40 Leadership Lessons And Quotes From Netflix’s Daredevil

A Reel Leadership Article

Netflix revolutionized the way people rented movies. Shipping DVDs straight to a viewer’s home had never been done before.

They saw a need and created a solution. This was just the start of Netflix’s innovation.

Daredevil teaches leadership lessons

Since then, they’ve made mistakes but they’ve also continued to be on the cutting edge of new media.

Most recently, Netflix saw the need for original content. They’ve begun creating their own TV series but for the digital media streamers.

Not only have they created their own unique shows but they’ve teamed with Marvel Entertainment to bring us new comic book shows.

The first series to drop on Netflix is Daredevil. Followed by Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage. All this to culminate in the comic book team series of The Defenders.

With Daredevil being released on April 11th, I want to review the leadership lessons Daredevil the series contained.

1. Listen to learn the truth: Matt Murdock is Daredevil. He was gifted with extraordinary senses after saving a man from being hit by a car.

His gift didn’t come without a price, it cost him his vision. But it granted him heightened senses.

One of those gifts is that he can hear better than anyone every could. He can hear sounds from miles away and he can sense a change in heart rates when people are lying.

He could be considered a human lie detector. All it takes is a little concentration and listening.

You can learn the truth too. Open yourself up to listening to those you lead.

Listen to what they say. Listen to how they say it. Listen to their heart.

2. Daredevil

You’ve got to feel what’s not there as much as what is

Daredevil can tell where objects are by listening to the vibrations and reverberations of sound. The absence of sound helps him realize what’s there and what’s not as much as the sound itself.

We can get so caught up in what’s around us that we forget what’s right in front of us.

3. Help others overcome their struggle: Karen Page was almost murdered by the villains because she found out too much. Foggy Nelson and Matt Murdock took on her case and won. They even brought her on to help with their law firm.

Not only that, but Foggy took Karen out on the town so she wouldn’t have to go back home where she didn’t feel safe. He gave up his night to help someone.

Everyone on your team has something going on in their life. It’s not always evident but when it is you should be willing to help where you can.

Look for someone you can help ease their struggle. Lend an ear. Offer a night out. Be compassionate.

4. Mobster

Some fights will just get you bloody

This mobster knew that there were fights worth fighting and fights that get you nowhere. He didn’t want to take on the latter.

I believe leaders should put up a fight. I also believe that leaders need to be careful in what fights they take on.

Choose wisely when you decide to fight. You want your fight to have meaning.

5. Meet with the right people: Karen knows there’s more to the story with her former employer, Union Allied, and she wants the story exposed.

From previous newspaper articles, she knew who would be a great fit to take on the story. This man is Ben Urich, a veteran reporter.

Knowing the right people to go to when you need something done will be critical for your success. Get in touch with the right people and see yourself flourish.

6. Wilson Fisk

No, you stay in the car. I need to handle this alone.

This came from an interesting scene where we see Wilson Fisk, better known as The Kingpin, in a moment of vulnerability.

Fisk had a task that needed to be done but he knew he had to do it himself. This task? Asking out a woman he was interested in.

While this was a silly example, it drove home the point that there are some things only you can do as a leader. When it’s time for one of those things you better get to it and do it.

7. Patterns help us see where things are wrong: Ben Urich encouraged Karen Page not to pursue the story she thought was there. He was afraid for her but he also recognized something wasn’t right.

Urich saw the deaths of multiple people couldn’t be a coincidence.

Keep an eye out for patterns that are out of the ordinary. These patterns may be the key to recognizing something that was wrong or something that could benefit you in the future.

8. Elena Cardenas

Aqui, we take care of each other

Great teams do something special. They take care of each other.

Help your team to realize this.

9. Not everyone who is supposed to be good actually is: In the world of Daredevil, the good guys aren’t always so good.

Case in point: In one scene, two cops were interrogating a suspect. This suspect uttered Wilson Fisk’s name.

The cops start to scream that the suspect is going for their guns and one of the cops shoot the criminal.

You’ll come across people who say they’re on the good side when they’re not. Be on the lookout for these people and get rid of them.

10. Claire Temple

It’s not as easy as it looks in the movies!

We see leadership played out in the TVs and movies. We also see leadership talked about on blogs and in books and at seminars.

These experiences can make it look like leadership is easy. It’s not.

Leadership takes hard work. Leadership takes commitment. Leadership takes a heart for those you lead.

11. When you need help, ask for it: Daredevil can take a beating but his body can only hold up to so much damage. Eventually he has to call on someone to help him out.

In this universe, it’s a woman name Claire Temple. He’s not afraid to call for help when he needs it.

There will be multiple times when you need help. You need to be able to call on someone to help you when it’s time.

Don’t be afraid of asking for help. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. Asking for help is actually a sign of strength.

12. Ben Urich

I still got a few good stories left in me

Urich is a seasoned reporter. Maybe past his prime.

Yet he knows he still has value. He can still break a big story and get the word out.

You still have more to give. Even as you age, you can lead and give.

Don’t stop!

13. Foggy Nelson

Admittedly, I’m a work in progress.

Never think you’ve made it to the pinnacle. You haven’t and you never will.

You will always be a work in progress but that’s okay. So’s everyone else!

14. It’s hard to recognize our gifts: In episode 7, we’re introduced to Stick. Stick is a crotchety old man but he’s a great trainer for Matt.

We meet him in a flashback shortly after Matt lost his sight.

Stick offers to help Matt learn to us his abilities and to embrace his blindness.

In one scene, Matt and Stick are sitting on a bench and Matt is struggling with the loss of his sight.

Rather than let Matt wallow in his sadness, Stick tells Matt to use the senses he has.

Matt is amazed at what he can hear and taste and sense. Matt couldn’t recognize his gifts easily. He had to have them pointed out.

The same goes with you and me. We have so many gifts that we fail to see.

You might have the gift of writing. You might have the gift of public speaking. You might have the gift of comforting. You might have the gift of knowledge.

Ask someone what your gift is today. You might be surprised by the answer.

15. Stick

Big world… Not all of it is sunshine and flowers

The world isn’t all good. The world isn’t all bad. Recognize this.

16. Our teachers can leave us unexpectedly: Stick wasn’t a sentimental guy. At least that he let onto.

When Matt hands him a bracelet made from an ice cream wrapper, Stick tells him his training is done and he can no longer teach him.

This was abrupt and unexpected to Matt.

This can also happen to us.

I remember when Rick, who had been the youth pastor for over 20 years, suddenly left us. He had found a church that wanted him as the senior pastor and this required him to leave us.

It came as a shock. It was something that we didn’t want to happen. But it was something good.

Know your teachers won’t be around forever and they might leave suddenly. It’s okay. You’ll get by and things will get better.

17. Karen Page

That’s lawyer speak for we’re being stupid

We’ve got to realize when we’re being stupid. Call each other on it.

18. Safeguards don’t always work: The Chinese had safeguards in place to protect their drug operation from being infiltrated. We find out these safeguards weren’t enough to protect them

A crooked cop used one of the blind Chinese to smuggle a bomb into the building and blow it to kingdom come.

We can place as many safeguards as we want. They won’t always hold up. They will fail us.

19. Karen Page

I’m not going to stick my head in the sand and let something like this happen to someone else.

We see improper things happening and people getting hurt too often. Sometimes we’ll stick our heads in the sand and let what’s always happen continue to happen.

If we want to be great leaders, we have to stand up for the people we lead and protect them, even if it endangers us.

20. Sloppiness exposes us: Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin, is at his home when Gao, the Chinese woman leading the heroin trade, shows up.

She discovers where he lives because Fisk began to get sloppy.

When we get sloppy, we may not expose where we live but we show facets of our lives that we may not want others to see.

21. Madame Gao

It is the clever man who plays a fool

This quote from Madame Gao in Daredevil seems like a contradiction. Why would a clever person play a fool?

Because people ignore a fool. People believe a fool isn’t a threat. People underestimate fools.

Be cautious of those who come across as foolish. They may actually be very clever.

22. What we say and do to our children leaves an impact: Wilson Fisk’s dad was hungry for power. He wanted to win an election and rise in stature.

Yet he lost.

After the loss, a young man beat up a young Wilson Fisk and called his dad names. Fisk told this to his dad and his dad made an example out of the young man. He even had his son join in on the beating.

Later on, his dad blew up and began to attack his mom. Fisk cracked and killed his father.

He was impacted because of the actions he saw his dad take and what his dad made him do.

Watch what you say and do in front of your kids. They’re watching you. You’re their example. Be one worthy of emulating.

23. Matt Murdock

Just the truth…

Your organization wants the truth. They don’t want things candy-coated and covered up. Tell them the truth.

24. We all have people we answer to: Nobu was involved with illegal activities and working in conjunction with Fisk and his allies. Even though he was head of the operations in Hell’s Kitchen, he had others he had to answer to.

Regardless of how high you rise in an organization, you will always have someone else to answer to.

25. Ben Urich

Maybe he knows there are some roads you can’t come back from

Once you start down a road, turning around can be a difficult action to take. Be careful in what roads you take. You may find it hard to get back.

26. When you hit a dead end, keep looking: What looks like a dead end isn’t always a dead end. While trying to figure out what was connected to Fisk, they ran into dead end after dead end.

They thought they had found something when they saw a connection between Wilson Fisk and the slumlord Tully. Then the dead end came with Tully being on an island without an extradition treaty.

You’ll see connections and have ideas that seem to lead nowhere. Don’t let that stop you.

Continue looking for new connections or new ways to bring about change. You will find them if you keep looking.

27. Father Lantom

I like to take some time at the end of the day. Just me and Him

Father Lantom knew it was important to spend quiet time with God. He carved time into his day each and every day after his duties were done.

It’s important for leaders to spend time with God as well. Find time to get away with Him each day. Whether it’s a great devotional or listening to praise music. Get away.

28. Deceit hurts people: Matt Murdock had to lie to his friends Foggy and Karen about his role as Daredevil and his special abilities.

One night Foggy discovers the truth and is hurt.

He felt betrayed. He felt angry. He felt used.

Uncovered deceit will hurt those you care about. When you’re purposely misleading and lying, you are one step away from destroying your relationships.

29. Doris Urich

Experience made you more careful… Wise…

Ben Urich was talking to his wife and he was concerned for his life. He knew he had to be cautious but he didn’t think he could be enough. His wife reminded him that he has become careful and wise over time. He’ll be okay.

The longer you do something, the more wisdom you’ll gain. You’ll also realize when you need to be more cautious. Pay attention to your instincts.

30. Know what’s really important: Ben Urich’s wife Doris was sick. And she was being evicted from a private room in a hospital.

Ben knew Doris was important and approached Karen to tell her that he was ready to stop chasing the story because he had to take care of his wife.

Business will always seem to be the most important thing. But it’s not.

There are more important things than getting the job done or landing the next client. Your family is what really matters.

31. Matt Murdock

Oh, come on! Is that all you care about?

Matt and Foggy were having a conversation and Foggy mentioned how important money was. Matt knew that’s not the truth and called Foggy on his statement.

Remember, money is not the most important thing you’re doing. The important things are your family, making an impact, changing the world.

32. Matt Murdock

Maybe those aren’t the kinds of people we should be working with

You’ll hear that you can’t choose your coworkers. Matt felt differently.

Foggy mentioned there were interns at the law firm they interned at that would literally kill someone for the chance to work there. Matt knew there were people you wanted to work with and people you didn’t want to work with.

Are you willing to step away from an organization that has toxic people? You might need to.

33. You’ll come across things you’ve never come across before: Daredevil came across the Kingpin wearing a special type of body armor. In all his crime fighting days, he had never seen this before.

There are chances for you to experience new things every day. You’ll see things you’ve never seen before.

Don’t be freaked out by it. Be amazed.

34. Karen Page

Maybe you should take your own advice

Leaders are great at dispersing advice. It’s what many people think leaders are supposed to do.

However, leaders often fail to heed their own advice.

If that’s you, stop it. If you’re willing to give the advice, be willing to follow it.

35. Our relationships bleed over to other relationships: After Matt and Foggy had their falling out, Foggy apologized to Karen because he sees how their troubles are impacting others.

Your relationships bleed into other relationships as well.

Whether it’s an issue at working coming home with you or you taking a personal matter to work, our relationships are all interconnected. Be aware of this.

36. Foggy Nelson

Might not seem like it, but everything is going to be okay

We get into big messes at times. The world seems to be falling apart and nothing seems to be going right.

When this happens, know that life will continue. It may not be the same way it always has been but you’ll get through it.

37. Deal with what-ifs when they become reality: Karen Page was running through all the possible scenarios that could happen in her head. She was seeing bad things ahead.

It’s good to be prepared for the future yet we can’t keep filling our minds with what-ifs. It’s said that the things we fear occur only a fraction of the time.

Stop playing what-ifs with the negatives. They’re only going to drag you down.

38. Matt Murdock

Maybe we can find a way to move forward

Even if we disagree and have troubles with another person, we can find ways to move forward.

39. When the truth comes out, it can be shocking: Detective Hoffman was involved with the Kingpin’s criminal activities. He was a cop on the take and had done really bad things.

Fisk sent a team to take Hoffman out in his safe house. Daredevil shows up and protects Hoffman in exchange for his testimony.

Hoffman lays the facts out before the world and Fisk’s house of cards began to crumble. It was shocking to everyone who heard the news.

The truth isn’t always pretty.It can be shocking and hurtful. But it’s needed and cleans out the trash.

Allow the truth to be heard.

40. You can ask for trust even if you haven’t earned it: Matt had lost the trust of Foggy Neslon. Because of his deceit about his abilities, Foggy didn’t truth Matt.

Yet Matt asked Foggy to trust him. And Foggy did.

You can ask for trust even if you haven’t earned it. Sometimes people will give you trust and other times they won’t.

Be willing to accept it either way.

Question: Did you watch the Netflix Daredevil series? If so, what leadership lesson did you see in the show? If not, what was your favorite Daredevil leadership lesson from this post? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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