The last time we saw Thomas and his team in The Maze Runner, they were being rescued from the clutches of WCKD. The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials picks up shortly after this heartening scene.
However, much like leadership, not everything is as it seems.
The Scorch Trials didn’t miss a beat in continuing the saga of Thomas as he fights to free his friends from the tyranny they’re facing. The movie also continues to provide a wealth of leadership lessons.
Leadership Lessons And Quotes From The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials
- The crowds will push back – At the start of The Scorch Trials, we see Thomas being held in his mother’s arms. She’s pushing against a crowd gathered in front of some sort of military or medical complex.The crowd wasn’t about to let her through. She knew she would have to push through the crowd and they would push back. Yet she continued forward. She KNEW she must.Whenever you present a new direction or idea for your organization, there will be pushback.People like the norm. They don’t like to step outside of their comfort zone.It’s your job to get them over this fear and to stop the pushback.
- Minho –
Wake up! We’ve got to go!
Thomas was out cold on his flight to their new safe haven. When they landed, Minho had to wake him up and out of the aircraft.
Their landed hadn’t gone as planned and there was danger ahead. Thomas was asleep and didn’t know what they were flying into.
This happens often with leaders. We set our course and go on autopilot.
We believe we’ll get to our destination with no problems. So, we, figuratively, take a nap.
Leaders can’t be asleep behind the wheel. We have to be on alert for what is happening around us.
This is your call to WAKE UP!
- Know what side you’re on – After their arrival, Thomas was brought into a room to be questioned by Janson. Janson had a question for Thomas..
Who’s side are you on?
Thomas answered with authority. Not WCKD’s.
He knew he sided with the victim’s. The ones who were abused and experimented on.
I want to ask the same question to you: Who’s side are you on?
Do you know the answer? Knowing it bolsters your resolve and helps push you on towards the goal.
- You’re not alone – The teens in the first Maze Runner movie thought they were the only ones in a maze. We discover in The Scorch Trials, this isn’t true. There were many different mazes with many different kids.The mazes also contained all males, all females, and a mix of males and females. This was different than what they had thought.When you’re leading and you think you’re all alone, you’re not. There are other leaders out there. Many leaders are feeling the same way you are:ALONEBut you’re not. Reach out to other leaders. Form alliances. Form friendships.Be together.
- It’s okay to follow someone you don’t trust explicitly – The Scorch Trials introduced Aris Jones. He was from a different maze and Thomas didn’t know him.He also didn’t know if he should trust him. However, he followed Aris when he said he knew more than the others.This paid off in spades when Thomas discovered the facility they were brought to wasn’t as advertised.You may be put in a position where you don’t know if you can trust the person taking the reigns of leadership.It’s tough. But you can still be a good follower.Listen to the untrusted or untested leader. See how he reacts. Follow him if his actions show him worthy.
- Thomas –
Why did you show this to me?
Because maybe the others will listen to you.
Aris saw something in Thomas. He saw a leader. This is why he showed him the children that were being held captive.
He also had a sense that people would listen to him. That he could make a difference.
Are there people in your organization that you see potential leadership abilities in? Are you helping them realize their potential?
Be like Aris. Show the way and let the new leaders take charge.
- Teresa –
Thomas, tell me what’s going on.
As Thomas was marching forward with his unknown plan, Teresa spoke up. She wanted to know what Thomas knew and where they were going.
She wanted details. And she wanted them now.
Your team wants answers. They want to know what’s going on. They want to know they’re moving in the right direction.
This is a great reminder not to keep everything to ourselves. We must illuminate the way and the reason for what we’re doing.
- Our assumptions can be wrong – Because the team had survived the first Maze Runner and the sickness therein, they believed they were immune to whatever came their way.We found this to not be true when Winston was struck with a new sickness. He was quickly overwhelmed and passed away.We may think our business, church, or non-profit is immune to what’s going on in the world. We’d be wrong to assume this.We have to assess the situations we’re facing and see what potential pitfalls our businesses may face.Never assume you’re immune.
- Thomas –
We’ve got to keep moving. We can make it!
In the dark of night, Thomas seen promise. He saw the lights of a not-so-distant city. He knew they were near.
He also knew he had to get his friends to safety. They had to move, and move now.
You’ll run into issues where you feel like you can’t keep moving. You no longer feel the drive to move forward.
Thomas reminds us here that we can move forward. We can make it. We can reach our goals.
Don’t be held back by your limiting beliefs. You can make it!
- Your past has value – When Thomas and crew reached the illuminated buildings, they were met by a young girl who took them to a man named Jorge.He wondered who they were and where they came from. This was quickly resolved when he scanned the teens.The results of the scan showed they had come from WCKD. Jorge now knew they were extremely valuable.Much like the teens in The Scorch Trials, we may think our past is nothing but pain and trouble.That’s not true. There’s value in your past.You have a story. A unique story that will reach people.
Be willing to share your past with others. Let them know what you’ve gone through and where you’re going.
There is value!
- The right way is narrow – Brenda, the girl they met when they first entered the refuge, has to escape with Thomas. Their path of escape was a narrow I-beam that was dangerous and hard to get across.They were hurried but took their time to get across. They made it just in time even though the way was difficult.The right way of business is much like this I-beam.It’s treacherous. It’s time-consuming. It’s narrow.
- Marcus –
It’s the price of admission.
When we first meet Marcus, he’s claiming that Marcus is dead. Yet, there’s a party going on and Brenda and Thomas can join in the fun.
All they have to do is take a swig from his bottle. It’s the price of admission, he says.
Leadership has a price of admission as well. It’ll cost you your time, your energy, and sometimes your sanity.
Don’t think you can get by leading with no admission costs. There is a price to pay.
- Thomas –
Maybe… But I know what I must do
The end of Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials leaves us with a sad scene.
Teresa has turned on her friends. The Third Arm has suffered massive casualties/captures. The team is left broken and battered.
And then Thomas steps up and says he’s done running. He’s going to fight back.
He KNOWS what HE must do.
He tells his friends that they don’t have to come along. They can go on. But he’s going to continue to fight.
Man, is this leadership or what? Thomas accepts the responsibility of his position. We must also.
Leadership requires us to step up. Leadership requires us to continue fighting. Leadership requires us to allow those we lead to leave if they’re not up for the challenge.
Are you willing to lead, even if it’s just yourself?
Was Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials Worth It?
The Scorch Trials is based on the Maze Runner series of books. It was written for young adults. The movie is also geared towards this demographic.
However, as an adult, the movie still provided an engaging story that had me on the edge of my seat. And my wife tightly gripping my hand.
It was packed full of action and suspense. The story flowed well.
My conclusion: The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials was worth the price of admission.
It engaged my senses and emotions. It’s what I look for in a movie. A solid B rating.