22 Leadership Lessons And Quotes From Creed (Rocky 7)

A Reel Leadership Article

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first heard of the Creed movie. The title sounded generic until I saw the movie preview for Creed.

Then it was all over. I knew what Creed was about and I was excited, to say the least.

Creed is the latest movie in the Rocky film series. It could be considered a legacyquel. A movie that continues a movie series but with a new legacy character.

In Creed, the movie picks up with Apollo Creed’s son Adonis.

He’s a troubled kid. He’s also the product of an affair.

He doesn’t have the best chance of succeeding. But isn’t that what Rocky movies are all about?

Rocky’s about an underdog fighting against all the odds. Sometimes the underdog wins. Other times he doesn’t.

Caution: Creed spoilers ahead

Leadership Lessons And Quotes From Creed
Leadership lessons from Creed

  1. You don’t begin where you end: When you begin your leadership journey, there’s a good chance you’re not in a position of leadership. You may be doing something completely different. That was Adonis Creed’s story. He wasn’t a boxer. He was working for a financial institution. You won’t start where you end. You have to work hard. You have to move positions.You have to put in the time. Don’t be discouraged you’re not leading right away.
  2. Trainer:

    We make champions

    Like champions, leaders aren’t born. They’re made.

    Work hard. Never stop learning.

    That’s how a leader is made.

  3. Mary Anne Creed:

    It doesn’t mean you have to be him

    Adonis was concerned of carrying the Creed name and following in his father’s footsteps.

    Yes, he wanted to be a boxer. However, he didn’t want to be known only for being his father’s son.

    It can be hard to enter a leadership position of someone you know, or even into the position a family member once held.

    Taking the position doesn’t mean you have to be the person you’re replacing.

  4. Taking the steps to become a leader may hurt people: Adonis made the bold decision to tell his step-mother that he was leaving to become a boxer. This was the same sport that made Marry Anne Creed lose her husband. Apollo Creed died in the ring. And now her adopted son was going to do the same thing. His decision hurt her. He still made it anyway. He knew where he belonged. And he made the choice. Your choice to become a leader may hurt the ones you love. Your spouse may be hesitant. Your children may be worried that you’ll have less time to spend with them. Your friends may be hurt that they were passed over.Be ready to accept the consequences of choosing to lead.
  5. Rocky Balboa:

    Time takes out everyone

    Rocky is an aging, former boxer in Creed. He knows his time has passed. He also knows time takes a toll.

    He’d lost friends. He’d lost his wife.

    Time takes out people.

    Time will see leaders replaced.

    Be ready to see your mentors move on. Be ready to step out of leadership when it’s time.

  6. Adonis Creed:

    I want someone to train me. I want someone solid to train me.

    When Adonis realized he wanted to become a professional boxer, he knew he had to find a trainer. This person had to know more than he did.

    Adonis was also smart in desiring someone who was solid.

    As you’re seeking out mentors to teach you valuable leadership lessons, seek out solid leaders.

  7. Rocky Balboa:

    I don’t know if you’re special. Only you’re going to know that.

    Adonis Creed approached Rocky out of the blue to become his trainer. Rocky had no idea about the kid.

    So, he told him that. He told Creed that he didn’t know if he was special. But there was someone who did.

    I can’t tell you that you’re a special kind of leader. I can’t tell you where you’re going to go.

    You’re the only one who can decide that.

  8. Your greatest opponent is yourself: Rocky told Creed that he’s going to face difficult opponents. Men who have won championship titles. Men who are undefeated. While those men may be tough, they’re not your toughest opponent. There’s someone that’s more difficult. That person is you. This goes for YOU as well. Your toughest opponent will be YOU. You’re going to doubt yourself. You’re going to tell yourself what you can and cannot do. You’re going to wonder if you’re doing right.Beat yourself!
  9. Take initiative: Creed wanted Rocky to train him. Badly… So much so that he told Rocky that he was moving into his home for training. He wanted to be with the living, breathing legend.Creed wouldn’t have had this chance if he didn’t initiate the conversation. What do you need to do today that you’ve been putting it off? Take initiative today and move forward.
  10. The time to train is early: After Creed moved in with Rocky, we hear an alarm clock go off. When we see the time, it’s early. Creed had to get up and begin working out in the wee hours of the morning. Are you willing to put in the time and begin training? Are you willing to get up early and stay up late to get things done?You have to be to become a better leader.
  11. Rocky Balboa:

    This is how I work. These are some things I can’t do.

    Rocky brought in other trainers to help train Creed. He knew of specific people who could train better than he could.

    We need to be willing to search out people who are wiser than us to counsel us and others in the areas we’re weak in. Don’t be afraid to seek outside help.

  12. Rocky Balboa:

    You can’t learn anything talking.

    There are a lot of people who love to talk. They love to hear their voice and they love to make sure others hear it as well.

    The problem? We have a hard time learning when we’re doing all the talking.

    Learn how to shut your mouth and open your ears. You’ll be amazed at what you’ll be able to learn when you listen.

  13. Everyone gets nervous: Shortly before his first big fight, Creed tells Rocky to cut the tape on his gloves. Rocky begins to protest and Creed becomes insistent. He tells Rocky that he’s nervous. He has to use the bathroom. He needs the gloves off NOW. Rocky understands. He’d been nervous before fights as well. You’ll get nervous too. The big presentation. The onboarding of new talent. The sell-off.All of these will test your nerves.

    It’s okay. We all get nervous.

  14. Get proper coaching: Creed required the coaching of Rocky. We saw this as he faced his first opponent. Creed was getting pounded. He needed help. Rocky provided this to him. He told Creed to watch his opponent and to throw certain punches. When he listened, he won the fight.We all need the advice of those older and wiser than us. Get the proper counsel.
  15. Tommy Holiday:

    I don’t how you’re remembered. I care that your kids have a roof over their heads when you go away.

    Tommy Holiday delivered brutal truth to ‘Pretty’ Ricky Conlan as he was trying to book a fight.

    Tommy was worried about losing (aren’t we all?) his last fight. His promoter, not so much.

    He wanted to make sure Ricky’s kids had provision. He wanted to make sure the kids were taken care of.

    We all get worried that we’re going to fail. That failure is going to tarnish our reputation.

    We’ve got to get over that fear.

    We also need to know we have more important things to worry about. We need to be concerned that we’re taking care of our loved ones.

  16. Adonis Creed:

    I’m afraid of taking on the name and losing.

    We discover the true cause of Creed’s hesitation to use his father’s last name. He’s scared of ruining the memory of his father’s legacy.

    Don’t be afraid to step up. It’s scary but losing won’t tarnish the names of those you love.

  17. Adonis Creed:

    I got you.

    When Rocky got sick, Creed was willing to stand by him and help him.

    Are you helping others? Do you have other people’s backs?

    That’s what leaders do. They take care of others.

  18. Rocky Balboa:

    Forgive him.

    Creed held some resentment towards his father.

    His father had an affair. His father wasn’t there.

    These kept Adonis from forgiving the elder Creed.

    Rocky knew that unforgiveness destroyed people. He encouraged Adonis to forgive his father.

    Unforgiveness is a killer. It holds us back as we try to extract revenge, in some form, on those who have hurt us.

    Give up those feelings of unforgiveness. Choose forgiveness and set yourself free.

  19. Train where you can: When Rocky was diagnosed with cancer, Adonis choose to stay by his side. He was there for his hospital stay and for his chemo treatments. He didn’t want to abandon Rocky. This meant he had to train where he could.He hit the ground and began doing push-ups in the hospital room. He saw stairs and chose to run up and down them. He shadow-boxed in the hospital.

    He trained and did what needed to be done.

    You don’t need a fancy college or expensive training. You do need to be training, though.

    Find books. Find local leaders. Find a community college that can teach you.

  20. Mary Anne Creed:

    Build your own legacy.

    Breaking out of the shadows of our mentors can be difficult. Yet we have to.

    We have to be willing to be our own person and build our own legacies.

  21. Take it one round at a time: Creed’s fight against Conlan was rough. Conlan was a better boxer than Creed. It showed in the fight. Round after round, Creed was roughed up. He was bleeding and struggling. But he took it one round at a time. He fought til the bell rang.That’s how you lead. One round at a time.
  22. It’s not about winning: One of the reasons I love the Rocky movies is because Rocky doesn’t always win. Creed follows suit in this. Creed winds up losing the boxing match against Conlan. He loses by decision. Yet he won in his own way.He fought his heart out. He threw good punches. He got back up when he got knocked down. He stayed in the ring until the final bell rang.

    We make a lot of things about being the best or winning the day. While those things are good, they’re not what’s important.

    What’s important is that we do our best and we finish the race.

Question: Have you seen Creed? If so, what is a leadership lesson you took away from the movie? If not, what is one of the leadership lessons I saw that you enjoyed? Please share it in the comment section below.

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