What Movies Can Teach Us About Business Leadership

The next time you need a team-building exercise or business leadership lesson, consider popping some popcorn and going to the movies. So many major motion pictures over the decades have woven important business lessons into their plots.

From recent releases such as The Wolf of Wall Street to classics such as It’s a Wonderful Life, there are many great films that explore the ins and outs of leadership, ethics, passion and persuasion.

A recent CEO.com article highlighted the principles of persistence and action portrayed in the film Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Captain America’s innate desire to protect and serve is unwavering even in the face of risk and uncertainty. His passion as a leader attracts others to him and his cause.

I’ve compiled a list of popular film titles – comedies and dramas – along with the potential leadership lessons they teach, according to business experts, to get you started on planning a movie session to motivate your team. So grab your Red Vines and Raisinets, silence your cell phones, sit back, relax…and learn a few things while enjoying the show!

  1. The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit – Integrity and relationships matter.
  2. 12 Angry Men – Consensus-building and the art of persuasion are crucial.
  3. Up in the Air – Life is ultimately about our relationships with people.
  4. A Christmas Carol – Business has a broader purpose than just profits.
  5. Working Girl – Authenticity is a foundation for success.
  6. Invictus –  There is value in uniting opposing factions.
  7. October Sky – Change your path and chase your dreams.
  8. MoneyballInnovation can beat the competition.
  9. The Pursuit of Happyness – Keep your end game in sight.
  10. Big – Hire employees who can relate to your customers. 
  11. Tommy BoySuccession planning and customer service are key.
  12. Wall Street  – Greed doesn’t pay.
  13. Airplane – Go beyond your comfort zone.
  14. Rocky – The underdog can still succeed in today’s marketplace.

What's your all-time favorite business-themed movie and what did it teach you? Tell us in the comments.

Related Posts 

Image credit: Cristina Pessini/Flikr Creative Commons