ann and dow.jpg

If I created it, you can find it here.

A Half Day of Leadership Training for Under $30


So, I had a tremendous opportunity today. My wife was going shopping with the girls for school, and encouraged me to spend the whole day at the movies watching films she knew I wanted to see.

I struggled with the idea of wasting the entire day, even though watching movies refreshes my soul. So, I decided to watch with an open eye for the leadership and relationship lessons that I could learn. 

(Because I live in a smaller city, we have a theater with inexpensive movies, it may cost someone else as much as $75, but that is still low for what I received.)

In this article, I will cover the overview thoughts. Then breakdown lesson from each movie in subsequent articles. As a speaker, author, and leadership coach who focuses on relationship this should be fun.

So which movies did I watch: The Lion King, one of my favorite Disney stories now in live action characters, Toy Story 4, the much anticipated Pixar return of Woody and Buzz, and Hobbs and Shaw, another chapter of the Fast & Furious universe, which I have faithfully avoided until now.

So, what lessons did I learn over all?


First, story is the best way to teach. When we tell meaningful stories, we involve more than an information session can ever hold. Why do you think billions of dollars are spent every year on movies. Story matters. Context matters. So many of life's battles are not simple in their solution, and story allows each of us to examine deep complicated issues within a relatively short span.

Even, the Lion King, which was not a new story, contextualized some of the lessons differently, and added a few new lines that made a big difference.


Second, we long for the real. Toy Story, which is fully animated, has a look and feel that is far more real than the animations of my childhood. In fact, the first scene looked almost real. We can get lost in these fake worlds with fake characters, and often times become very attached to them. Why? Because their humanity shines through. The lesson: those who want to influence others, must be willing to be real.


Next, attention matters. Before each show, with a captive audience, advertisers make their pitch, and at least two of those pitches were local. At first I thought they were somewhat corny, but then I realized I was watching. These local organizations had taken advantage of an opportunity to have a captive audience. Perhaps I should see how the ads are working. Still, messaging is about attention, if no one is listening, the message doesn't matter.


Finally, pain and struggle are common to every great adventure. If you want to live a full life, one with excitement and passion, pain and struggle are part of the journey. Instead of trying to avoid it, embrace the adventure, grow and become more.

All in all it was a good start, but this is only the beginning...

Leadership Lessons From the Lion King Part 1: Lessons for Young Leaders

Leadership Lessons From the Lion King Part 1: Lessons for Young Leaders

Becoming a Cultural Change Leader

Becoming a Cultural Change Leader