A common characteristic of charismatic leaders is that they set high expectations that their followers are excited to strive for. Such leaders often themselves model high achievement have a personal biography that demonstrates a willingness to work very hard. In the movie, Escalante sets high expectations by telling students they will work very hard in his class and that there will be “no excuses.” He also modeled high-performing behavior through his personal story of overcoming hardship to learn English and gain U.S. teaching credentials.

As a teacher of AP calculus at Garfield High School, Escalante explained high-level math concepts to students with limited math backgrounds and potential futures to teenagers with limited life experience. His ability to do so is evidence of which leadership behavior?

Encouraging risk taking

Simplifying complex ideas

Staying calm under pressure

Trusting subordinates