14 Leadership Lessons And Quotes From The Space Between Us

A Reel Leadership Article

I was blessed with the opportunity to see the new movie The Space Between Us two months before it’s US premier. And today I’m going to bring you leadership lesosns and quotes from The Space Between Us.

Quotes and leadership lessons from The space between us

When the first humans to colonize Mars travel to the red planet, they discover one of the astronauts carried an extra passenger to the new world. Astronaut Sarah Elliot was pregnant.

Shortly after giving birth to Gardner Elliot, the first human born on Mars, Sarah passed away.

Throughout the years, Gardner, played by Ender’s Game star Asa Butterfield, desired to travel to earth. To experience people. To live life like a true human.

That’s where The Space Between Us takes the viewer. Elliot’s journey to earth and his exploration of the human race.

Caution: The Space Between Us spoilers ahead

Leadership Lessons And Quotes From The Space Between Us

1. Nathaniel Shepherd:

There is one resource without limits: Courage!

During a rousing speech, Nathaniel Shepherd shared the one resource we can never run out of. That resource is courage.

Remember that as you lead. You’re going to need courage. And you can always get more courage.

2. Wow your crowd:

Before the group of 15 astronauts launched into space, Nathaniel Shepherd, played by Gary Oldman, shared his vision and desire for the human race. They would one day conquer the vastness of space.

Through his stirring address, he wowed the crowd. They were excited and ready to see where they would go.

When’s the last time you WOWed your people? Do you need to find a vision that will once again awaken their hearts?

Give your team an address that’s powerful and truthful.

3. Astronaut Sarah Elliot:

It’s not a sacrifice. It is an opportunity

Leaving earth, family, and loved ones, Sarah Elliot didn’t see her mission as a sacrifice. She saw interplanetary travel as an opportunity.

I believe this statement is a mixture of truth. Every opportunity requires sacrifice

However, if we only look at the sacrifice, we miss the opportunities that have been placed before us. Seize the opportunities as long as the cost isn’t more than you’re willing to pay.

4. Sarah Elliot:

Courage is fear that has said it’s prayers.

We will all face fear. It stares each of us in the eyes and tells us that we’re not good enough.

Yet, when you’ve prayed and prepared, you can look back and tell fear that you have courage. And courage will overcome.

5. Your actions have consequences:

After Sarah had boarded the space shuttle, she discovered she was pregnant. There were many choices to be made at that point.

Do they turn the ship back to earth? Do they continue on towards Mars? Should the baby be born before they land or on the ship?

So many choices. And so many consequences.

One of those consequences was the death of Sarah during childbirth.

Know that your actions will have consequences. Whether they’re seen immediately or not is irrelevant. They will be there.

Choose your actions wisely.

6. Gardner Elliot:

How can I be indispensable if no one knows I exist?

Gardner was hidden from the people back on earth. Those running the mission to Mars felt it was better to conceal the fact he was born.

He knew this and he felt worthless.

Leaders need to be known. You have to step into your role. You need to let people know you exist.

Share your thoughts on leadership. Give your talents away. Help others.

Be known.

7. Kendra:

Remember what you’re running for

Kendra, actress Carla Gugino, told this to Gardner as he was training to return to earth. He was running and preparing his body for the rigors of a planet he’d never visited before.

You need to remember why you’re leading. What is the purpose of leading others? Why are you leading?

Keep that focus in mind.

8. Be inquisitive:

Having never been around another person, Gardner was very inquisitive of others. He asked multiple people what their favorite thing about earth was.

He wanted to know about their passions.

Leaders need to be inquisitive. They need to ask questions of those they lead.

Not only to know what they’re doing. But to know WHO they are.

9. Leaders will be misinterpreted:

One of the people Gardner questioned was Kendra. He asked her many questions but the one that stuck with him was whether or not she wanted to have children.

Her answer, as his surrogate mother, was misconstrued by Gardner and he felt she didn’t want to raise him.

Your answers, your words will be interpreted in many different ways. Speak clearly and concisely.

10. Leaders don’t always know what they’re doing:

Gardner was able to escape and find a young girl he’d been communicating with while he was on Mars. To escape Nathaniel and Kendra, they hoped into an old bi-plane.

Gardner asked Tulsa, Britt Robertson, if she knew how to fly the plane. Her answer was classic – “Nope.”

Honestly, that’s how leadership can be. We’re thrown into situations we’ve never been in. And then we have to figure out how to make them work.

You don’t have to know all the answers. You can learn on the fly.

11. Bad leaders place the blame on others:

Nathaniel was furious with Kendra for letting Gardner get away. He blamed Kendra for letting him communicate with someone on earth.

That’s what bad leaders do.

They place blame on others when they have checked out. Don’t be that leader. Be one who realizes that the buck stops with you.

12. People don’t like to be lied to:

So many people had lied to Tulsa, she blew up on Gardner when he told her he was from Mars. She’d had it with lies and couldn’t take another.

As a leader, you have to be willing to tell the truth. Even when the truth hurts.

13. Nathaniel Shepherd:

The malignacy of a secret keeps getting worse

This goes hand in hand with the previous leadership lesson from The Space Between Us. Nathaniel kept a secret and that secret ate at him.

Secrets tear at our hearts. They make us worry and fret.

This reminds of the Bible verse John 8:32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

When we stop keeping secrets, the light is let in.

14. Many people put on a tough act:

Because of the lies and bouncing between families, Tulsa put on a tough act. She pretended that no one mattered and she was better off on her own.

Gardner saw through this. He could tell she cared, even if it didn’t seem like she did.

People are hurting. They’re pretending to be something they’re not.

You can help those people. You can help them shed the mask and be who they truly are.

Question: What was your favorite leadership lesson from The Space Between Us that I shared? Let me know in the comment section below.

Do you enjoy leadership lessons from the movies? Would you like more leadership lessons from the movies? Check out the Reel Leadership archives here for more leadership lessons from the movies.

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