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The Devil Wears Prada - Leadership

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Martijn Dorhout Mees

on 3 December 2013

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Transcript of The Devil Wears Prada - Leadership

A short introduction..

In New York, the simple and naive just-graduated in journalism
Andrea Sachs
is hired to work as the second assistant of the powerful and sophisticated
Miranda Priestly
, the ruthless and merciless executive of the Runway fashion magazine. Andrea dreams to become a journalist and faces the opportunity as a temporary professional challenge.

The first assistant
advises Andrea about the behavior and preferences of their cruel boss, and the stylist
helps Andrea to dress more adequately for the environment. Andrea changes her attitude and behavior, affecting her private life and the relationship with her boyfriend Nate, her family and friends. In the end, Andrea learns that life is made of choices.
Andrea "Andy" Sachs, a recent Brown University graduate who is hired as a junior personal assistant to a powerful and tyrannical fashion magazine editor
Miranda Priestly, editor-in-chief of Runway, an influential fashion magazine published by the Elias-Clark company. She is known for wearing a white Hermès scarf somewhere on her person every day and treating her subordinates in a manner that borders on emotional and psychological abuse.
Emily Charlton, Miranda's former junior assistant now her senior assistant. She and Andrea have a conflicted relationship.
Nigel, a very tall British gay man who in addition to serving as Runway 's creative director, frequently appears on television as a fashion consultant and is thus one of the few stars of the magazine Andrea knows prior to working there. He always speaks loudly. He has an outrageous sense of style and is the only person who can get away with critiquing Miranda's personal wardrobe choices.
The main characters
How it really feels
How does Miranda see herself?
Who are we?
Kiki Amadi
Martijn Dorhout Mees
"Emily exhibited the same character traits of her boss"
She was rude to Andrea the new intern
She was not polite in the way she addressed people in general
She looked down on people
Her personal life was also affected by her job
Nigel (coach/ mentor)
Nigel, the art director, proved to be a great mentor
Nigel’s sessions with Andy gives us a sense of what the company and industry was all about. He took her under his wing and they developed a strong bond as he walked her through the intricacies of Runway and the fashion industry. He took someone that was accepted at Stanford law school, who wanted so much to be a writer, and coached her into a budding executive in the making.
Andrea Sachs (intern)
Aspiring journalist
Recent graduate
Unfamiliar with the fashion industry
The big 5 Personality Traits:
Work Values and Motivation
Miranda Priestly
- Editor in chief of Runway
- Icon within the Industry
- Powerful personality
- Intimidating and demanding
- Unapproachable
- Strong connection power
- High Self esteem
- Low self monitor
The big 5 Personality Traits:
Work Values and Motivation
Miranda's Leadership style:
Tyrannical Leadership
Tyrannical behaviours undermine the motivation, well-being or job satisfaction of subordinates, without necessarily being clearly destructive as regards to the organisation's goals. Tyrannical leaders may behave in accordance with the goals, tasks, missions and strategies of the organisation, but they typically obtain results not through, but at the cost of subordinates
Absolute Power
Andy : "There is no Plan B, there's just Plan A"

Emily: You could never ask her question
Miranda's orderlist:
hot Starbucks
Call my husband
One-way communication
no repeat
no question
no excuse
What is the effect of Miranda's Leadership on Emily and Andrea?
The effect on the employees:
Andrea and Emily are frequently in a state of tension experienced by them facing extraordinary demands,constrains or opportunities
Miranda is always unsatisfied
Stress from communication:
No smile
No eye contact
Andrea and Emily are not acknowledged when doing something right
Miranda turns to be vicious if mistakes are made
Miranda scares them
Bring me the unpublished manuscript of Harry Potter
Book me a flight even though there is a hurricane
Very huge amount of jobs to finish in an extremely short time
Impossible tasks..
Behaviour Theories:
Nigel is relationship oriented
Miranda is task oriented
Path-Goal Theory:
Nigel is directive and supportive
Miranda is achievement oriented

Nigel directly leads Andy's behaviors
Miranda indirectly leads Andy behaviors
Leadership vs. Management
Some of the qualities a good
leader should possess are:

Visionary mindset
Good Communicator
Corporate Values & Ethics
No Fear from Change
Thank you for your attention

She knew where she wanted
the company to be

She fulfilled the first criteria
She was not a very good communicator

She did not know how to bring people
to buy into her vision

She harassed them when she felt they
were not on the same page as her

Good Communicator
The corporate value and ethics of Runway was
one that you need to be ruthless to survive in
e.g when Emily had an accident as a result of
running a personal errand for Miranda,
Miranda told Andrea to pass the message to
Emily of her not being part of the team that
would go to Paris.

This was not right, as the information should have
come from Miranda herself.


Miranda was not open to change

As a result none of her ideas or decisions could be criticized by the employees

Out of the four dimensions of leadership quality that we used:

Miranda satisfied just one of them which was being a

Based on that we feel she was not a good example of a leader to her subordinates.

Full transcript