7 Best Movies to Teach Leadership

Movies can be a great avenue to learn leadership skills. There have been numerous movies that have inspired great leaders over the years. Each movie is special as each has some unique lessons to teach. From people skills to interpersonal communication skills, each movie drives home some serious leadership skills and values. Listed here are the 7 best movies to teach leadership.

12 Angry Men (1957)

12 Angry Men (1957)

1. 12 Angry Men (1957)

'12 Angry Men' is about twelve jurors who are compelled to rethink their verdict on a pretty transparent murder case. One of the jurors, number 8, is under the impression that the convict may not be guilty after all. He insists on further delving into the case and eventually convinces the remaining eleven jurors to reconsider their votes. ’12 Angry Men’ teaches lessons of influencing people for the greater good, having courage in times of adversity, handling change management, dealing with ethics, and challenging something which may have already been accepted by majority. It teaches important qualities a leader should have in order to make a vision come real, and not let preconceptions misguide them to take wrong or unfair decisions.

Apollo 13 (1995)

Apollo 13 (1995)

2. Apollo 13 (1995)

When a lunar mission goes terribly wrong, following an unprecedented on board explosion, the team of astronauts race against time to figure out the extent of damage to the craft and make every effort to take everyone back to earth, alive and safe. ‘Apollo 13’ teaches about crisis management which is an essential quality of effective and successful leaders. This gripping movie also teaches to set realistic expectations when things look gloomy, have the determination to transcend all odds, take steps to do and get done what is necessary, inspire and enable others to act. It also focuses on teamwork, and creativity while dealing with crises.

Coach Carter (2005)

Coach Carter (2005)

3. Coach Carter (2005)?

‘Coach Carter’ is about Ken Carter, former student of Richmond High who returns to school as a basketball coach. He takes up the responsibility to alter the performance of the school’s unsuccessful basketball team. But while coaching the team for basketball, he also endeavors to change their lives for the better. ‘Coach Carter’ teaches about the true role of a leader = that a leader should not only expect results from his team but should also look into their individual lives and seek to improve them on a personal level as well as a professional one. It teaches about having a clear vision of one’s team, setting clear expectations from them, propagating team ethics, and overcoming obstacles that hinder not only professional but personal growth as well. It teaches about dealing with internal resistance, and positively influencing lives so that they become successful as well as happy.

Gandhi (1982)

Gandhi (1982)

4. Gandhi (1982)

Set in the late 1800s, ‘Gandhi’ is a biopic that tells the life story of Mohandas K. Gandhi, one of the most influential leaders in British India, whose principles and values inspire lives even today. His challenge to injustice, his dogma of non-violent movement and his influence on the native people of South Africa - his life story eventually sees him lead his country, India, to independence from British rule over a span of 50 years. ‘Gandhi’s principles teach us clarity and faith in one’s vision as a leader, foresight and planning of the way ahead, courage in times of adversity, determination to surpass all odds, and essentially, sacrifice, in order to achieve a greater good rather than just accomplishing personal goals.

Invictus (2009)

Invictus (2009)

5. Invictus (2009)

‘Invictus’ is about the life and times of Nelson Mandela, the 1994 President of South Africa, and how he used Rugby World Cup as a tool to unite his divided country. With the help of an influential coach, he turns around the rugby team and thereby the entire country. The movie throws light upon important leadership qualities like clarity in vision, modeling the way ahead, overcoming resistance, inspiring team members, trust, diversity, and influencing one’s team to perform to its fullest.

Moneyball (2011)

Moneyball (2011)

6. Moneyball (2011)

’Moneyball’ is the story of Billy Beane, who is an unsuccessful manager at Oakland Athletics. He devises a unique statistical analysis based method to recruit and select players for the state baseball team. Notwithstanding the ridicule, laughter and the huge risk he puts everything into, Billy eventually achieves something never imagined. ‘Moneyball’ teaches us about challenging the process and daring to do things differently in spite of resistance, innovation, using measurement as an effective tool to take crucial decisions, and change management which is quite daunting when done without determination, analytical skills and knowledge.

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

7. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Investment banker Andy Dufresne is wrongly accused of murdering his wife and her lover, and is sent to Shawshank Prison for life imprisonment. Despite the adversities and challenges a prison puts forward, Dufresne influences the lives of his fellow inmates, and gives them hope of a life beyond the rigid confines of the prison. ‘The Shawshank Redemption,’ therefore, teaches us about clarity in vision, encouraging the heart when everything seems out of hand, positive thinking, no matter what the circumstances are, and courage in times of adversity.

  • 12 Angry Men (1957)
  • Apollo 13 (1995)
  • Coach Carter (2005)
  • Gandhi (1982)
  • Invictus (2009)
  • Moneyball (2011)
  • The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

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