Lessons learned from movies

271 reads

I am a movie fanatic and love to go whenever I get a chance.  It doesn't hurt that I have a son who is a film director in Hollywood.  Plus I had the pleasure of serving on Robert Redford's Sundance Institute Board for 14 years.  

I've observed that we can learn a lot from the movies.  For example, lighting a single match in a dark room will provide sufficient light to see everything.  Ventilation ducts are roomy enough to allow anyone to wiggle through them.  The Eiffel Tower can be seen from any Paris hotel room.  And, all police departments make sure to pair partners who are exact opposites.  Okay, so those might require a little artistic license.

Seriously, I have learned many lessons from the movies, such as the oft-repeated Michael Corleone line, "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer."  When I first saw "The Godfather Part II," I thought that line was brilliant.  I viewed my enemies as my competitors.  That's why I now have a speech lesson called "Know Thy Competitor."

"The Intern" offered many lessons, including working with different generations and their contrasting styles, communicating and language, problem solving and leadership.  It's important to get everyone's participation and perspective.

"The Bucket List" taught me the valuable lesson to live my life to the fullest.  As I get older, I'm doing my best to fulfill some specific dreams.  I had the good fortune to attend games six and seven of this year's World Series with my son, and recently returned from golfing at Ireland's greatest courses.

"The Founder," the story of McDonald's founder Ray Kroc, was like deja vu for me.  It brought back a lot of memories of experiences in building my envelope manufacturing company. When you are an entrepreneur, you need to sell your vision, think big, be an innovator, hire well, select good partners, be able to handle rejection and frustration, negotiate with the best of them, and above all, never give up.  As the boss, you need to work harder than anyone else.

The importance of teamwork is a message that comes through loud and clear in "Ocean's 11."  Danny Ocean and Rusty Ryan spent a lot of time recruiting a team with unique skills to pull off the heist of the century.  Yes, they were thieves, but they were master planners!

I took away a couple business lessons from "Legally Blonde."  The first is to never judge a book by its cover.  People can surprise you.  The second is that no matter what other people think, you control your own destiny.  If you are willing to work hard, you can achieve most anything you put your mind to.

Chief among the many lessons from the movie "Moneyball," the true story of Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane, were bucking the system and tackling problems in an unorthodox way.  The small-market team with a limited budget used analytics and statistical probabilities to build the team, going against coaches and scouts.

Yoda, the little green Jedi Master in the "Star Wars" movies had a number of great lines, but two in particular stood out to me.  In "The Empire Strikes Back," he said, "Do. Or do not.  There is only try."  In "The Phantom Menace," he uttered, "Fear is the path to the dark side.  Fear leads to anger.  Anger leads to hate.  Hate leads to suffering."

Some movies serve as warnings, like "Wall Street."  We live in an instant gratification world, and this movie is a good example of this.  Gordon Gekko has everything and always wants more, constantly looking for quick riches through any means necessary.  Bud Fox is similar, but the two characters are at different stages in their careers.  Still, both are looking at short cuts to give them the results they want.  And as we all know, there are few short cuts in real life.

Another character who nixes right and wrong for a quick profit is Rick Blaine in "Casablanca."  He's an opportunist running a bar and casino, but fortunately his good sense and virtue makes him do the right thing in the end.  Quality rather than opportunity allows you to not only survive the unexpected but thrive because of it.

One of the best holiday movies of all time, "It's a Wonderful Life," shows the principles of leadership.  George Bailey put his customers, employees and family first by taking responsibility.  It's the way many great American businesses were built.  George's angel Clarence uttered an unforgettable line: "... no man is a failure who has friends."

Mackay's Moral:  When you write your life script, include some life lessons. 

 

 

Trending

824
Harvey Mackay's picture

Develop high performance habits

Are you performing up to your potential?  Are you afraid to jump to the next level?  Are your habits pushing you forward or holding you back?The most important book on self-motivation and achieving more than you imagined hit the bookstores
789
Harvey Mackay's picture

Your business depends on your personal touch

Mamie Adams always enjoyed going to a branch post office in her town because the postal employees there were friendly.  She went there to buy stamps just before the holidays one year and the lines were particularly long.  Someone pointed
708
vnbhattacharya's picture

What will you do in this difficult situation?

Instead of writing about my views on business strategy as I do every month, I would like to present an exciting and tricky problem today.It is an issue of decision making similar to what many senior and top managers have to deal with from time to
698
johnsullivan's picture

The New New Thing: Blockchains and Recruiting

If reading about AI is making you feel like Alice in Wonderland, then take heart, there’s something new on the horizon — Blockchains. The technology has been around since 2008 but is now getting more mainstream in business applications, though...
694
hindustantimes's picture

Year of Culture: India’s diversity rocks London audience

 Sufi music, opera singing and Indian folk dances merged seamlessly with British hip-hop and tap dance as more 150 artistes put on a vibrant performance at one of the last events of the UK-India Year of Culture 2017.Billed as the Independence
649
davecrenshaw's picture

How To Get Work Done Without Stretching Yourself Thin – Pick Dave’s Brain

Could you pass the insanity test? This week’s question comes from David in Salem, West Virginia. He asks: I’m following your time management training program, yet often I find I’m putting appointments on my calendar and then not completing them—
636
jackcanfield's picture

5 Leadership Traits of Great Leaders

Whether you’re climbing the corporate ladder, building a network marketing downline, working for social change, or even coaching a Little League team or organizing a civic event, knowing leadership traits of effective leaders will make you more
635
anandmahindra's picture

youtube.com/watch?v=7SNwhZ…

From: twitter.com Via: twitter.com This could constitute a serious threat to Mahindra Odyssea, our boat building company. https://t.co/AwzTQVLp1lYou
626
johnsullivan's picture

AI or IA? Intelligence Augmentation for Recruiting

IBM’s Watson is synonymous with AI. Perhaps IBM should have named it Sherlock. Anyone familiar with the Sherlock Holmes stories knows that Watson wasn’t very bright. But he did have his uses. He was good at collecting and summarizing information,...

Pages