20 Leadership Quotes And Lessons From The Dark Knight Rises

“Speaking on behalf of the cast and crew of The Dark Knight Rises, I would like to express our profound sorrow at the senseless tragedy that has befallen the entire Aurora community. I would not presume to know anything about the victims of the shooting but that they were there last night to watch a movie. I believe movies are one of the great American art forms and the shared experience of watching a story unfold on screen is an important and joyful pastime. The movie theatre is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me. Nothing any of us can say could ever adequately express our feelings for the innocent victims of this appalling crime, but our thoughts are with them and their families.” – Director Christopher Nolan

All our hearts and deepest sympathies go out to the victims and families of the senseless and tragic shooting at an opening of The Dark Knight Rises in an Aurora, CO theatre.  I cannot begin to imagine the pain and suffering they must be experiencing at this time. Some things and people in this life sadly defy logic and reason.

I attended a 9:40 AM showing this past Friday morning.  The theatre was about 60% full but it was an awkward feeling watching a movie knowing that there were 12 fatalities and 58 people injured approximately seven hours earlier while watching the same film.

Normally, I post my thoughts on popular movies the day of the film’s release.  I felt out of respect for the victims and the fact it just didn’t feel right, I wanted to wait a few days before discussing the movie itself.  Whenever you decide to see the third installment of the Batman trilogy (if at all), the following are some leadership quotes and principles you can expect to see and hear:

  • PrioritiesThe Dark Knight Rises is an incredible movie and director Christopher Nolan is a genius.  But at the end of the day, it’s just a movie.  It’s just entertainment.  Nothing is more important than human life.  Jesus Christ thought enough of human life that He died for it.
  • Continuity And Stability - Nolan repeatedly uses much of the same cast and crew for each of his films.  Their chemistry shows on-screen. Leaders understand that all healthy sustainable organizations have great team chemistry.
  • Wonderful Surprises - Whether it is the gadgets, plot twists, larger-than-life scope and scale, spectacle, or characters themselves, I leave every one of Nolan’s movies saying, “Wow!  That was different.”  I want to be able to say the same when I leave church services.
  • Do Not Rob People Of The Gift Of Hope – There is a great scene near the movie’s end involving children and a school bus.  Don’t worry.  I won’t spoil it for you.  However, it reminds us that no matter how dire a person’s circumstances may be, you should always give that person the gift of hope.
  • Do Not Let Pain Control You – For some leaders reading this post, you are in great pain.  However, it may now be time to release your pain and get back into the leadership game.  Bruce Wayne, played by Christian Bale, initially faced an inner-struggle of what to do with the Batman persona because of the mental, physical, and emotional pain he was experiencing.
  • Leaders Must Continually Improve - What made you successful today will not keep you succesful tomorrow.  Batman came upon a new enemy in Bane, played by Tom Hardy, who was bigger, stronger, and faster than he was. All leaders will one day face a task bigger than they are.
  • “He’s a war hero.  This is peace time.” - Gotham felt Batman was no longer needed.  This is a reminder that leadership is always temporary.  It must be stewarded well while it is in your possession.
  • “You have to invest if you want to restore balance to the world.” Marion Cotillard, who plays Miranda Tate and should be nominated for a Best Supporting Actress award, reminds us that there are costs to leadership.  One of which is financial investment.
  • A Solid Foundation Is Built Upon Character - Several of the film’s storylines, including the prosperity and subsequent demise of Gotham, are the result of poor character choices made years earlier.  It is sobering to know that each of us will eventually sit down to a banquet of consequences.  You cannot outrun poor character choices.
  • “Once you do what you had to do, they will never let you do what you want to do.” - These words were spoken by Anne Hathaway, who plays Selina Kyle/Catwoman, and should WIN the Best Supporting Actress award.
  • “My mother warned me about getting in cars with strange men.” - Leaders must constantly be aware of the motives of others.
  • “Stop trying to outsmart the truth and let it have its day.” – Why do people debate or deny Biblical truth?  Let it have its day in your life.
  • “If you want to save the world you have to trust it.” – While there is a great capacity in each of us to do wrong or even evil, there is also great capacity in us for incredible good.  Also, I was very pleased that Nolan showed the absolute folly and lack of long-term viability and sustainability of the Occupy movement.
  • “Speak of the devil and he shall appear.” – Smart leaders never allow evil or sin to have a foothold in their life.
  • “The rich doesn’t go broke the same as the rest of us.” - No, but they can still go broke. 
  • The Value Of Childlike Faith - One of the movie’s critical scenes involved Bruce Wayne thinking and feeling like a child.  Great leaders prepare extremely well but there are times that a leap of faith is needed for plans to succeed.
  • “You’re a detective.  You’re not to believe in coincidence anymore.” – Great leaders are rarely blind-sided.  They not only practice self-awareness but also are constantly aware of the circumstances around them.
  • “Nothing like a little air superiority.” – Great leaders know how to effectively leverage technology and resources to overcome obstacles.
  • “Reassurance is putting a coat around a young boy’s shoulders.” – Even the smallest acts of kindness are never forgotten and eventually rewarded.  Great leaders give a voice to those who do not have one and also help those who cannot help themselves.
  • “Structures becomes shackles.” – Leaders equip and release people to do great things.

What are your thoughts about going to The Dark Knight Rises as well as the movie itself?

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About briand@injoystewardship.com

3 Responses to “20 Leadership Quotes And Lessons From The Dark Knight Rises”

  1. Joseph Lalonde on 25/07/2012 #

    I went and seen the movie regardless of the tragedy. I’m not going to let some psycho hold me back from living my life.

    The movie was great. The action scenes were enjoyable, I liked Bane even though I feel he looked nothing like the comic character, and the ending was perfect.

  2. Danny on 06/08/2012 #

    I must state, first of all, that I stumbled over your site looking for a couple of quotes that really struck me when I watched this film just a couple of days ago. One was the statement by Alfred about stop trying to outsmart the truth and just let it have its day. The other…which you did not reference is the quote by Batman to Commissioner Gordon when he was about to take the nuclear weapon away from Gothom….

    “Anyone can be a hero. Even a man who put a coat around a young boy’s shoulders to let him know the world hadn’t ended.”

    I literally wept at that moment. Not too long ago at the beginning of the financial crisis I found myself, along with my wife and 5 children, jobless, foreclosed and kicked out of our house and living in a one room shack just a couple of miles from the church we were going to and literally 30 steps from the back door of the people we rented that shack from who also went with us to the same church. Not one time in the year we lived there did the pastor of the church ever come to see us….to sup with us….to share our pain…”to put a coat over my shoulders to let me know the world hadn’t ended”. Neither did the people who were only 30 steps away from our door. We got kicked out of that place when the guy’s father had a stroke and had to move down from up north….and so we found ourselves living in a tiny pop-up camper on my father in laws property in Florida for an additional 7 months…including the winter with no heat. And once again….the priest at the new church we were going to never came to see us and share with the congregation what a miserable mess we were in.

    God, by his grace and the grace of Jesus saw us through. But I am scarred for life over this. Batman had always been my comic book hero. But I outgrew that once becoming a teenager long ago. It just would have been nice to know that if anyone out there that should be considered heroes today….that being men of the cloth…it would have been nice to see one of those in action. Alas….that was not the case.

    Considering Bane and the hoarde of disaffected people who followed him in taking over Gotham and instituting a film version of the French Revolution and your comment….

    “Also, I was very pleased that Nolan showed the absolute folly and lack of long-term viability and sustainability of the Occupy movement.”

    I dissagree with that to this point. While Bane and the hoarde did not succeed the larger point was this…..there was a LOT of injustice that fueled the misguided attempts to justice by Bane, the hoarde and indeed the League of Shadows. If, there had been better justice…let’s say by Christians…in Gotham (of course that is never mentioned or shown in the Trilogy)…then the breeding ground for the injustice that drove the League, Bane, Talia, Ra’s al Ghul, etc. would not have been so fertile. The same goes for the Occupy movement. Say what you will about there solutions….at least they are taking a stand against the high crimes of the elite and the money changers. If we, who love capitalism…who love the rule of law… and justice…as defined by God and shown as example by Jesus Christ had been willing to stand up, protest, demand justice and jail time again the financiers without fear of being called socialists or communists or liberal Christians….the breeding ground for the Occupy Movement and there failed solutions would not exist or be much less fertile.

    Where are the Christian heroes? Where are the men of the cloth….not men with capes? Where are the believers who put coats on the scared and the lonely and the bruised and battered saying…”The world hasn’t ended”

  3. Danny on 06/08/2012 #

    My apologies….I just now saw that you DID reference the quote about the coat on a young boy’s shoulders. My fault for not reading close enough.

    I would also take issue with the quote and your support of it…that in order to save the world you have to trust it. There is nothing in the world you can trust…nor can it be saved. We had our chance at the first advent…the whole reason that there will be a second advent is that if it (and He) would not come a second time that…”No flesh would be saved.” And even after 1000 years of the physical and world recognized reign of Jesus on planet earth….the world at the behest of a newly released Satan tries to destoy Him again. We all have the capacity of good. But we will all fail to contiually exercise that good for the long haul. Otherwise…there would have never been the need for the cross.

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