22 Leadership Lessons And Quotes From Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman Movie

A Reel Leadership Article

Recent DC Comics movies have fallen flat. Both Batman Versus Superman and Suicide Squad failed to receive praise from critics and viewing audiences alike (though I thought Suicide Squad was an enjoyable movie).

June 2nd saw the release of the new Gal Gadot Wonder Woman movie. I wasn’t expecting much from this DC Comics movie but I wanted to watch it as the movie ties in with the upcoming Justice League movie.

Leadership lessons and quotes from Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman

Gal Gadot’s portrayal of Wonder Woman surprised me. I thought Gadot did a great job as the Amazonian who leaves her home of Themyscira to help the world of man overcome the greatest evil they’ve ever faced. Overall, I was very pleased with the results of the new Wonder Woman movie.

While the movie entertained, the movie did something else. There were plenty of leadership lessons in the Wonder Woman movie and I’m going to share those with you today.

CAUTION: Wonder Woman movie spoilers below.

Leadership Lessons And Quotes From Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman

1. Diana Prince/Wonder Woman:

I used to want to save this world.

The movie opens with Wonder Woman narrating and she tells the viewer she previously wanted to save the world. She wanted to make the world a safer place and rid Earth of evil.

This was her mission. This was her goal. This was her vision.

But things changed. Her mission changed.

And there’s a good chance yours will as well. While you start in one position of leadership, your leadership evolves and changes over time. Wonder Woman’s mission did. Yours will.

Expect to see change in your leadership.

2. We all have a story:

Once the narrative is over, we are treated to a scene where Wonder Woman receives a package. The package contains a photograph of her with Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), Sameer (Saïd Taghmaoui), Chief (Eugene Braverock) and Charlie (Ewen Bremner).

A note was included in the package. The note said “Maybe one day you’ll tell me your story.”

And then the movie truly began.

Wonder Woman had a story to tell. The story of finding Steve Trevor, going to Europe with him, and fighting evil.

Your story may not feel as exciting but your story matters. The people you lead will resonate with your story. They’re longing to know you better.

Tell your story.

3. Diana Prince/Wonder Woman:

What one does when faced with the truth is more difficult than you would think.

This Wonder Woman quote should make us all stop and think. When we face the truth, the actions we take are a lot harder than one would believe.

I remember hearing the truth about someone I deeply cared about. I couldn’t believe what I had heard.

He was a role-model. He was someone who people looked up to. Then he wasn’t.

How does one react when faced with the truth? You don’t know until the truth hits you.

Stand your ground when the truth is revealed.

4. People are watching you:

The women warriors on Themyscira were sparring. Unbeknownst to them, young Diana was standing on a ridge watching and mimicking their actions.

She could see everything they were doing. And she was copying their actions.

You have people watching you from the shadows. You don’t know who they are and you don’t know they’re watching. But they are.

Live a life worthy of emulation.

5. Queen Hippolyta:

Fighting doesn’t make you a hero.

Diana wanted to be a fierce warrior. Her mother, Hippolyta, wanted to shield her from the fight.

Hippolyta knew a truth that’s hard to swallow. Being a fighter doesn’t make you a hero. Sometimes fighting makes you a fool.

Choose carefully the fights you take on.

6. People desire a mentor:

Diana knew what she needed to become a great warrior. She needed to train under someone. She needed the guidance and experience of someone older than her.

Because of her mother’s reluctance to let her learn, Diana went and found a warrior mentor in her aunt Antiope.

People are looking for someone to train them. To help them hone their skills. They desire a mentor.

Find someone you can give the gift of mentorship.

7. Antiope

You are stronger than you believe.

Antiope believed Diana was holding back because she didn’t believe in herself. Her thought was probably true.

Do you know what else? The same applies to you. You are stronger than you believe.

You’ve been given great power. Deep within you is something longing to be freed.

Find the strength within you and show the world who you truly are.

8. Mentors come and go:

Diana’s mentor was her aunt Antiope. Sadly, Antiope dies as the Germans try to invade Themyscira. Diana’s mentor was gone.

That’s life. Mentors come and go regardless of whether or not we desire for them to stay.

Be ready to let go of mentors when they’re ready to exit your life.

9. Steve Trevor:

I was there to observe and report. But I had to do something.

Chris Pine’s character Steve Trevor was a spy who had infiltrated the German military. His mission was to observe and report.

When he saw the atrocities being committed by the Germans, he couldn’t sit idly by. He had to spring into action.

Great leaders do the same. When they see something that is not right, they do something.

They begin looking for a solution. Or maybe they delegate the problem to someone who can handle the problem.

Great leaders have to do something.

10. We let little things tell us what to do:

Maybe the most profound scene in all of Wonder Woman happened as Steve Trevor exited a natural hot water spa. Diana sees his watch and wonders what the device is. Steve tells her it is a watch and “It tells the time. It tells you when to sleep, to eat…”

Diana found this ludicrous. How could such a little device tell people what to do?

There’s truth to Diana’s statement. We let little things dictate our days.

Whether we plan our days out to the second or let urgent but unimportant matters interrupt our days, the little things tell us what to do.

Pay attention to the little things. Don’t let them dictate your life.

11. Great leaders accept the consequences of their actions:

Steve Trevor wanted to return to his people but couldn’t without help. Diana desired to help him return to the war.

When Hippolyta heard this, she was upset. She told Diana she may not be able to return if she were to leave the island.

Diana told her mother she understood this. And she accepted the consequences.

Your actions have consequences. Everything you do will return positive or negative results.

Be willing to accept the consequences of your actions.

12. Steve Trevor:

Yeah, it’s not for everybody.

In a somewhat lighthearted scene, Diana and Steve arrive in London. Steve welcomed Diana to wonderful London when Diana retorted it was hideous.

Steve, realizing his mistake, backtracked and told her London wasn’t for everyone.

Much like London wasn’t for Diana, leadership isn’t for everyone. There are people who cannot lead well because of their motives and desires. Be wary of these people.

Know leadership isn’t for everyone.

13, Great leaders notice the small things:

As Steve and Diana were walking through London, Steve notices something. There are men who are out of place.

These men turned out to hired thugs wanting to get back the notebook he stole from Dr. Maru (or her villain name Dr. Poison).

Because of his keen eye for things that didn’t look right, he was able to alert Diana to an upcoming problem. This allowed Steve and Diana to be ready for the threat.

Great leaders know they have to pay attention to the small things. The small things have a big impact on the bottom line.

Watch out for the little things that aren’t right.

14. Great leaders speak up:

After escaping the thugs, Steve and Diana break in on a meeting of  generals. They were dismissed as being a disruption.

Diana wouldn’t have it. She knew their mission was important. So she spoke up. She called the generals on their inaction to do the right thing and save the lives of innocent men, women, and children.

Great leaders know they can’t stay silent when there’s an injustice. They have to speak up and challenge the wrongs in front of them.

Don’t be afraid to speak up for what is right.

15. There is a time and place to share your story:

Diana’s story was out there. She was crafted from clay by her mother and given life by the god Zeus. It’s a hard story to swallow.

Steve knew this and stopped Diana from sharing her full story with Chief. It wasn’t the right time.

You may want to share your story. You have to know the right time to share it.

I have a story and I’ve shared it at various times. Not all of my story is pleasant, including the time I was kicked out of an Assembly of God church when I was 18. This time in my life was interesting and there’s many more stories to tell. You’ll hear all of my story at some point.

Know the time and place to tell your story.

16. Sometimes you have to keep moving:

We know great leaders take action when they see an injustice. There’s also times when you can’t do anything.

Diana, Chief, Steve, Sameer, and Charlie were moving towards their end goal when they came across people who were injured. Diana wanted to stop and help. Steve told her the best thing they can do is to keep moving towards their goal.

Great leaders want to help others. The hard part is knowing when it is time to help and when it is time to keep moving.

Sometimes you have to keep moving.

17. Great leaders lead the way:

When the time reached their destination at the brink of No Man’s Land, the team was told to stop. They couldn’t go any further. Or else they would face certain death.

Diana, being the superhero she was, disobeyed the orders and lept into battle. She sprinted across the battlefield attacking those who stood in her way. She took action. Because of her actions, the others followed and crushed the enemy.

This is what great leaders do. They take action. They move towards the battle and fight.

Lead the way!

18. Great leaders share the glory of success:

Diana led the way as the men fought their way through No Man’s Land. When they reached the other side, Steve told her the victory was because of Diana. She did all of it.

Diana’s response may shock you. Instead of taking full credit, she tells Steve “No, we did this.”

Their success wasn’t because of Diana alone. There were others who played a part and she was willing to share the glory.

Great leaders don’t take all of the credit for the success their team achieves. No, they’re willing to let their team members know they played a part in the success as well.

Give credit to those who played a part in your success.

19. Bad leaders underestimate the challenges they face:

Diana believed war was caused by Zeus’ son Ares. She also believed Ares had escaped to the human world and was the reason behind World War 2.  General Erich Ludendorff was one of the men behind the war and she believed he was the embodiment of Ares.

Ludendorff gained powers from a serum created by Dr. Poison and fought Wonder Woman. He believed he could take out Diana because she was weak. He underestimated her.

Leaders have the possibility of underestimating the challenges ahead. They believe because they’ve been successful in the past, they will be successful tomorrow. They underestimate the new challenges they face.

Be aware you may underestimate what lies ahead.

20. Great leaders do what they can do:

As Diana battled the real Ares (General Erich Ludendorff was not Ares, instead Ares was Sir Patrick), Steve Trevor realized he couldn’t fight the fight the same way Diana was. He would fight in a different way.

He hijacked the plane loaded with the deadly poison and began to fly. He flew the plane higher and higher, unholstered his gun, and fired at the canisters.

The plane exploded, with him inside. But he fought valiantly. He did what he could do.

Great leaders know they can’t do everything. They know they can do certain things well. These are the things great leaders focus on.

Focus on the things you can do well.

21. You can lead without vulgarity:

Have you seen Deadpool or Logan? Both of these movies were filled with vulgarity. The language was to the point it turned me off from enjoying either of these films to the extent I would have liked.

The nice thing about Wonder Woman is that Wonder Woman is a fairly clean movie. There were no vulgarities uttered. This was a refreshing change of pace.

You may have been mentored by a leader who swore like a sailor. You may have felt like you had to follow in his footsteps to be a great leader.

The truth is: You can lead without vulgarity. You don’t have to drop abusive 4-letter words. You can lead with kindness and grace.

Lead without vulgarity. It suits leaders better.

22. Women can lead as well as men:

Wonder Woman is the first superhero movie where a female takes the lead role. Gal Gadot did a wonderful job as Wonder Woman and made the movie.

The old line of leadership thinking was that women can’t lead. Only men could do a good job of leading.

This old leadership thinking is beginning to crumble as we see great female leaders rise up and lead well. There are women out there who are leading as well as men.

If you’re a woman, go and lead well. You can do it!

Question: Have you seen Wonder Woman yet? If so, share a leadership lessons from Wonder Woman you saw in the movie. If not, share a leadership lessons from Wonder Woman that I shared and you enjoyed. Let me know your favorite in the comment section below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Jeffrey P. Rush

    Here’s another: Find the right people to go to battle with. And another: Don’t be afraid to do battle. I’m thinking here of when the Germans assaulted the island. There was no pause in any of the Amazons. Sometimes, you have to fight. And the last, this one h/t to The Warrior Goddess (my wife): Jesus was right. Love conquers evil. All the time.

    • I like those Jeff! Finding the right people to do battle (or work/lead) with is crucial. If they’re unwilling to do what’s needed, it’s going to be ineffective.

  • Joseph, I admire your ability to watch movies and pull leadership lessons out of them. Keep doing the good work!

    • Thanks for the encouragement Kenneth! It’s a lot of fun to do so. If you didn’t know, I’m writing a book on the topic as well.

      • Awesome. I look forward to it coming out. I would be happy to promote it in my circle of influence. I think you do excellent work.
        I have been following you now for several years and have enjoyed it.

  • Claudia Trent

    How about . . . be sure you know who the real enemy is before you go and kill the wrong one in cold blood.

    • That’s true! I thought I’d used that as a lesson (not to rush to judgement) but it looks like I left it off the list.