One of my favorite movies this summer was the Lion King. As you may know, I grew up in South Africa and every summer my parents would take me and my two brothers on safari. From the moment the movie began all my childhood memories of sitting in the hot car for hours trying to spot lions came back.
Of course, I couldn’t help but notice the wise leadership lessons in the movie too. Read through each lesson infused with wisdom from the Lion King to provoke thought and discussion. Print out any that pertain to you and stick them on your desk or vision board for daily inspiration!
Leadership Lesson #1: Be Brave.
When it seems scary to step out or speak up that’s exactly when you have the biggest opportunity to grow and create good. Recruit your Resilience and let your ROAR be heard.
Leadership Lesson #2: Keep working on your ROAR!
Just like Rafiki, the wise mandrill, tells Simba to keep working on his roar in the movie, remember to work on your roar. Find your voice. Speak up. Declare your purpose. Be bold!
Leadership Lesson #3: You must remember who you are.
Remember what your purpose is and keep re-igniting your passion. It’s easy to get caught up in the sprint of life and work and forget what’s really important to you — forget how much value you add, forget how unique you are. As Mufasa said to Simba, “you must remember who you are.”
Leadership Lesson #4: “We are all connected.”
As Mufasa says to Simba: “Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance. As king, you need to understand that balance, and respect all the creatures, from the crawling ant to the leaping antelope.” It’s true in the workplace just as it is in the wilderness. Our relationships weave together to help us rise up or bring us down. We need to understand that balance and respect everyone we work with no matter their title, education or experience.
Leadership lesson #5: A King’s True Power Is Compassion.
Wise words from Sarabi to Mufasa when Mufasa is being challenged to protect his “pride land.” It ought to be a slogan on a corporate t-shirt, don’t you think?
It’s true in the workplace just as it is in the wilderness — your true power is compassion. When you’re faced with a challenge, change or crisis, your best way through is to suspend judgment, refrain from anger, avoid impatience — and practice compassion. Compassion is always a sign of strength and an expression of grace. It’s an awareness of the interconnectedness of all things. It’s most often the solution to the chaos and the path to building a resilient team.
Leadership Lesson #6: Don’t allow toxic people to corrupt your workplace
Mufasa was a strong and benevolent Lion King. His one leadership mistake, however, was tolerating his toxic brother Scar’s bad behavior. Toxic people can insidiously chip away at the morale and progress of an organization. Be aware of toxic people and situations and don’t allow them to decimate your pride lands! Have a plan in place to deal with toxic people before the problem gets any larger.
Leadership Lesson #7: Enjoy the joys and wonders of life
What is life without a little “Hakuna matata”? We should all have that little downtime for ourselves to have no worries. Maybe not exactly “no worries for the rest of our lives,” but a vacation, meditation, or quality time with family.
Explore the wonders of the world. Spend time doing things that bring you joy. This will allow you to bounce back and be resilient when it really counts!
Leadership Lesson #8: Rise to your potential
What is one way you can challenge yourself today? Is there something a little outside your comfort zone that will bring you higher towards your potential and closer to fulfilling your purpose?
Rise to your potential today — Climb your “Pride Rock” and ROAR!
Announcing my exciting, new Lion King-inspired keynote!
The remake of this classic movie also inspired me to develop a new keynote “Unleash your ROAR: The 5 secrets for a joyful, purpose-filled work life.” I think this will be my all-time favorite talk. Click here to find out why.