A Few Lessons Leaders Can Learn From The Movie Inside Out

Movies have a great influence on our life. Having a 3 year old son makes it quite obvious that I get to watch a lot of animated movies. And, one of the names that have been added in my list of favorite movies in the recent past has been the animated Pixar movie — Inside Out.

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I thoroughly believe in the fact that there is a lesson to learn in everything and anything that we come across in our life. And, this movie had more than a lesson or two, which I think we all can learn.

In this post I am going to share those lessons. Hope everyone reading this post will be able to relate to those lessons and inculcate them in their life -

Let others step in

Joy is a control freak. She thinks she can handle everything, and therefore always overpowers other feelings in her voyage to keep Riley happy in the movie. A time comes, when even after all her efforts, she’s not able to make Riley happy. This is when Sadness takes over, and takes action upon her ideas which she had earlier presented only to get them refused by Joy. To Joy’s surprise, the idea actually works.

As a leader you need to remember that you are surrounded with people who are expert at their job. By being a deaf ear to their ideas you are not only killing their motivation, but also missing out on some great tips that could actually work. So, you need to let others step in when things start getting beyond your control — who knows someone in your team might have a solution that you could never think of.

There are no shortcuts in life

Remember that one scene in the movie where Bing Bong, Riley’s childhood friend, guides Joy and Sadness towards a shortcut in their journey to reach the Abstract Land. Although his intentions were to only help Joy and Sadness, as it turns out the shortcut does not go well for them, and they end up being in even deeper trouble than they were before.

This is the one lesson that not only leaders but everyone can learn from the movie. Shortcuts, no matter how lucrative they appear, often end up being more complex and complicated than what we see. So, be sure to evaluate all the pros and cons before taking a shortcut, be it in personal or your professional life.

A shoulder to lean on is always a great help

There comes this time in the movie when Bing Bong gets too distressed and depressed that he forgets the way to Abstract Land. At this time Joy tries to please him by telling jokes and all those fun activities, but what works is when Sadness allows Bing Bong to vent his heart out. In just a while he starts feeling better and is able to help Joy and Sadness in their journey.

Leadership is not just about giving orders, it’s more about letting team members know that there is always someone’s shoulder to lean on to when they are going through tough times in life.

You cannot do everything on your own

How can we forget the way Joy steps down as the leader of the herd and lets Sadness take over the control center of the brain when Riley tries to run from home. It comes as the moment of truth for Joy, as before this moment she believes that she is the best person to do everything. But, at this moment she comes to find out that there’s someone better at this job. This is when she lets Sadness take control of the situation. And, we all see that Sadness is able to bring Riley home and reunite the family.

Great leaders know that they are not the best person to do the job all the time. This is why they have a team around them. As a leader you must remember the fact that you cannot always be the best person to solve all the problems.

Be prepared to take one for the team

The most important lesson that leaders can learn from the movies comes from the character that played a little cameo, but without him the ultimate goal would have never been completed. It comes from Bing Bong. Recall the scene where Bing Bong hops off the wagon to make sure that Joy is able to escape make it to the Abstract Land. This was the most heroic scene in the entire movie.

As a leader there comes times when you need to take one for the team; just like Bing Bong did. You cannot afford to be self-centered as a leader, or else you are never going to have a champion team.

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Image Courtesy — Downtown Lafayette

Originally published at LinkedIn


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Sandeep Kashyap is the Founder of ProofHub— a leading project management and collaboration software. A passionate leader, Sandeep is always on the lookout for innovative ideas about filling the communication gap between groups, teams and companies. He is also a featured writer on LinkedIn and a contributing author at YourStory. You can connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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