Inspiration from the movies – lessons in business and life

dustinhoffman-tootsieEver since I was a kid, I’ve always been able to find some inspiration from the world of cinema. These are some of my favourite clips-with-a-lesson. Tell me what you think…and do let me know your own. For those of a delicate disposition, some of the language contained in these clips is a little colourful – but I guess it’s reflecting real life!

Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie

Playing a broke and frustrated actor, Hoffman walks into his agent’s office – “No one will hire you”, George tells him. His response?

Dustin Hoffman in Kramer vs Kramer

He’s lost his job and is fighting for custody of his son, an impossibility if he’s unemployed. He gets an interview for an inferior position – just watch his determination to get that post. Amazing what you can do when there’s sufficient motivation.

Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glenross

One of THE great sales-related scenes in the movies. Bit foul-mouthed but WOW! Big shot Baldwin is sent in by head office to sort out some underperforming real estate salesmen. Not exactly the type of selling style we’d encourage these days, but worth watching. ABC – ALWAYS be CLOSING!

Al Pacino in City Hall

Some great lessons to be learned from this, an inspiring, evangelical style of oratory. If you’re interested in knowing more about shaping a speech, using great body language and emotionally engaging with an audience, watch this masterful piece.

Rowan Atkinson in Four Weddings and a Funeral

When you’re presenting in public, give it your best shot and if the audience likes you, they’ll forgive you if you slip up.

Fit a square peg into a round hole – scene from Apollo 13

Wonderful example of teamwork, ingenuity and a ‘failure is not an option’ attitude. Remarkable what you can do with limited resources and enormous motivation.

Tim Robbins in Shawshank Redemption – Andy plays Mozart

Often voted the most popular movie of all time, Shawshank performed unremarkably in the box office when first released, but has since developed an extraordinary cult status. The film means many things to different people, but surely we can learn lessons from the story of Andy Dufresne, wrongly incarcerated for a murder he didn’t commit, who eventually outwits the corrupt warden of the toughest of prisons and discovers an inner-strength that can inspire us all. This Mozart scene is one of the most celebrated – the voiceover by Morgan Freeman is beautiful.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these and do tell me about YOUR favourites.

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