How Tom Hanks can double your leadership potential

October 15, 2013
The Love Boat
Bosom Buddies
Happy Days
Family Ties
Bachelor Party 
The Man with One Red Shoe 
The Money Pit 
The ‘Burbs 
Turner & Hooch 
Joe Versus the Volcano 
The Bonfire of the Vanities 
Radio Flyer 
A League of Their Own
Sleepless in Seattle 
Forrest Gump 
Apollo 13 
Toy Story 
That Thing You Do! 
Saving Private Ryan
You’ve Got Mail 
Toy Story 2 
The Green Mile 
Cast Away 
Band of Brothers
Road to Perdition
Catch Me If You Can 
The Terminal 
The Polar Express 
The Da Vinci Code 
Charlie Wilson’s War
Angels & Demons 
Toy Story 3 
Larry Crowne 
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close 
Cloud Atlas 
Captain Phillips 
Sure, his best work may have been in Bachelor Party or Bosom Buddies, but Tom Hanks has done alright for himself.
With the release of his latest flic Captain Phillips, Tom Hanks is working the publicity circuit. The Chicago Tribune did a Hanks feature & he shared some of his insights on acting.
Two comments in particular resonated with me.
“All of acting is a battle against self-consciousness.”
- Tom Hanks
When I enter Spanish mode, I’m a bit of a different person.
In a way, I’m acting.
Not a fraud, mind you.
Probably more like Jerry Seinfeld in Seinfeld. Sure, he’s acting in the show, but he’s not working too hard at it. Jerry the character and Jerry the person are pretty similar.
In Spanish mode, I’m more out-going, more gregarious, more active. I flail my hands more. My voice fluctuates more. I make more of a scene. I’m not exactly a shrinking violet to begin with, so this type of behavior isn’t too far off.
The volume is simply cranked up a notch.
Part of this I do consciously. I need to forget to be self-conscious. When a tall, skinny redhead wanders up to a drywall crew full of Mexicans and starts speaking Spanish, it becomes a one-man show fairly quickly.
It takes a while to let the Spanish-speakers process what’s happening. Then a bit longer for them to engage. That leaves me on a potentially awkward and lonely island for some time… if I choose to think in those terms.
It is a battle against self-consciousness.
And I won't lose.
“The job of an actor is to forget that he’s in a movie.”
- Tom Hanks 
Red Angle recently completed a custom Zero Energy State (aka Lockout/Tagout) video trio in English, Spanish & Polish for a Client. After the Spanish version was deployed, I received a call.
The guys liked it. They were surprised at the humor. It got some laughs. But they thought you sounded like a game show host sometimes….
You say that like it’s a bad thing. Did the game show host keep their attention?” I asked.
Oh yeah. It held their attention the whole time. The guys were talking about it afterwards. That doesn’t happen with most my training videos. Whatever works.
I don’t purposely create Lockout/Tagout training videos with the role of “Game Show Host” scripted in. It just emerges. I forget I’m a tall, skinny redhead recording Spanish audio over a Safety video. And I think the overall product is better for it.
What about you?
How does your self-consciousness hold you back?
The hard part of Construction Spanish isn’t the learning.
We can teach you what you need to know in a few weeks.
With this knowledge, you can double your leadership potential as you manage & lead Spanish-speakers – not just English-speakers.
No, the learning is the easy part.
The hard part is overcoming self-consciousness and putting yourself out there.
Being strong enough to be vulnerable.
Forgetting to take yourself too seriously.
Sometimes you gotta sail The Love Boat before becoming Captain Phillips.
El Presidente

Bradley Hartmann is El Presidente of Red Angle, a Spanish language training firm focused exclusively on the construcción industry. Hartmann has been successful improving Safety, Productivity and Profitability by speaking Spanish on the jobsite. Hartmann lived in Guadalajara, México, during his undergraduate studies and later earned his MBA. Hartmann also teaches Construction Spanish at Purdue University’s Building Construction Management Program. He has authored two books: Spanish Twins: Start Speaking Spanish on the Construction Site with Words You Already Know and Safety Spanish: Simple Spanish Skills for Solving Safety Problems. Hartmann would love to hear your thoughts digitally at or at 630.234.7321.


PB-Housing Giants,PB-Human Resources,PB-Leadership,PB-Management,PB-Education