Leadership Lessons From Thanksgiving

When you think of Thanksgiving, you probably think of family gatherings, great food, turkey, and a brief reprieve from work. You may not think of leadership.

Today, I want to challenge you to think about the leadership lessons Thanksgiving can teach us. It’s not that far of a stretch. It’s just something we don’t think about often.

A traditional Thanksgiving dinner on a table

Thanksgiving is the perfect opportunity to show us what leadership can be about. Let’s look at those things today.

Leadership Lessons From Thanksgiving

1. Leaders need to be thankful:

The Thanksgiving holiday comes but once a year. On this day, people begin to remember what they’re thankful for. Everybody has multiple things they can be thankful for.

When I think of what I’m thankful for, I think of the following:

  • My wife, Pamela

Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Real Steel

A Reel Leadership Article

There’s something about feel-good movies that make you want to watch them again and again. Real Steel is one of those feel-good movies.

I’d watched Real Steel when the movie released in 2011. I remember loving the movie. Then I never watched it again until this weekend.

Movie still from the movie Reel Steel. Main characters with Atom walking toward ring

Man, I was missing out on such a feel-good movie. Real Steel lays on the heavy hits and heavy emotions throughout. It’s a must-see movie.

Not only will you see robots get knocked about. Not only will you get your emotions toyed with… You will walk away from Real Steel with a load of leadership lessons.

Today’s Reel Leadership article is going to focus on the leadership lessons in Real Steel. I hope you brought your boxing robot and notepad. You’re going to want both!

Redefine Your Purpose

The online world is abuzz with talk about finding your purpose or living out your purpose. This is well and good. We need a purpose. We need something to drive us harder and farther than we would normally go.


What if we have our definition of purpose wrong. In the online and leadership sphere, we often hear purpose as the reason behind what you do. It often relates to the things you do and how they impact you.

I think we’re wrong in thinking purpose is about the effect our work has in us. I recently read a quote from Jade Simmons. This is when it really resonated with me.

Redefine how you look at purpose. Re-understand your purpose. Your purpose is not the thing you do. It’s the thing that happens in others when you do what you do.

Wow! That’s powerful.

Practical Ideas To Enhance Effective Leadership

A stellar group leader is first a very good person, a role model in character and behavior. Further, in demeanor and approach, an effective leader emanates the “feel” of being part of the group rather than above it. Examples include endeavoring to talk with instead of to the group in tone and substance and working hands-on as part of the group instead of its boss in group-related projects and activities.

Recognize that you are a Role Model

People follow and readily acknowledge leaders that they respect. Like it or not, life-quality and authentic leadership go hand in hand. Like children with parents, people tend to and should watch how leaders live and react to circumstances more than they hear them. Thus, living lays the foundation (or not) for people to actually listen to you (actions and words) and embrace your position as a leader.

Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Wolfwalkers

A Reel Leadership Article

Our local Celebration Cinema theater, Cinema Carousel, had a special screening of the new animated movie Wolfwalkers. Brought to the theater by Fathom Events, Wolfwalkers was a fantastic exploration of a fantasy world. If you’d like to see Wolfwalkers in the graphic novel format, it is available on Amazon.

Directed by Tomm Moore (The Secret Of Kells and Song Of The Sea) and Ross Stewart, Wolfwalkers is the story of young Robyn Goodfellowe (Honor Kneafsey). She is an apprentice hunter to her father, Bill Goodfellowe (Sean Bean). Bill doesn’t want his daughter outside of the city walls because of the wolves and Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell’s (Simon McBurney) orders.

Screenshot from Wolfwalkers the movie

When Robyn disobeys her father, she finds herself trapped in a trap set for a wolf. Hanging upside down, she meets Mebh Óg MacTíre (Eva Whittaker), a wolfwalker. Robyn’s whole life changes after this encounter.