When Steven Spielberg’s cinematic interpretation of Michael Crichton’s 1990 novel Jurassic Park was released 22 years ago, the world of movies changed.
Realistic dinosaurs took to the big screen. Science fiction seemed a bit closer to science fact. And people were once again terrified of dinosaurs roaming the earth.
I have fond memories of seeing Jurassic Park in the theaters. Seeing Ariana Richards play Lex Murphy and developing one of my first movie crushes. And then there was seeing the movie with my mom.
Her reaction to the movie still makes me laugh. The realistic dinosaurs and tense scenes scared her half to death (sorry mom! I had to recall the memory).
The movie was a joy to watch on the big screen.
The sequels? I don’t quite remember the like the original Jurassic Park. Honestly, I don’t know if I ever saw them.
But Jurassic World (Jurassic Park 4)? This movie was a treat to see.
Well discuss that later, but for now, let’s go over the leadership lessons and quotes from Jurassic World.
CAUTION: This post will contain spoilers
Leadership Lessons And Quotes From Jurassic World
1. The old can be made new: In 1993, the original Jurassic Park made a splash on the big screen. The way the dinosaurs came to life was impressive and jaws dropped everywhere.
Jurassic World created the same sense of awe and wonder as I watched the opening scenes. It was like watching the original all over again, only 22 years later.
In your leadership, what old tactics can you bring back out or refresh to help you lead better? Look to the past to see what you can do in the future.
2. Scott –
You’re not going off to war
Scott tells this to his son, Zach, as his girlfriend is getting all mushy before Zach leaves for the Jurassic World exhibit. His dad believed Zach and his girlfriend were exaggerating the pain of being away from each other and the danger he was in.
When we’re leading, we may fall into the false believe that what we’re doing is far more important or dangerous than it really is (though in Zach’s case it was truly dangerous). But in our lives, it rarely is.
Learn to step back and access the situation. See it for what it really is.
3. Use nostalgia to your advantage: Jurassic World pumped up the nostalgia level to 11. From the score to certain scenes and characters in the movie, Jurassic World brought back many memories from Jurassic Park.
And I absolutely loved how the movie used nostalgia to get you into the groove of the movie.
Think about ways you could use nostalgia in your leadership. You could:
Tell a classic story about the organization
Recall a success the church experienced
Show a clip that floods your team with happy memories of what the team has accomplished.
Nostalgia is a powerful force. Don’t overlook it.
4. Claire –
No one is impressed with a dinosaur anymore
Claire was the hard-driving director of the new Jurassic World. She wanted the park to experience success and pushed for bigger and better creations to use in the amusement park.
She got what she was hoping for with the creation of the Indominus Rex. This was one mean beast and they believed it would increase attendance and revenue at the park.
As you can easily guess, everything went sideways with the introduction of this new breed of dinosaur.
What can we learn from this quote?
While people may say they’re tired of the status quo, pushing into new territory is dangerous.
Make sure you’re confident in the direction you’re going. Know what could happen when you introduce new prerogatives. Be willing to kill a project if it gets out of hand.
5. Family is important: The boys, Zach and Gray, were sent to the island by their parents to spend time with their aunt Claire. They were stoked to spend time with the aunt they hadn’t seen in over 7 years.
Then disappointment set in. Claire passed the boys off to an assistant to care for them while they were on the island so she could tend to work.
Work is important, it really is. Yet I think family is more important than work.
Decide to make it a priority to spend time with those you love. You can’t get those days back.
6. Claire –
Every time we’ve unveiled a new asset, attendance has spiked
Claire realized that new meant more people in the park and more revenue for the company. They were constantly trying to innovate to increase their profits.
Being an innovative organization is a must. Seek out ways to bring new experiences to your congregation or organization.
The next “asset” you reveal may take you to the next level (or it may destroy you).
7. People fail to learn from the past: The events in Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and Jurassic Park 3 should have alerted the business that relaunched the dinosaur park that it wasn’t a good idea.
When you look back on the history of the parks, you could see the destruction it left behind. But no one seemed to have learned their lesson.
People are stubborn. People have a hard time learning from past mistakes.
That’s why it’s crucial leaders firmly graps Winston Churchill’s famous quote
Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it
We can learn much from the past. By studying what came before, we can get a good idea of what lies ahead.
Are you listening?
8. Simon Masrani –
The key to a happy life is to accept you are never in control
There’s a lot of stress that comes with the title of leader.
You’re concerned about those you lead. You’re worried about the health of your organization. You might not know where the next dollar will come from.
And through all of this, we want to know that we’re in control of what’s going on.
That’s why I love Masrani’s quote.
In the end, no one is truly in control of anything except ourselves. We can’t force people to be motivated or work. We can’t control the government. We really don’t have control.
The sooner we learn this, the better.
9. The best doesn’t guarantee success: Dr. Hammond in the original Jurassic Park had the best. The best scientists. The best equipment. The ideas.
His plan failed. He didn’t succeed even though he had what was considered to be the best technology.
The same happened in Jurassic World.
The leaders became cocky as they used the best tools. They thought they had everything they needed to create a safe environment. They were wrong.
Don’t make the same mistake of thinking having the best equipment or tools will make you a success. It may help but there’s no guarantee.
10 . Karen –
A promise tomorrow is worth a lot less than trying today
Karen pulled this amazing one liner out on her sister Claire after she had pawned Zach and Gray off on her personal assistant. The trip to Jurassic World was supposed to be a family bonding experience but Claire was too wrapped up in her business and broke her promise.
What promises are you breaking because of the call of your business? Your promises begin to mean nothing the more you break them.
11. Leadership requires you to place yourself in dangerous situations: Chris Pratt’s (Starlord in the amazing Guardians of the Galaxy) character, Owen, was a dinosaur trainer in this movie. He did a darn fine job of teaching the raptors to obey his command.
In one scene, we see a new employee fall into the raptor’s cage. He should have been dead meat except for the fact that Owen, risking life and limb, entered the cage and controlled the situation.
You won’t always face dangerous situations while you lead but there may come a time when you’ve got to step into a hairy situation. Whether it’s a make-or-break business meeting or stepping in to prevent spousal abuse, you have to stick your neck out there for those you lead and serve.
12. Owen –
The dinosaurs, they’re not numbers. They’re living beings
Ouch, this one can sting as a leader.
Business often leads us to consider those we lead as numbers. Whether that’s an efficiency number, an attendance number, or a budgetary number, we lose sight of the fact those we lead are humans just like you and me.
Never forget those you lead are people too. They have feelings and needs and desires.
13. The details matter: Zach and Gray’s parents had sent them away so they could spend time with their aunt. At least that’s the story they were given.
In reality, they were also using it as a diversion while they began their divorce process.
Gray picked up on the fact that his parents weren’t going to be married much longer. He saw the details.
He paid attention when the mail came and there were letters from two different divorce attorneys. He saw the way they interacted with each other. He knew what was happening.
This is where I struggle. I can’t see all the details even though I should. And you should too.
The details tell us the larger story. Begin focusing on the details and see where it brings you. You might be surprised.
14. Owen –
They’re dinosaurs. That’s WOW enough.
Owen and Claire had a heated conversation over the creation of a new dinosaur breed. Claire thought there had to be more WOW. Owen realized what they had was WOW already.
Seeing the same things day in and day out, we lose the WOW factor we once had. Even if we’ve lost focus on this fact, what we have still packs a WOW.
15. Listen to those with wisdom: Owen had become an expert on the dinosaurs. He knew them intimately. He also knew they were dangerous.
Claire wouldn’t listen to the man with knowledge. She failed to heed his advice and people paid the price.
Don’t make the same mistake Claire made. When you have someone with expertise, listen to what they say. That’s why you have them there.
16. Owen –
I was with the Navy, not the Navajo
While this was a humorous line, it’s a powerful line. Owen says this to Claire after she flippantly tells Owen to track the loose Indominus Rex. She believed because he was in the Navy, he would know how to track.
That wasn’t the case.
Owen knew what his skills were and he spoke up. He told her that it’s outside of his skill set.
I’ve been under leaders that had the same mindset as Claire. They believe because you have knowledge in a particular field, you know everything there is to know about it.
This just doesn’t happen. People can’t be an expert in everything.
The sooner you learn this, the sooner you’ll begin to appreciate the expertise those on your team brings to the organization.
17. You have to take scary jumps: Gray and Zach were being chased by the Indominus Rex after he crushed their bubble-mobile. They reached the edge of a cliff with water below. They had a choice to make.
To stay on the ledge and have the dinosaur eat them or take a jump and hope for the best.
They decided to take the jump. They survived!
You’ll face many of these edge moments as you lead. Do you do make the hard call or do you sit on your hands and do nothing?
The choice is up to you but I suggest you take the jump.
18. Zach –
You remember when we fixed up grandpa’s old Malibu?
After barely escaping the menacing Indominus Rex, Zach and Gray find themselves in an part of the old Jurassic Park. There, they discover a couple of old Jeeps.
They need something to get them away from the danger and this is it. Only the vehicles no longer run.
Due to their previous work on their grandpa’s Malibu, they were able to piece together a working Jeep and haul it out of there.
Think back to the hobbies you used to enjoy. What can you take from those days and apply to your current leadership position?
19. You have to implement at some point: Owen had been training the raptors for some time. He’d gotten them to obey his commands but he was scared to deploy them.
Then, with the Indominus Rex on the loose, he had to make the call. Take the team of raptors out or find another way to hunt the mighty beast.
He chose to implement what he’d been working on and took the dinosaurs out.
Implementation is scary. Regardless of how much time and preparation you’ve put into it, you never know how it will turn out.
However, if you never implement, you never know what you have accomplished.
19. Owen –
Watch your six. The raptors got a new Alpha
While Owen had been the Alpha of the raptor pack, that changed when they met the Indominus Rex. Unbeknownst to Owen and the rest of the park team, the Indominus Rex had been mixed with a raptor.
When the raptors came into contact with it, they began to communicate and Indominus Rex became the Alpha.
Have you ever experienced this before? You bring someone onto the team and they begin to wrest control of the organization from you?
Maybe they knew members of your team previously. Maybe they have a personality people love to follow.
Whatever the reason, your position as a leader may switch. Be aware of this.
20. The little guy can win: The raptors switched sides to the Indominus Rex for awhile. They fought beside him and we thought they were going to stick with him.
Then it happens. They realize who the true Alpha is and begin to listen to Owen.
From there, it’s a smackdown, drag-out fight between the raptor and other dinosaurs and the Indominus Rex.
The odds may seem stacked against you. They may be.
This doesn’t mean you don’t fight. You put your heart into it and fight with all you’ve got.
There’s always the chance you could win.
21. There’s always something bigger than you out there: The Indominus Rex was a fearsome dinosaur-hybrid. He was a huge creature on land. Then he met his match.
There was a bigger dinosaur. And that dinosaur made him a snack.
You may think you’re on the top and have all the power. You may quickly realize you’re not as big and bad as you once thought.
Keep a humble spirit and lead with a heart geared towards serving. This will serve you well.
22. Claire –
What do we do now?
Probably stick together
Now that the Indominus Rex was gone, the park was more than likely going to be shut down, again…
Claire was wondering what they were going to do now. Owen answered beautifully with “Stick together”
We’ve got to stick together. With our teams. With other leaders.
Was Jurassic World Good?
Oh yeah! Jurassic World was good. It’s definitely a summer movie you should catch on the big screen.
There was a lot of humor and a lot of serious, thought provoking moments in the movie.
If you’re looking to be scared, entertained, happy, sad, and more all in one shot, Jurassic World will do that for you.
Question: What leadership lessons have you learned from Jurassic World or Jurassic Park? Let’s discuss them in the comment section below.