9 Leadership Lessons from Popular TV & Movies Characters

Leadership Lessons from Popular TV & Movies Characters

Who do you imagine when you hear the word leader?

I’m sure leading businessmen, thought leaders, sportsmen would be some of the quick faces that come to your mind. Undoubtedly, these people are the living definition of leadership and are successfully rocking it. Interestingly, there are numerous fictitious characters in TV series and movies that continue to give us major leadership lessons and goals.

From Game of Thrones to Batman trilogy, there are so many men/women on screen who have displayed some badass leadership skills. Without much ado, let us talk about these epic roles and what we can learn from them.

1. Walk the talk like Ned Stark

Lord Eddard ‘Ned’ Stark personifies leadership and managerial skills in every possible way. He possess the knowledge, wisdom, and gravitas like that of a true leader. He puts the needs of others before his own needs.

Stark is the ideal manager who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. He has a strong sense of values who would never encourage others to do something that is either morally incorrect or unethical like a true leader would never make others do something that he isn’t willing to do himself.

Related Post: 10 Management Skills You Need to Lead Your Team

2. Speak and act like Maximus Meridius

Strong communication is the one of the key pillars that support a successful organization. To be a leader, you have to have strong interpersonal skills to exchange information and convey instructions to team members. There’s only one movie character that comes to mind who is known as an excellent orator and persuader – Maximus Meridius from the movie Gladiator.

In the film, you would see him delivering a class-apart speech which shows us his ability to communicate battle instructions clearly to officers in a concise manner. With his powerful verbiage, he is the epitome of a leader who knows how to convey his vision to others to achieve a goal and emerge victorious.

3. Be fearless and persevere like Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman (also known as Diana) has given the world a whole new definition of leadership. She is strong, beautiful, and one hell of a hard worker. When she was little and growing up in Themyscira, Diana was forbidden to train as a warrior by her mother, Queen Hippolyta. But she followed her heart and sought help from her aunt to learn the nitty-gritty of fighting in secret.

Many times, employees are told they can’t do this and that. If you wish to take that project up, ask your manager, show your interest and pursue it fearlessly just like Wonder Woman did.

4. Empower your team members like Tony D’Amato

As a leader, your biggest responsibility is to empower your team members and make them self-sufficient. Team members who are told what to do when never grow neither as individuals nor as professionals. It’s your duty to give them an access to the right tools, training, and instill confidence in them to take their decisions and become accountable for their work.

Al Pacino’s character in the movie Any Given Sunday as an NFL coach is a classic example of true leadership. In one of the scenes, he tells one of his players, “I can’t make you do it. You gotta look at the guy next to you, and see if he will go that inch with you.”As a leader, you can teach skills, share tactics but essentially it is up to them to learn how to do things on their own.

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5. Build a kickass team like Rick Grimes

You might be a great leader or a manager but your job is to get the manage a team of distinct individuals and get the job done. Therefore, it’s not wrong to say that a leader is as good (or bad) as his team members.

Rick Grimes, played by Andrew Lincoln in The Walking Dead is a perfect example of a leader who carefully decides who should join his team and who should not. With his unique leadership style, he identifies the strengths and skills that others might not see. Do watch the series and take some lessons from Grime on how to recruit the right people for your organization.

Related Post: 6 Ways Successful Teams Are Built to Last

6. Dress sharp like Harvey Specter

Think about a leader or anyone who you admire the most. What’s the first thing that came to your mind? The way they look, the way they dress, the way they speak would be some of the instant answers. Believe it or not, your image plays a big role in deciding your standing in a company.

In the first episode of Suits, Harvey says, “People respond to how we’re dressed, so like it or not this is what you have to do.” If you wish to display power and authority, dress that way. It boosts your confidence, improves your self-image, and makes you look more charismatic. Harvey’s character from Suits will definitely teach you a thing or two on developing social and business confidence by wearing the right clothes.

7. Choose your tools wisely like Indiana Jones

Harrison Ford from Indiana Jones is known as an adventurous archaeologist and a calculated risk-taker in the Hollywood history. This being said, he takes sensible risks by thoroughly analyzing the situation beforehand. If you’re about to start a business or launch a product, make sure you do your homework, research, and keep your target audience in mind while making the critical calls.

For Harrison, his bullwhip was his go-to tool using it in all the major fights. In one of the episodes, he used his gun to fight off with the villain. Indiana Jones teaches us that it’s important to have the wisdom to figure out the best tool for your business or project. If you don’t have what you need, go get it now!

Related Post: A beginner’s guide to choosing the best collaboration software

8. Embrace humility like Batman

Leaders are often seen as incapable of making mistakes or being wrong. However, there is no human being out there, not even the greatest of the greatest would have only tasted success on their respective endeavours. It’s human tendency to make mistakes but what makes a leader stand out from the rest is the courage to accept his mistakes and humbly move forward not repeating them.

In Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy, we can see Bruce Wayne a.k.a Batman’s character dealing with failure where he is left to rot in prison. Instead of complaining, he embraced his mistakes and emerged stronger than ever. If you think your planning and execution wasn’t good enough for a specific project, take the responsibility like an effective project manager and learn from previous from the mistakes.

9. Believe in yourself like Po (Kung Fu Panda series)

Kung Fu Panda series might be a movie for kids but it has some great leadership lessons hidden in it. It shows how an ordinary big fat panda is chosen to be the dragon warrior. The protagonist Po, though a lazy Panda, dreams of learning Kung Fu and wishes to fight along with the Furious Five. By the look of him, Po is a no leader but he imagines himself as one and that’s what matters the most.

John Maxwell has said it aptly, “Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in the abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential.” Kung Fu Panda series teach us exactly that – explore your talents, live in the present, and believe in yourself.

Last few words..

Leadership is not just applicable to management students, it is something quite relevant to our day to day life. If you haven’t watched movies mentioned-above, go watch them right now and learn a lesson or two in leadership.

We would love to know about fictitious roles that have given you major leadership goals. Drop a comment below with the name of the movie or TV series.

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