“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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