Cinema teaches us about life and even shows us essential business virtues. All we have to do is pay attention. Most of the selected big-screen stories do not have any direct connection to the business world. However, they encompass virtues that a person who owns or intends on starting a business should have and constantly cultivate. All the following movie life lessons can apply to personal and business situations from out-of-the-box thinking to goal setting at work and taking risks in business. We will be focusing on how the characters employ these business virtues to overcome difficulties, change their lives and chase their dreams. Of course, we issue a spoiler alert if you haven’t seen the films on this list.
The inventiveness of the Martian
What can be more inventive than being by yourself and trying to find ways to survive on Mars? Mark Watney is a botanist who’s been left for dead on Mars after a mission goes wrong. The prospect of staying on Mars for years until the next space mission is quite terrifying. By using his ingenuity and knowledge, Mark managed to make water and oxygen from thin air to grow his food. Therefore, being stranded on Mars puts the protagonist’s mind to work.
The same rule applies if you are starting a company. Resourcefulness will be your valuable business advisor since it can lead you through tough times. It can also help you launch your plans easier, deal with problems faster, and build a strong infrastructure for your company. Remember that using your knowledge in innovative ways could also set you apart in your industry and make you a successful professional. So, inventiveness could be one of the most precious business virtues today.
The perseverance in Whiplash
We know that the methods Terry Fletcher uses in this film as a music conductor are unconventional, paradoxical, and quite dangerous. Hence, his choices and teaching ways are not to be discussed or endorsed. Instead, we will be focusing on the young jazz drummer, Andrew Neiman. Throughout the film, he tries to reach out to his best potential and prove his worth. Perseverance is a personality trait that can lead to success. In Whiplash, Andrew practices incessantly to become the new Buddy Rich. People around him may not believe in him ranging from his family to his music teacher. However, his love of music makes him endure and keep trying.
A similar principle rules the world of business. If you love what you do, you must fight for it. Success and fame will never be handed to you. Therefore, when you start freelancing or running a start-up company, you need to remember that you shouldn’t be discouraged, and you shouldn’t give up (of course within reason).
Οut of the box thinking in the Imitation Game
Alan Turing was a famous mathematician and a computer scientist among his other professional qualifications. His bombe machine was the leverage that the Allies used to decode messages in order to defeat the Nazis. He was the main creator of the machine even though at the beginning some dismissed his ideas. He's out of the box thinking along with his assertiveness made him the codebreaker we all know. Thankfully, he managed to persist and majorly contribute to ending the war.
Companies just like wars need people who can think outside the box. They can view the world from totally different perspectives and generate fresh, unprecedented ideas. These ideas can possibly skyrocket a company’s value, benefit its workforce as well as contribute to society. So, if you do not follow the norm and consider yourself an out-of-the-box thinking practitioner, then your business ventures will be positively influenced by this game-changing virtue.
The Ethics and knowledge of the Dead Poets Society
Walt Whitman’s “O captain, my captain” was popularized by Robin Williams as the English teacher “captain” John Keating. This is maybe the film that talks to the soul the most on this list. A group of students finds their mentor, their inspiration, and their guide in their tender formative years. Their captain never points fingers at what they should be or what they should do. However, he infuses them with pure love for knowledge, dedication to ethics, and above all true inspiration.
All these great words (should) matter in the business world as well. An ethical and knowledgeable professional is an asset to the company he/she runs and to society in general. Everyone needs a John Keating in their lives to enrich their souls and cleanse their minds. So always keep in mind that your actions define your company and your path. Build strong work ethics and gather as much knowledge as possible. You will find it most useful on your way to success.
The risk-taking of Jerry Maguire
The sports arena is quite similar to the business market. Jerry Maguire is a successful sports agent but he feels like things need to change in order to provide services of high quality. Therefore, he shares his ideas with his superiors in a statement. Unfortunately, he is fired because of it. His epiphany and subsequent discharge lead him to start his own company and take on a big challenge. With only one client left, he tries to build strong professional relations and represent the baseball star in the best possible way. Τhankfully, taking risks in business along with his hard work pays off in the end. Jerry Maguire is definitely the embodiment of a business virtue that puts you in deep water and tests your ability to rise above the circumstances.
The specific film is more business-oriented since it has to do with the sports management industry. Tom Cruise as the main protagonist believes in himself and his ideas and thus starts taking risks in business to become the best version of himself as a professional. Naturally, the act of taking risks in business is no small feat. Still, no one made it big without going all in. Of course, you need careful planning, self-reliance, and the wind at your back.
The goal-setting of Billy Elliot
Billy is not a typical boy. He doesn’t like football or boxing. He loves dancing and especially ballet. Despite his father’s harsh denial and society’s male standards, the young boy never stops dreaming and working towards reaching his dream. Even though it may seem like a dream, he sets ballet as a goal that can be achieved with hard work and without fear.
Goal setting at work is definitely a great starting point for success. Knowing what you want professionally is truly important. It can help you set a course and plan your steps. Therefore, in the context of business, having a specific idea of what you want to focus on is important. If you have a dream, put the goal-setting to work and follow it through rain and shine. This will make a difference since you won’t be chasing money for the sake of getting rich but because you are making a dream come true. Thus, think about how much you focus on goal setting at work. It could actually be to your benefit.
Regardless if art imitates life or vice versa, these big-screen characters in real or fictional situations had to go through water and fire to reach their goals. They needed to employ out-of-the-box thinking, take risks, and above all persevere. All of this, never without having a sense of ethics and deep knowledge of their objects of focus. So don’t forget to check out these films and gather the knowledge you need to become a balanced individual and a successful professional.
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