How Tom Hanks can double your leadership potential.



The Love Boat

Bosom Buddies


Happy Days

Family Ties


Bachelor Party 

The Man with One Red Shoe 


The Money Pit 



The ‘Burbs 

Turner & Hooch 

Joe Versus the Volcano 

The Bonfire of the Vanities 

Radio Flyer 

A League of Their Own

Sleepless in Seattle 


Forrest Gump 

Apollo 13 

Toy Story 

That Thing You Do! 

Saving Private Ryan

You’ve Got Mail 

Toy Story 2 

The Green Mile 

Cast Away 

Band of Brothers

Road to Perdition

Catch Me If You Can 

The Terminal 

The Polar Express 

The Da Vinci Code 

Charlie Wilson’s War

Angels & Demons 

Toy Story 3 

Larry Crowne 

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close 

Cloud Atlas 

Captain Phillips 


Sure, his best work may have been in Bachelor Party or Bosom Buddies, but Tom Hanks has done alright for himself.


With the release of his latest flic Captain Phillips, Tom Hanks is working the publicity circuit. The Chicago Tribune did a Hanks feature & he shared some of his insights on acting.


Two comments in particular resonated with me.

When I’m in Spanish mode, I’m a bit of a different person.

In a way, I’m acting.



“All of acting is a battle against self-consciousness.”

– Tom Hanks



In Spanish mode, I’m acting a bit.

Not a fraud, mind you.

Probably more like Jerry Seinfeld in Seinfeld. Sure, he’s acting in the show, but he’s not working too hard at it. Jerry the character and Jerry the person are pretty similar.


In Spanish mode, I’m more out-going, more gregarious, more active. I flail my hands more. My voice fluctuates more. I make more of a scene. I’m not exactly a shrinking violet to begin with, so this type of behavior isn’t too far off.


The volume is simply cranked up a notch.


Part of this I do consciously. I need to forget to be self-conscious. When a tall, skinny redhead wanders up to a drywall crew full of Mexicans and starts speaking Spanish, it becomes a one-man show fairly quickly.


It takes a while to let them process what’s happening. Then a bit longer for them to engage. That leaves me on a potentially awkward and lonely island for some time… if I think of it in those terms.


It is a battle against self-consciousness.

And I can’t lose.



“The job of an actor is to forget that he’s in a movie.”

– Tom Hanks 



Red Angle recently completed a custom Zero Energy State (aka Lockout/Tagout) video trio in English, Spanish & Polish for a Client. After the Spanish version was deployed, I received a call.


The guys liked it. They were surprised at the humor. It got some laughs. But they thought you sounded like a game show host sometimes….


You say that like it’s a bad thing. Did the game show host keep their attention?” I asked.


Oh yeah. It held their attention the whole time. The guys were talking about it afterwards. That doesn’t happen with most my training videos. Whatever works.


I don’t purposely create Lockout/Tagout training videos with the role of a “Game Show Host” scripted in. It just emerges. I forget I’m a tall, skinny redhead recording Spanish audio over a Safety video. And I think the overall product is better for it.


What about you?

How does your self-consciousness hold you back?


The hard part of Construction Spanish isn’t the learning.

We can teach you what you need to know in a few weeks.

With this knowledge, you can double your leadership potential as you manage & lead Spanish-speakers – not just English-speakers.


No, the learning is the easy part.

The hard part is overcoming self-consciousness and putting yourself out there.

Being strong enough to be vulnerable.

Forgetting to take yourself too seriously.


Sometimes you gotta sail The Love Boat before becoming Captain Phillips.



Bradley Hartmann is founder and El Presidente at Red Angle (, a training and consulting firm bridging the English-Spanish (and a bit of Polish…) language gap in the construction industry.    

If you enjoyed this post and would be interested in other related content, subscribe to our monthly Newsletter – the Red Angle Revista. Once a month, no fluff, no sales pitches. Just ideas and language skills to help you run a better job.

Categories: Construction Spanish, Jobsite Leadership

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: