Leadership Lessons from Kung Fu Panda 3

Posted on | July 25, 2016 | No Comments

Leadership Lessons from Kung Fu Panda 3

Some movies you like to watch, while some movies you like to experience. Kung Fu Panda 3 was an experience for me. I connected instantly with the characters in the movie and received a few life lessons too. A blend of animated characters and a meaningful story made the movie phenomenal, but it was all possible because of the web of words connecting all of the story elements. Here are a few dialogues that made a mark in my memory –

1. Master Shifu to Po: I’m not trying to turn you into me. I’m trying to turn you into you.
character-Master ShifuLesson: As a leader you will be tempted to motivate or even push employees to become like you. You may appreciate when employees make decisions like you, behave like you, act like you, and become like you in many ways! But this is a dangerous trap because employees will never be able to become you; they are meant to be who they are. When you begin appreciating people for who they are, they begin to shine. Every human is unique (check your DNA, fingerprints, etc.) and is made to do something special in their own way.

2. Po: Cut the chit-chat!
Lesson: Talking straight helps leaders pass on the right message with the right impact in the organization. The sole differentiating factor between a successful and an unsuccessful leader is the ability to communicate the vision across the organization. In 1961, President Kennedy shared his vision clearly when he said, “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.” With this statement, the whole nation began working towards the goal and achieved it successfully. When you cut the chit-chat, you touch people’s heart and get things done.

3. Shifu: If you only do what you can do, you’ll never be better than what you are.
Po: But I like who I am!
Shifu: You don’t even know who you are!

character-Master Shifu-and PoLesson: Stretch beyond your limits to find your true potential. The Wright brothers pushed the possibilities to find a way to fly an airplane. Larry Page and Sergey Brin stretched beyond the technological limits to make everything available on an online platform. Jeff Bezos went beyond logistical limits to deliver products across the world. When you begin stretching beyond limits, new avenues open up. They give you opportunities to grow your enterprise financially and socially.

4. Shifu: Time is just an illusion; there is only the now.
character-Shifu and Po
Lesson: Leaders must learn to stay in the moment and focus on the task at hand. The word priority originated from the Latin word, prior, which means first. But over the time, we have pluralized the word by making it priorities. It is because there are so many things to do at a time. Leaders must refocus their energies towards the task at hand and remove the clutter. This happens when the leader is in the now, being mindful of the current moment. He can’t afford to let the future problems or past mistakes blur his focus from the now. Being in the now is ultimate power.

I believe everything happening around us has a message to deliver. Kung Fu Panda 3 came at the right time for me because I was looking out for answers and I got them after watching this movie. Life is so mystical – the universe always finds ways to communicate. Enjoy the movie and the message! There might be something special for you!

–Article by Nishit Lal, Facilitator and Author, Dance to the 7 Tunes of Success.

Originally published on Focus Adventure : Leadership lessons from Kung Fu Panda 3.


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