Here Are The Best Movies On Leadership And Management

Photo by Adrien Olichon

We often think that reading a book or attending seminars and conferences is the only way to learn about how to lead and manage people. However, you can gain valuable knowledge and insights from sources other than predictable and sometimes boring educational materials. Watching movies is one example. If reading does not excite you but you want to explore your curiosity about leadership and management, you can watch thought-provoking movies that will distil the most important lessons for you.

Here are some amazing movies on leadership and management that you should watch.

The Devil Wears Prada (2016)

Working directly with a ruthless boss can be a drawback to securing a job, and Andrea’s job brings her to the full glare of terror. The lovely film portrays the story of a young, ambitious journalist with no knowledge of fashion and style nor her cruel boss who is the editor-in-chief of a magazine.

Despite the dehumanising treatment her boss metes out to her, Andrea proves to be unrelenting and an asset to her boss. Andrea’s determination amidst all she went through is a powerful example of self-leadership that you can certainly learn a thing or two from.

Invictus (2009)

If you are a lover of sports, politics, tales of racism, and impactful leadership, this is a perfect movie for you. Invictus shows the effort of South African first black president Nelson Mandela to end racial tension in the county through Rugby. It explains the events before the Rugby World Cup hosted by South Africa in 1995.

The movie paints the true picture of inspirational leadership and its lasting impact on people. You can find the hidden secrets of transformational leadership in this film.

The Social Network (2010)

While The Social Network doesn’t seem like the typical inspirational movie on leadership, it has some resourceful lessons you can draw from. The movie portrays the life of Mark Zuckerberg and his Facebook story. The movie portrays the team spirit that was crucial to building the world’s largest social media network. It also shows the challenges entrepreneurs face while managing a business, as well as the reward of consistency.

Up in the Air (2009)

An HR professional without empathy but with a knack for laying off employees gets employed by several companies to retrench their staff members. However, things get twisted when a young lady who has a different approach to staff retrenchment embarks on a journey to lay off employees with the ruthless HR professional.

In Up in the Air, you will discover that employees are the engine of a company. You will learn too how to communicate with your employees with empathy.

Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates (2019)

At the mention of the name Bill Gates, what comes to your mind if not wealth, innovation, and leadership? Bill Gates co-founded Microsoft and successfully lifted the company from its lowly beginnings into the league of one of the most influential companies in the world.

If you are seeking a movie with practical leadership strategies, this is a sure bet as it is a documentary of Bill Gates’ life and career.

The Founder (2016) 

This movie is the tale of Ray Kroc, a salesman who meets the stakeholders of McDonald’s, a burger joint in California. The film depicts how Ray transformed the innovative eatery into the world’s biggest restaurant business through ambition, perseverance, and ruthlessness. 

Placing customer service at the core of its operations was the company’s secret weapon. The movie is a good recommendation for valuable lessons on franchising and customer satisfaction.

The Internship (2013)

The Internship is about some interns who begin their career journey at Google as interns. They complete several tasks to set them on the path to full-scale employment in the company. Unfortunately, their age presents a discrepancy as two ex-salesmen in the company also applies for internship in the same company.

The movie will teach you that beginning all over again is necessary for breaking certain boundaries. You will learn that age is only a number and should not place a limit on your potential.

Moneyball (2011)

In Moneyball, a baseball trainer builds a formidable team on a low budget. Interestingly, all in his possession was the expertise of a young economist he met while on a scouting mission. However, by using statistical analysis to assess players’ value, his team started experiencing a change of fortune.

The film shows that sometimes, applying outdated techniques and ideas might be what your team needs to improve their result. It shows that the success of your team is not dependent on the amount of money you spend, rather it is all about having a clear idea and willpower.

Yes Man (2008)

Yes Man teaches that giving a try does not hurt as the negative-minded Carl Allen always has a single answer to everything: NO. His cynical mindset started when his wife requested the dissolution of their marriage. To turn the tide, Allen’s former colleague suggested that he attend a YES seminar, which became a life changer and made him give the YES answer to everything.

You will learn optimism from this movie. You will also learn that making the most of opportunities is the surest route to growth.

Steve Jobs (2015)

Imagine what the life of the iconic co-founder of Apple, Steve Job was like. This movie is a chronicle of just that. Here, you will see his life as a technological icon and as a family man.

The movie teaches resilience, using Steve’s fierceness, passion, and commitment as a case study. You will see how Steve substituted his inefficiency for his unflinching vision, which was crucial in building Apple. The movie will inspire you to pursue your dreams. 

Queen of Katwe (2016)

Queen of Katwe depicts the love and passion of a Ugandan girl for chess. Under the tutelage of her coach, she emerges an international chess champion and delivers her family from the pangs of hunger. This movie highlights the relevance of effective management and its ability to yield the best result in a team’s performance. In addition to these, the movie teaches that irrespective of your gender or the environment you find yourself in, you can be anything you desire to be.

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

This film is about the escapades of Jordan Belfort, a stockbroker, who started his journey in the stock market as an entry-level staff and somehow found a way of building his firm.

Sadly, Belfort did not manage his company the right way. He resorted to living a glamorous lifestyle with fraudulent money. Although Belfort’s business style is not something to emulate, his charismatic leadership, willingness, and determination to bring his team out of challenging situations are good take-homes. 

The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

The Pursuit of Happyness is the story of a salesman who invested his savings on bone density scanners that didn’t capture the market the way he thought. Nevertheless, he invests the rest of his life training his young son and building a career with an unrelenting effort.

The movie will teach you perseverance and commitment. You will also learn that being unique and innovative can lead you very far.

The Insider (1999)

In this movie, a family man harbours a secret that will jeopardise the operations of the tobacco industry. Being an insider in the industry places him in a tight corner, as he is confronted with the choice of doing what is right and yielding to the pressure within the industry. 

In this movie, you will appreciate the power of bravery and courage in doing what is right, especially when dealing with superior powers. 

It is imperative to note that developing your leadership and management skills requires a deliberate and consistent effort. However, in a bid to do so, you do not always have to resort to dry and heavy methods. Having a list of thought-provoking movies on leadership and management will not bridge your knowledge gap but will also help you to cool off from your daily struggles.

Keywords: leadership, management, film, movie

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