a "company man." regardless of his law-enforcement skills, he never really to the right in through the mountain Francisco Police Department, ticking turn off his police superiors, multiple ar attorneys, and at the very least two mayors. The wasn"t a team player — his partners gained killed or wounded at an great rate. Harry also killed four policemen himself. (Talk around not being a firm man!) To optimal it off: Harry to be a public relationships nightmare, at one point smashing a TV news crew"s camera.

So, why on planet would you want to understand what Dirty Harry"s leadership keys are? It"s simple: No matter how badly things were going, Harry gained results. Here are his 5 leadership tricks — and also you can use them, no shoot anyone, and still be a great company man or woman:

Stay focused: In Dirty Harry (the first movie), harry is chasing a serial killer named Scorpio. The killer requirements the city buy him off or he will certainly kill again. Bother is horrified that san Francisco"s mayor intends to pay the money. (Harry"s focus is on catching or otherwise avoiding killers.) The payment go awry, and also Scorpio kidnaps a young woman. Take care of does everything he can, consisting of violating Scorpio"s constitution rights, to discover the girl. Unfortunately, she"s dead by the time Harry"s initiatives succeed. The mayor is furious, the district attorney is releasing Scorpio (because of the legal rights violation), and also Harry"s superiors are all set to have actually him walk a to win in Podunk. The only one who appears to care about the mrs is . . . Harry.

Staying focused has paid off for McDonald"s. In 1954, ray Kroc to be surprised by one order because that multi-mixers from a restaurant in san Bernardino, California. There he uncovered a effective restaurant run by brothers Dick and Mac McDonald and was stunned through the efficiency of your operation. They developed a restricted menu, concentrating on just a couple of items — burgers, fries and also beverages — which permitted them to focus on top quality at every step. Kroc felt their emphasis on a chop menu, efficient operations and quality to be the perfect arrangement for McDonald’s restaurants almost everywhere the joined States. The brothers marketed him the company, and also Kroc was off and also running.

Kroc want to build a restaurant device that would deliver food of consistent quality with uniform techniques of preparation. He wanted to serve burgers, buns, fries and also beverages that tasted the very same in Alaska as they walk in Alabama. (No one will certainly confuse McDonald"s with haute cuisine, but as someone who has actually eaten large Macs from shore to coast, I have the right to affirm that Kroc thrived in developing a constant product everywhere.)

In 1958, McDonald"s offered its 100th million hamburger. Together of today, they"ve probably served a gazillion the them. That"s remaining focused.

Honesty in advertising: take care of is remarkably honest all the time. In one of Dirty Harry"s many memorable scenes, take care of confronts a wounded financial institution robber who"s reasoning of grabbing a gun and shooting the out. Take care of dissuades him v a weapon even an ext powerful than his total – the truth, saying: "You"re thinking "did he fire six shots or just five?" currently to tell you the reality I forgot myself in every this excitement. Yet being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world and will blow you head clean off, you"ve gotta ask you yourself a question: "Do ns feel lucky?" Well, perform ya, punk?"

Harry that s right analyzes the risk/reward scenario because that his client (the financial institution robber) and also lets the man make his own notified choice.

Lee Iacocca used the exact same tactic when he lead Chrysler ago from the brink of damage in the 1980s. In one television ad after another, Iacocca would extol the virtues of the cars that Chrysler was making and then conclude: “If friend can find a far better car, purchase it.” Chrysler became successful again, and also paid turn off its government bailout money seven years front of schedule.

Do what you"re an excellent at: Harry is no particularly great at communications, therefore he doesn"t garbage a most time at it (See Deborah Grayson Riegel"s write-up on presenting choose Hannibal Lecter and also Dirty Harry, among others). Together he says to his exceptional in Magnum Force, “A man"s got to know his limitations.” Harry to know his limits, but it transforms out his ceo is not likewise enlightened about himself. The boss is a vigilante cop, killing negative guys there is no worrying about the legit system. Harry demonstrates the boss"s restrictions by blowing him up.

Know what you"re an excellent at. If you"re not Lee Iaococca, don"t be your own pitch man. Jack Welch wasn"t law TV commercials for GE, and also the agency did just fine when he to be CEO.

Do what you have to do: In Sudden Impact, Harry explains why it"s so difficult to make any type of progress in anything: “Everybody wants results, but nobody desires to execute what they need to do to get them done.” that course, Harry walk whatever he needs to do, and also that"s the reason he it s okay results.

earlier in the at an early stage 1980s, invoice Gates and also Microsoft uncovered themselves in require of an operating mechanism for the brand-new PCs that were around to be created by IBM. Offered its giant size, IBM was a make-or-break customer because that Microsoft. They had to have actually an operation system. So, castle bought Quick-and-Dirty Operating device (Q-DOS) from Seattle computer system Products, modified it and released it as MS-DOS, which evolved into Windows, and Microsoft came to be one that the many successful service providers on earth. All due to the fact that they go what they had to carry out to market the customer the best product.

Never offer up: Given that Harry never ever loses focus, it"s no surprising the he also never gives up. No matter how bleak points get, he continues to pursue justice. In the finale the Dirty Harry, Scorpio escalates things horribly by kidnapping a bus pack of institution kids. Harry intercepts the bus and jumps from a leg to the top of the bus (talk around never giving up). Scorpio drives into a quarry and crashes the bus, a foot chase ensues, and also finally harry confronts Scorpio top top a wood platform high above a pond.

Scorpio is wounded yet still prepared to fight. The looks in ~ the gun the dropped and also thinks about grabbing it. (Scorpio never provides up, either.) take care of repeats what he said earlier in the movie:

"I understand what you"re thinking, punk. You"re thinking "did he fire 6 shots or just five?" currently to tell friend the truth, ns forgot myself in all this excitement. But being this is a .44 Magnum, the most an effective handgun in the world and also will punch you head clean off, you"ve gotta ask yourself a question: "Do i feel lucky?" Well, do ya, punk?"

Scorpio lunges for his gun, and also Harry blows him best off the platform right into the water below.

But you don"t have to wield a .44 Magnum to follow a never-give-up strategy. Thomas Edison, fail to do a commercially practical, incandescent irradiate bulb countless times. But he ongoing trying, and failing, to acquire the light pear right. Edison to be asked just how he maintained going without any kind of results to display for his work. His answer: "Results? Why, man, ns have gotten lots of results! If I uncover 10,000 means something won"t work, ns haven"t failed. Ns am not discouraged, since every wrong effort discarded is regularly a action forward." just how did Edison"s fail-thousands-of-times method work? Amazingly well— he invented or make the an initial commercially viable versions of the light bulb, electrical power distribution, the phonograph, X-rays, and the Kinetoscope, an early movie viewer. That held more than 1,900 patents and also was a founder of GE and also Consolidated Edison (Con Ed).

Whether you choose a Magnum or a light bulb, or something else altogether, don"t give up.

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I"m a lifelong history buff and the author of "LEAD prefer IKE: Ten company Strategies from the CEO the D-Day." ns was the keynote speak at the 2010 Eisenhower tradition Dinner at the Eisenhower Presidential Library. A continuous contributor to, I"ve operated in service journalism and corporate communications for much more than a quarter-century. Working both freelance and on-staff, ns have operated for Condé Nast, Deloitte Consulting, Fairchild Publications, and also News Corp., and nonprofit institutions such as The Conference Board and the culture of corporate Secretaries & governance Professionals, where I was vice president, communications. I get around: I"ve addressed big audiences indigenous Fortune 500 suppliers on numerous organization topics. And I"ve been interviewed by alphabet News, Fortune, The brand-new York Times, The wall surface Street Journal, and also Investor"s company Daily, in enhancement to Compliance Week, director & Boards, and also Corporate Boards. I was managing editor of across the board (now well-known as The Conference board Review).