top of page
  • Writer's pictureMaya

Don't underestimate an authentic character

Updated: Jan 30, 2019


Video Length: 1:08 min

This scene comes from the movie "Hidden Figures" which tells the story about three women behind the scenes at NASA during the space race. In this scene, Jim begins to underestimate Katherine in her role at NASA, and Katherine stops him to tell him her achievements.

Description & Decision:

An authentic character can be more valuable than one can realize. In this scene we can clearly see that Jim was about to underestimate Katherine and her contributions to NASA. Now Katherine does not go into details about her work, but she stops him and tells him her accomplishments in life thus far. Ultimately, Jim marries Katherine, but he was not the only one to underestimate her. Her male coworkers also questioned her until she proved her worth within the company. Authenticity comes from not underestimating a peer or coworker just because they're different; and Katherine shows authenticity because she stood up for herself in a moment where she felt her intelligence was going to be insulted.

Decision, Design & Discipline:

I have worked in an all-male environment, literally, where my bosses and coworkers were the most elite in their profession. I was a low man on the totem pole but I was doing the job of someone who was at least six pay grades higher than me with ample experience. I, of course, have been underestimated in that job, but I proved my worth over time and told by many of those men that I was the best they had seen. I had ignored the negative comments and constant questioning and continued to do my work the way I was taught...and I did it with a smile on my face. Authenticity comes from both sides. The men learned to trust my judgement and work with me as an equal, and I overcame all of the obstacles because in this community respect has to be earned.

Take a good look at yourself; if you're in a leadership position, do you consistently underestimate certain people? Why do you underestimate them? Diversity is not a bad thing in your environment, in fact, it helps foster creativity and keep the company young and vital. Ask your junior employees about ideas that they have. What can they contribute to the organization? Do they have potential for learning other areas? Sometimes it's not the talent that sticks out, but it’s the people who put their heart and soul into everything they do.

10 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page