March 2014: Leadership Lessons from Cartoons

Leadership Lessons from Cartoons


I wanted to follow up on my lessons from TV Shows blog in January with a quick one on lessons from movie and TV cartoons.  

I recently took my 2 and 3 year old boys to “The Lego Movie”.  Big mistake!  It was not “G” it was “PG” and I learned an important lesson in parenting.  Don’t get me wrong – it was a fun movie – but the violence level was not appropriate for toddlers.  That experience aside, many cartoons characters often face a difficult task, have to build a team, forge relationships, set goals, have formidable competitors or enemies, and face challenges.


The other reason I like cartoons for leadership role models is that rarely do they have a position or title  – they are peer leaders, or reluctantly become leaders through setting the example and their persistence or drive toward a goal.  Most importantly they become natural leaders of their group or band of misfits because of their VALUES.


Here are some quick and fun articles that point out some of leadership lessons we can take from cartoon characters.


12 Most Magical Leadership Lessons from Disney Animated Movies

1. Beauty and the Beast: don’t force love; earn it
2. Aladdin: just be yourself
3. The Lion King: it’s your kingdom; if you don’t fight for it, who will?
4. Toy Story: you’re not a space ranger… and that’s okay
5. Hercules: being a hero isn’t about celebrity; it’s about sacrifice
6. Mulan: being true to yourself is the greatest gift you can give to others
7. Dinosaur: the strong are morally responsible for the weak
8. The Emperor’s New Groove: it’s not about you
9. Monsters Inc.: innovation powers your world
10. Finding Nemo: nothing can stop you from finding what is most precious to you
11. The Incredibles: don’t let the mediocre silence your awesomeness
12. Tangled: to make your dreams come true, you’ve got to leave your tower


12 Most Animated Leadership Lessons from Dreamworks Movies

1. Antz: making a difference starts with being different
2. The Prince of Egypt: injustice cannot be ignored
3. Shrek: first impressions can’t be trusted
4. Spirit: the tamed spirit is the unfree spirit
5. Shark Tale: lies always find you out
6. Madagascar: sometimes, your comfort zone steps out of you
7. Over the Hedge: your people are ends, not means
8. Flushed Away: a life of community trumps a life of comfort
9. Kung-Fu Panda: there is no secret ingredient
10. Monsters Vs Aliens: contentment comes with embracing new realities
11. How to Train Your Dragon: the threat may be the opportunity
12. Megamind: jealousy is the root of villainy


Leadership Lessons: Charlie Brown and Snoopy

“The Peanuts gang taught us a great deal about life and laughter. They also reveal some great perspectives on the art of leadership.”  Persevere Through Adversity.  Maintain a Positive Outlook.  Keep Leading.  Never Stop Dreaming.


Three Leadership Lessons from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

From the song Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, come leadership lessons that are still applicable today. Here are three leadership lessons that will serve you well regardless of the season.
1. We all have natural gifts and abilities; embrace them.
2. We all face opposition; ignore it.
3. Your moment to shine will eventually come; welcome it.