Leadership Lessons from "Jerry McGuire"
Have you ever watched a movie, and just been amazed at the insight that it gives. Well I had that experience watching the film "Jerry McGuire". It is filled with great leadership lessons. This is a summary of some of those lessons.
Lesson #1 Write a Mission Statement It Will Inspire You
A mission statement will inspire you! When Jerry McGuire was writing his mission statement, he was thoroughly inspired; he wrote through the night he was motivated and didnt want to stop. As a result he achieved something to be proud of. Not only did it inspire him, but it caught attention and inspired many others. Writing a mission statement will inspire you also, but even more important is what you do with it daily.
Lesson #2 Read the Mission Statement Daily
Jerry McGuire made a big mistake with what he did with the mission statement. He put it on the back burner and forgot about it. To maintain the inspiration he received from the mission statement he should have read it daily morning and evening. By reading your mission statement each day you will keep the principles front and center in your mind. Instead of quickly abandoning the principles that mean so much to you. Also, be sure to keep the mission statement to a short one or two paragraphs. Jerrys mission statement was over 30 pages long. No wonder he never read it again!
Lesson #3 You Need to Live on Principles of Honesty & Integrity
Jerry wrote his mission statement because he had a break down. He had not been living with integrity. Everything he did had been a fraud, a show for those who watched him; and it caught up to him. Honesty is a necessary principle for true success even if it doesnt appear to be sometimes.
Lesson #4 To Become Great You Must Step Out on the Ledge
This movie is filled with people taking a step out onto the ledge. Jerry took a step out on to the ledge when he handed a copy of the mission statement out to his co-workers, and again when he decided to go ahead and start his own company with only one client. Dorothy took a stop out on to the ledge when she left her job to join Jerry in starting the new company. Rod took a risk by playing out his final year of his football contract, risking injury and receiving nothing. In each case the bold risk eventually lead to the achievement of their goals. Even if they had failed, as long as they learned from their failure they would have been closer to success. So be ready to step out on the ledge and take the risk when the time comes. Even if you fail youll be farther ahead than if you never tried.
Lesson #5 Mentors Can be a Valuable Asset
The film is interspersed with quotes of wisdom from Jerrys mentor. Any of these quotes could be used as a complete leadership lesson, but combined they show the importance of having a mentor in your life. His impact can be seen by the sheer fact that Jerry continued to remember what he learned from his mentor years after he was gone.
"The key to business and life is personal relationships."
Lesson #6 Big Decisions May Have to be Made on a Moments Notice
When Jerry left the office to start his own company, Dorothy had a quick decision to make, and it had to be made then and there. The thing that allowed her to make the decision so quickly was that she knew her values. She also knew that her values were matched by what Jerry had written in his mission statement, and that going with Jerry would be the better chance to live out those values. So be sure to know your values and where you want to go. That way when a quick decision must be made you can determine what lines up with your values and mission.
Lesson #7 When the Chips are Down, Youll Know How People Really Feel About You
When Jerry stuck out his neck by handing out his mission statement, everyone applauded him. Just a week later, when he had been fired for what he wrote, no one stood up with him. The people he thought were his friends worked to take all his clients, and only one person from the office left with him despite his passionate plea. Dorothy and Rod were loyal. Those were the people who truly respected who he was. Those were his true friends. People will back you when times are good, but ignore you during times of trouble. Watch for those who stick by you whatever the situation, they are your true friends and worth their weight in gold.
Lesson #8 Playing From Your Heart Will Take You Farther Than Playing For Money
Rod was playing out his option year of his football contract, but he wasnt getting any attention. The problem was that he was playing for money and not for the love of the game. Only when he started to play from his heart did he inspire the fans, his teammates and did he get the attention he wanted. If you are just working or building your business because of the money you may do alright but you wont truly excel. You must have a bigger reason. You must have your heart behind what you are doing.
So as you can see there are many leadership lessons in the movie Jerry McGuire. If you havent seen the film, or if it has been a while since you last watched it, I encourage you to check it out again, and think about what else you can learn from this movie.
Copyright © 2001-2004, Pam Jones,