The Blind Side


The Blind Side

Written by 
Based on The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis

Director John Lee Hancock
Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, Quinton Aaron, Kathy Bates

Category    Employee Retention,Motivation& Recognition,Recruitment Methods& Tools,Talent Management,Teams& Coaching,Training& Development      


Warner Bros. Pictures



129 min

Tell A Friend

Add to my Viewing List


The Blind Side is a 2009 American biographical, sports drama, based on the true story of Leigh Anne (Sandra Bullock) and Sean Tuohy (Tim McGraw) who take in a homeless teenage African-American, Michael Oher ("Big Mike") (portrayed by Quinton Aaron) who in real life became the offensive lineman, playing for the Baltimore Ravens of the NFL.

The film follows Oher from his impoverished upbringing, through his years at Wingate Christian School, his adoption by Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy and on to his position as one of the most highly coveted prospects in college football. The film portrays the remarkable development of a young boy when he becomes a member of a family and receives genuine guidance.

HR Message
The Blind side in football terms is the “attack or hit from the side where the attacked person's view is obstructed”. How often aren’t businesses attacked or hit on their “blind side” - the side they are not strong enough? - Either by competition, the market, the economy, or even by lacking the adequate employee skills and competencies. From a different perspective, the “blind side” can be associated with every employee’s area of development – the same areas which determine someone’s progress and future in the business world.

Through this film we experience a true transformation of someone’s contribution and value, through a healthy environment and effective coaching. Mike was a lonely boy, had no trust in anyone and no hope for the future. His only concern was to find a warm place to sleep at night. According to Maslow’s hierarchy (see diagram 1) he was not even provided with the basic needs, which prevented him from demonstrating any interest in his studies, relationships or his future.

Once the Tuohy family took Big Mike into their home and provided him with shelter, food, safety and security, he was more prepared to start working towards all the other levels of Maslow’s hierarchy.

The Tuohy home had a different impact on Mike than all other foster homes he ran from, because it provided the “homely” feeling. Evidently, in the business world, companies which provide the prerequisites of security, safety and healthy environment have more chances of survival, high employee retention and developing their workforce to eventually drive them to the next level. Companies, which provide the feeling of involvement, inspire trust and comfort to the employees, enable the people to flourish and develop their skills and competencies.

The Tuohy family provided Mike an environment surrounded not only with love and trust, but also discipline, house rules and obligations – vital traits which each family/ company should demonstrate and embed in its every day activities, in order to maintain a strong and lucid culture. The feeling of dependency and teamwork in working towards a common goal was very evident by the contribution of the young son who sent Mike’s football video to all universities to help him get the scholarship or by how he was sitting side-by-side to Mike while the interviews were being held.

Throughout the film, we experience Mike’s development towards self-actualization and innate urge to contribute (the top of Maslow’s hierarchy), which eventually engrave his path to championship.

The film also reveals the impressive results of effective coaching. Leigh Anne Tuohy is a true coach in this film, who even though does not use any technical tools or high -level methodologies, she reveals the most valuable traits of a good coach; Someone who has a vision, sees potential in others and works hard in developing the abilities of a coachee. The informal coaching process was underpinned by establishing trust, enabling the coachee to adopt new habits and learn through new experiences.

Leigh Anne spent time to get to know Mike; she discovered that even though he scored low in essentially every aspect of psychometric testing, Michael demonstrated strength in 'protective instincts'. She used this information, in order to unleash his potential, and eventually this became his strongest skill as an offensive lineman in a football team.

Parallel to the story, companies should be urged to look for people’s skills, even if they are not visible, and utilize them wisely.

This film demonstrates the true value of a healthy environment and effective coaching in unleashing potential and achieving goals. Evidently, although having numerous “blind sides” as a young boy (homeless, uneducated, no parents) Big Mike used all his characteristics and skills to become himself the most successful “blind side” of a football team.

Contributed by: Anna Mylona