Say the name Sean Connery, and virtually everyone will think of his most famous line: “The name is Bond, James Bond.”
Connery first appeared in 1962 as the character from Ian Fleming’s spy novels. Though five other actors have played Bond during the past 45 years, it is Connery we think of when we hear the famous musical riff from every film’s opening sequence. In fact, the actor is the standard against which all other would-be Bonds — perhaps even all other secret-agent characters — are measured. After all, does the name George Lazenby mean anything to you?
Yet, of the dozens of nominations and awards recognizing Connery’s acting prowess, none were for his role as James Bond. He starred in dozens of films other than Bond flicks, and he defied the bane of the acting world: typecasting. In fact, Connery won an Oscar not for playing a superspy, but for his turn as Jim Malone, the aging, street-weary Irish police officer in “The Untouchables.”
Connery’s secret? Transformation. He captured our collective imagination as the dashing British Bond, but he realized the role was ultimately a dead-end. He made the tough decision to abandon the lucrative role at the height of its popularity to improve his long-term career prospects. He then used his box-office appeal as leverage with the studios to land roles he knew were critical to his professional survival.
Today’s senior IT execs, and those who aspire to move up the ladder, can take a few pointers from…
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