Tom Cruise took over the reigns as the leading character in the new The Mummy movie. Universal Studios is rebooting multiple monster movie franchises to create a Dark Universe. The Dark Universe is expected to include Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, The Bride Of Frankenstein, Dracula, Creature Of The Black Lagoon, and The Invisible Man. We’ll get to more of the Dark Universe later. For now, I’ll focus on The Mummy.
The Mummy revolves around Tom Cruise’s Nick Morton, a military man who is also stealing artifacts from various archaeological sites. Everything goes sideways after he and his partner Jake Johnson’s Chris Vail stumble upon insurgents destroying ancient artifacts. Vail has to call in an airstrike which uncovers the hidden burial site of an ancient evil, Ahmanet.
Ahmanet killed her father, his wife, and their newborn son to prevent her brother from taking over the throne. She was thirsty for power and would do anything to retain the power she believed was her right.
With the discovery of her burial site which was more like a prison, we’re thrust into the new world of The Mummy. It’s one of action, adventure, thrills, and chills. The new The Mummy movie also provides copious amounts of leadership lessons.
CAUTION: The Mummy spoilers below.
Leadership Lessons And Quotes From The Mummy
1. Great breakthroughs can be unexpected:
As a tunnel-boring machine breaks through a wall, we learn construction workers have stumbled upon a great find. They discovered the hidden burial site of a group of Crusaders, one of whom is buried with a stone which could bring about the birth of Set, the god of evil.
No one was expecting the construction workers to find this hidden vault of treasure. Their breakthrough was unexpected.
For all the work you do as a leader, your greatest breakthroughs can be unexpected.
You may stumble upon a new leadership insight that dramatically changes the way you lead. Or maybe through a miscalculation, a new product is created.
Whatever the case, know breakthroughs can, and often are, unexpected. Be ready for the next breakthrough!
2. Dr. Henry Jekyll/Mr. Hyde:
The past cannot remain buried forever.
You read that right: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde were in The Mummy. He played a very important role for the upcoming Dark Universe series.
But here, he narrated part of the movie. He shares that the past cannot remain buried forever. This was in regards to the hidden remains of Ahmanet and the Crusaders. Yet I believe he was alluding to something more. He knew the truth: Things done will be uncovered.
How does this apply to your leadership? There are going to be things you want hidden or buried. You won’t want people to know of the things you’ve done or the decisions you’ve made. That’s a mistake.
Great leaders own their mistakes. They admit they are not perfect and ask for forgiveness.
Stop trying to hide the past. The past will catch up with you one day.
3. Your actions have consequences:
Ahmanet was mummified and imprisoned because of the evil deeds she committed. She murdered her father, baby brother, and the mother of her brother. She was about to bring forth the god of evil Set when she was stopped.
You may get away with bad deeds for awhile. But there will be a day when you will have to pay the consequences of your bad deeds.
Instead of having to worry about the negative consequences of your bad choices, begin making better choices. When you make good choices, good consequences tend to follow.
4. Nick Morton:
We can do this.
Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) and his army buddy Chris Vail were attempting to steal artifacts when they came upon insurgents. Nick wanted to pursue the evildoers. Chris wanted to leave.
Instead of retreating, Nick chose to engage the insurgents. He would keep the relics safe and keep them for themselves. He charged forward and said, “We can do this.”
While Nick’s action resulted in trouble, he had the mindset of a leader. They see the problem, assess the situation, and then take action.
Many times a great leader will have to remind their team they can do what they’ve been tasked with. They can be better than they believe.
Be a leader who’s willing to take action.
5. Great leaders don’t celebrate too early:
Nick’s rush to attack the insurgents did not end as he expected. His actions required Chris to call in an airstrike.
Once the bombs hit, Chris began to celebrate. He was ecstatic to be alive. Then the ground began to shake.
The sands shifted. The building they were standing on began to slip. And they began to fall.
Chris celebrated too early. He thought a quick win was all he needed.
Have you ever celebrated a win too early only to find something wasn’t right? I think we all have.
Be aware that you do need to celebrate your wins. I want to caution you to make sure what you’re celebrating is an actual win.
6. Jenny Halsey:
Get the lights!
The bombs opened up the burial site of Ahmanet. There were tunnels and caverns that needed to be explored. As Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis), Nick, and Chris began to explore the recently unearthed burial site, Jenny called for light.
Jenny needed the lights to see where they were going and what was buried within. Without the lights, she wouldn’t have discovered the imprisoned Ahmanet.
We all need lights shined on our leadership. Doing so allows us to see trouble areas and areas we’ve hidden in our lives.
Be willing to have someone shine a light on your life. Whether it’s an insightful book, mentor, or coach we all need the lights turned on.
7. Beware of brash actions:
I’ve already covered that you will have to face the consequences of your actions. But why do you make bad choices? Because of brash actions.
Nick made another brash action in The Mummy. When they discovered a mummy inside of a prison, Nick shot one of the ropes holding Ahmanet in a vat of mercury. This unleashed her evil upon the world once more.
Leaders like to think they need to take brash actions. There’s a sense brash actions are quick and decisive. They may be but they’re also dangerous.
Brash actions are often taken without the thought of what could happen. Before taking brash action, think about the results your actions will produce.
8. Bad leaders pursue the wrong things:
Do you remember why Ahmanet was imprisoned? She was pursuing the wrong things. She desired power and fame and wealth and would do anything to achieve them.
Ahmanet’s pursuit was for self-indulgent reasons. They would make her feel important and good.
What would have happened if instead of pursuing her selfish desires, she chose to use her power to influence and improve the lives of those she was leading?
Don’t be like Ahmanet. Don’t pursue the wrong things.
9. Keep records of your findings:
Jenny kept an oral record of her exploration of Ahmanet’s prison. She noted where things were and the words inscribed on different objects. She kept a great record.
Are you keeping a record of your findings? You should.
One of the reasons I started this website was to record and share the leadership lessons I was discovering. I wanted a written history so others could benefit.
Can I challenge you with something? Begin keeping records of what you’re learning. Then pass those findings onto others.
10. Great leaders help others:
After discovering Ahmanet’s body, they transferred her remains onto an aircraft. While in flight, a flock of birds attacked the plane causing it to crash.
Nick had a choice. He could take the parachute and use it to safely escape. Instead, he put the parachute on Jenny, told her it was going to be okay, and pulled the parachute ripcord.
Jenny was pulled from the falling airplane. She would land safe and sound on the ground. Nick knew he had to help her even if his help cost him dearly.
Great leaders are like Nick in this situation. They help those around them succeed and survive. They think of their needs as secondary to those they’re leading.
Look around you. Who’s there and who can you help? Help them today.
11. Bad leaders suck the life out of those they lead:
Upon Ahmanet’s return to life, she was a deformed, decayed life-form. Her body was dirty and dusty. That was until she began sucking the life out of those around her.
She attacked two police officers and knocked them to the ground. There, she pounced and pressed her lips to theirs, sucking their life force to increase hers.
Ahmanet’s actions are exactly like a lot of bad leaders, minus the mouth-to-mouth action. But bad leaders duck the life out of those they lead.
Once vibrant employees who were willing to go above and beyond the call of duty begin to shut down. They see no hope and their work output begins to decrease to a level that is tolerated.
Be careful of how you’re treating your employees. You’ll eventually suck the life and energy right out of them.
12. Jenny Halsey:
Thank you. You save my life.
Because of Nick’s actions, Jenny’s life was saved. She knew the only right thing to do was to thank Nick for saving her life.
Great leaders know they have to take similar actions to Jenny’s. When employees do great work, go above and beyond, burn the midnight oil, and get the job done, great leaders say thank you.
Thank you for helping the company succeed. We couldn’t do it without you.
Thank you for all the hard work you’ve put in. Here’s a raise. You deserve it.
Thank you for coming in on the weekend. I know it took time away from your family. Let’s get you out early on Friday.
Great leaders thank those they lead.
13. Nick Morton:
I’m not interested in archeological mumbo-jumbo.
When Jenny began explaining the importance of the archeological find, Nick had to chime in. He didn’t want to hear the technical side of the explanation. He needed the down-to-earth, easy to understand explanation.
Leadership has its own lingo. The verbiage you use may not be known to the average person. And that verbiage and lingo can be confusing to those who don’t understand it.
Be willing to break down your leadership jargon into easy to understand language your team can benefit from.
14. You can be fun and serious:
The previews of The Mummy made me think the movie was going to be dark and serious. While The Mummy did have some darkness and serious aspects, The Mummy was also funny.
I laughed multiple times. I chuckled and made mental notes of what was funny.
While serious, The Mummy was also fun(ny).
Leadership is serious business. You have the fate of families in your hands. Whether or not your organization is around will impact the lives of the employees and those who relied on your services.
Leadership doesn’t have to be all serious though. You can have fun while leading.
Find ways to bring fun to your workplace. Allow bright colors, interesting artwork, music and more to be brought in.
15. All leaders need help:
Jenny and Nick were being attacked by Ahmanet. All looked lost. Until help arrived.
A group of good guys arrived. They knew how to handle the threat. And they were able to capture Ahmanet before she could hurt Jenny or Nick.
Leadership is too often taught as a lone-wolf pursuit. Leaders are to be their own man (or woman) and do things on their own.
Great leaders know this is hogwash. Great leaders don’t avoid help, they invite help.
When you need help, be willing to ask. You need help.
16. Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde:
Who exactly are you?
Dr. Jekyll asked Nick a pointed question: Who are you?
For some, this question is hard to answer. They don’t know who they are.
As a leader, you need to know who you are, what you stand for, and why you’re doing what you’re doing.
17. Bad leaders make people believe there is no hope:
Nick had become the chosen one of Ahmanet. She desired to use him to bring about the birth of Set.
Because of this, Nick and Ahmanet had a special connection. She could communicate with him telepathically.
During one of her talks, she began to tell Nick there was no way to break the curse upon his life. He was stuck with it.
She gave Nick no hope. That’s something a bad leader does.
Don’t be a bad leader. Be a great leader. Give your people hope.
18. Great leaders believe in others:
Nick was doubting himself after Ahmanet’s message to him. Yet Jenny believed in him. She believed he had good within.
She began recalling the good things Nick had done. With her encouragement, Nick was beginning to believe in himself again.
Jenny did what great leaders do. She recalled the previous good Nick had done. She allowed him to see himself in a positive light.
You can do the same. You can encourage those you lead with their past accomplishments.
Be willing to encourage and believe in those you lead. You did bring them on board after all.
19. Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde:
Certain sacrifices have to be made.
Leadership requires sacrifice. Leaders are called to lay down their desires to help bring about the vision of the organizations they’re leading.
To do so, you’ll be called upon to make a sacrifice. Whether that’s unbalancing family and work life, forgoing a good night sleep, or some other aspect of your life, leadership calls you to give up things.
20. Even great leaders struggle:
Nick constantly struggled with the pull of the curse upon his life. He desired to do right but struggled to do what he knew he had to do.
There’s a constant pull on the life of the leader. Do you do what’s right for the organization or do you do what is right for you?
Realize a struggle doesn’t mean you’re bad. It means you’re human.
When you realize you’re like everyone else, facing a struggle becomes much easier.
21. We are all interconnected:
One of the things I’m most excited about after seeing The Mummy is knowing there’s an interconnected universe in the works. The Mummy is only the first part of the Universal Monsters reboot.
There’s going to be many other movies in the universe. From Van Helsing to Dracula to Creature From The Black Lagoon to Frankenstein, a whole new interconnected universe is being created.
And this leads me to the final leadership lesson from The Mummy. We’re all interconnected.
Leaders need to find others to connect with. Every time you connect with a new leader, you’re expanding the possibility of influencing new people.
Be open to the interconnectedness of leadership. You will be rewarded for it.
Question: Have you seen the new The Mummy movie with Tom Cruise? If so, did you see any leadership lessons in The Mummy? If you haven’t seen The Mummy, what was your favorite leadership lesson from The Mummy that I shared? Let me know in the comment section below.
Did you enjoy this Reel Leadership article? Check out the other movies in the Reel Leadership series.