8 Leadership Lessons From Wonder Woman
“You should wear the Wonder Woman outfit”.
That was what a friend told me when I decided to run an event in Burma, a place where nobody has experienced the kinds of transformational events I run. Scepticism was to the roof and many thought I would fail.
I’ve never watched Wonder Woman. I’ve never really been into comics and I don’t really watch TV. In fact, I don’t even own a TV. When Wonder Woman came out, so many people talked about it that it sparked my curiosity.
So I watched it the other day and although I wasn’t blown away by the movie, I was smiling throughout the whole movie. Yes it was a bit cheesy but it’s the kind of movie that teaches something - something valuable about life. So without any spoilers on details about the movie, I want to share 8 leadership lessons that I learned from the movie.
1. Doing the right thing
Diana Prince, the Wonder Woman, was stopped many times by the people around her to do what she thought was right since young. When she got to London with Steve Trevor, the American pilot who she saved, she was told again “This isn’t part of the mission”. Regardless of what others said, she’s committed to doing the right thing. As a result, even the ones who were held back by their own fears eventually followed her lead and, together, they were able to save so many lives.
In life and business, many will say “It’s impossible” “I don’t think you can do can do it” but it’s important to understand that they’re only advertising their limitations. We can’t become a leader by following other people’s footsteps and we need the courage to do what we believe is right.
2. Always tell the truth
The well-known weapon that Diana uses is the lasso of truth. She’s all about speaking her truth even if it’s difficult to hear and she teaches others to do the same.
We must always speak the truth even if it hurts. Because, truth, is what gives us integrity and what drives us to make the right decisions in life. It’s about speaking our truth not only to others but also to ourselves. Only then we will learn to truly respect ourselves.
3. Be fearless, even if you don’t know enough
Diana had moments of doubt but she’s driven by her commitment to do what’s right and what she’s here to do on earth. She’s gone into a fight with monsters and gods. Even when she didn’t know enough and she wasn’t trained enough, her fearlessness is what allowed her to stop the war.
In life, we won’t always be prepared. The stars won’t always be aligned. We won’t always have everything perfect. During those times, we can choose our fears and stories or we can choose to commit in our vision. Because when we commit, we shift into a different gear and we tap into our fearlessness.
4. Playing safe is a mistake
When Diana found out about the World War I from Steve Trevor, she felt the urgent need to go and fight the war. Even when her mother, Hippolyte, refused her request with the fear of fighting in the uncharted territories, Diana knew that playing safe won’t keep anyone safe. When her mother said “If you choose to leave, you may never return”, Diana replied, “How will I be if I stay?”
Opportunities live out of the comfort zone. We can choose to play safe and be in our comfort zone, at the expense of our own learning and growth, or we can choose to step up and do something we’ve never done before. At the end of the day if we always do what we’ve always done, we’ll always get what we’ve always got.
5. Appreciating the little things
When Diana and Steve got to London, she was exposed to things that she had never experienced before. Even though she was on a mission to save the world, she didn’t fail to pause to appreciate the little things. When she tasted her first ice-cream, she turned around and said to the seller “You should be very proud!”. Not only was she able to appreciate the little things, she also managed to appreciate others.
Many times, we fall in love with the idea of the outcome but we forget to fall in love with the process. The key is in appreciating the little steps we take along the way, so the very act of reaching for the outcome becomes less overwhelming and more fulfilling.
6. You can either do something or do nothing
When Steve Trevor explained about the World War I, he said “You can either do something or do nothing”. Even if the situation is as huge as World War I, he still chose to do his part even if it seemed insignificant. But that little act ended up in saving the world.
Sometimes what we're facing can seem larger than life and larger than what we’re capable of. However, just like my grandfather said “It’s not the things that you did but the things that you didn’t do that you will regret”. And the very act of doing something will give others permission to get out of their fears and step into their power.
Diana believes that humans, no matter how flawed and evil, deserves to be saved. She has empathy and believes in her cause. She saw that the world can be a dark place and the only way to save the world is through love. The kind of love that is pure, courageous, kind and empathetic.
Choose love, not fear. As Dr. John Demartini says “Love is a synthesis and synchronicity of all complementary opposites. It is not the romantic, lustful infatuation that most people imagine it to be. It is a universal expression of life demonstrated 24 hours a day in every moment and every full awareness state.”
Diana has the eagerness and willingness to learn. Even when she was stopped by her mother countless times, she sought a mentor to train her to become a warrior - even though she was told that she didn’t need to fight in any war. She was then trained by her Aunt, Antiope, who knew exactly how to train her to became the Wonder Woman.
In life, we can figure things out on our own but that not only takes us on detours, that also blocks us from seeing our own blindspots. Only when we seek those who have walked the path before us, we will then be able to reduce mistakes, save time, deepen the learning curve and tap into our inner genius.
I truly believe the teachers come in many forms and if we choose to learn, I believe that all the lessons we need are around us. So I’d like to hear from you; have you watched the movie? What other lessons did you get?
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