Copyright TIGERS Success Series

By Dianne Crampton

There is an assumption in some business circles that leaders who embrace intuition, family and family duty are less capable in dealing with business strategy than those who make the sacrifice to give it all to their companies. There is also the assumption that admitting mistakes is a symptom of weakness — that when the going gets tough, the tough get going and employees need to buck up and get over it.

Smart leaders who understand how important emotional management is to their organization know what many managers and supervisors have yet to discover; that accountability and forgiveness builds trust and team cohesion faster than any other motivational technique. Below, is a review of Secretariat, and a time in US history when women leaders, like Penny Tweedy, piloted their teams and their charges to a level of success that has yet to be surpassed.   

The story is set during the late 60’s and early 70’s when Viet Nam plunged the US society into turmoil.  Penny Chenery Tweedy, a house wife and mother takes the helm of her parent’s horse breeding and racing enterprise. Challenged by her brother and husband to sell family assets after the death of her parents, Penny forges on to pull together a team to guide her long-shot but precocious stallion to set the 1973 unbeaten record for winning the Triple Crown.

 The lessons from this movie include:

  • The power of humility and forgiveness when leaders come down hard on a team without fully understanding the source of team failure
  • Tactics leaders should and should not use for turn around and crisis situations
  • The power of good research and following heart-focused hunches
  • The power of intuition and reaching deep into feelings and emotion to fire up team spirit
  • The power of feminine mentorship
  • The power of trust  

Starring Diane Lane, John Malkovich, and Dylan Walsh

Director: Randall Wallace



Film clips:

News Magazine Penny Chenery Tweedy interview

Secretariat movie trailer