*Updated October 2013* July 4th is the biggest box office weekend of the year for the movie industry. Therefore, for fun I am providing my list of the Top 20 Leadership Movies from the last 20 years. The following was the criteria for selection:
- Servant Leadership
- Self Leadership
- Family Leadership
- Skill and Creativity
- Empowering Others
- Overcoming Obstacles
Feel free to disagree and provide your own list. Let’s get started:
- Passion Of The Christ – Mel Gibson’s legendary film captures the greatest example of sacrifical love in human history. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends…and everyone else as well.
- We Were Soldiers – Directed by Randall Wallace, Mel Gibson plays Lt. Col. Hal Moore. The first boots on the ground. The last one to leave.
- Lincoln – Steven Spielberg’s epic recount of our country’s greatest president and his efforts to pass the 13th Amendment outlawing slavery.
- Forrest Gump - The hardest person to lead is yourself. Gump’s positive outlook, practical insights, making the most of every situation, and unconditional love for others are great examples of self leadership.
- Fireproof – No movie captures the struggles of being a husband better than this independent film.
- Apollo 13 – The best film I have ever seen that demonstrates vision, sacrifice, commitment, talent, problem-solving, creativity, and passion in a team environment.
- Saving Private Ryan – The greatest opening scene in movie history shows us what courageous leadership is.
- Braveheart – William Wallace never compromised his values or his freedom. “Every man dies. Not every man truly lives.”
- Gladiator – Maximus reminds us that focused, passioned leadership centered on a single mission cannot be stopped.
- Captain Phillips – The 3rd film starring Tom Hanks, this movie is full of leadership principles including preparation, execution, and the importance of carrying out well-conceived plans under pressure.
- Lee Daniels’ The Butler – Forest Whitaker delivers the best acting performance of the decade. An incredible picture of grace, restraint, self-control, sacrifice, and a true servant’s heart.
- Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps – “Greed is good.” Unfortunately, greed and sustainable leadership cannot occupy the same space.
- Remember The Titans – Whether the divide between people is racial, gender, age, geographic, or spiritual, great leaders can bridge any gap and connect people.
- Secretariat – The story of Penny Chenery is the best example of empowered female leadership in the last 20 years.
- The Blind Side – Speaking of empowered women, Sandra Bullock’s Oscar-winning portrayal of Leigh Anne Touhy inspired a nation.
- Moneyball - Brad Pitt’s portrayal of Oakland A’s innovative general manager Billy Beane gives all leaders a picture of what is necessary to navigate change.
- Coach Carter – Coach Ken Carter reminds us that a person’s performance is directly tied to another’s belief in them.
- The Social Network – The story of the rise of Facebook provides for us a glimpse into the brilliant mind and potentially destructive personality of the most creative and talented NextGen business leader ever.
- A Few Good Men – We can handle the truth! We want Nathan Jessup on that wall! We need him on that wall! Deep down in places we don’t talk about at parties, leaders understand the difference between activity and accomplishment. Nathan Jessup gets things done.
- Soul Surfer – No one overcame more than Bethany Hamilton who lost an arm in a shark attack. “I could never have embraced this many people with two arms.” Unbelievable!
That’s my list. Let the debate begin.
For movie reviews from a leadership perspective, click these posts:
- 20 Leadership Quotes from Gordon Gekko and Wall Street
- 16 Leadership Principles and Quotes From Secretariat
- 10 Leadership Quotes And Principles From Soul Surfer
- 10 Leadership Quotes And Principles From X-Men: First Class
- 6 Leadership Lessons From Toy Story 3
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