AUTHOR: Scott McCarthy

You can learn a lot from movies. Jaws taught us never to go in the sea unless you want to be eaten by a gigantic shark. Jurassic Park showed us that messing with genetics was bad unless you want to be rudely disturbed when using the bathroom by a hungry T-Rex. And Patriot Games, Goldeneye, The Lord of the Rings, Equilibrium, The Island, in fact pretty much any movie with Sean Bean in told us to never hang out with Sheffield’s most famous son as chances are you’ll end up being in a situation where a grisly death is commonplace.


All of those are important life lessons. So, what can movies teach us about the world of business? We’ve put together this list of five movies and the valuable business lessons that they teach us.

 

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The Wizard of Oz teaches us that having a strong team is important

Before global warming was a thing, there were tornadoes ripping across Kansas that were so violent they could transport you to another world. That was the fate bestowed upon young Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz when she found herself in the magical dimension. Dorothy’s experience in Oz shows us the value of having a good team around you and trusting them to help you get the job done.

There is no way she would’ve made it back home without Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion. Even her dog Toto played his part. Being able to delegate is one of the most important
traits of a good project manager and that is something that Dorothy was excellent at.

 

The Queen teaches us about the importance of being able to listen

It’s all very well and good having a strong team around you, but you need to be able to listen to that team’s advice, even if it isn’t what you want to hear. That’s where Helen Mirren went wrong in The Queen. She stubbornly refused to accept the advice of countless advisors who told her that she needed to make a statement about the death of Princess Diana, instead insisting that it was a private matter.

As a result, the monarchy’s popularity sunk to a record low and a constitutional crisis was only averted when the Queen belatedly spoke to the nation. The Queen teaches us that no matter how powerful the person in charge, they still need to listen to others in order to make the best business decisions.

 

Titanic teaches us about the need to take risks

There are plenty of business lessons you can take from Titanic. Make sure you carry out full and proper risk assessments about, say, the number of lifeboats needed to get everyone off your boat.

One of the more pertinent business lessons though comes in the form of taking risks. Rose risks everything to abandon her oppressive lifestyle in favour of being with Jack. In the end, it makes her far happier and proves to be what saves her. Taking risks in business can help us gain fulfilment.

 

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Citizen Kane teaches us about the importance of being grounded

Charles Foster Kane was a newspaper tycoon who started out with good intentions. It didn’t take long though for those intentions to go out the window as he became obsessed with the pursuit of power and money. Eventually, that leads to him dying rich but old and alone. What Citizen Kane teaches us is that having a successful business is great – but you need to remain grounded at the same time.

The idea that
too much money can lead to unhappiness is a subject that has been touched upon by countless entrepreneurs through the years, including the creator of Minecraft who sold up for $2.5 billion before declaring that having so much money to be able to do whatever he wanted left him feeling more isolated than he’d ever been.

 

Ghostbusters teaches us that successful businesses find a gap in the market

If you lived in New York City in 1983 and somebody said to you that you’d need a team of four people to come along and catch a ghost that was spooking your flat, you’d have laughed them out of the building. Nobody was laughing a year later though when Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz, Egon Spengler and Winston Zeddemore were saving the world from a giant marshmallow man.

The Ghostbusters found a gap in the market that nobody was filling and exploited it to offer a unique service, becoming experts in their field along the way. Businesses succeed when they find a gap in the market, as the biggest Silicone Valley companies such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Uber and Airbnb attest to.

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