I grew up in an extremely Disney-loving family. If his movies and his parks are any indications of the man himself, Walt Disney was a true leader- he wanted everyone to find their happiness. As a rather odd girl who loves books and never quite fit in.
As a rather odd girl who loves books and never quite fit in, Beauty and the Beast has always been my favorite, and I looked to Belle for leadership as a child. I was ecstatic to find that the new live-action rendition offers even more leadership lessons, not just to girls like Belle and I, but to anyone willing to watch.
These are lessons that we all can learn from and although I’m writing it from a female’s perspective, the lessons can generally be used by both male and female. I’ll start off with some quotes.
Leadership Lessons And Quotes From Beauty And The Beast
Think of the one thing that you’ve always wanted. Now, find it in your mind’s eye and feel it in your heart.
– The Beast
I love this quote because it highlights the fact that we all are in control of our own happiness, and that we have to know ourselves in order to find the path to it. They say that great leaders inspire their subjects to do their best, rather than dictating the way or doing it for them. That is what The Beast is doing here, for Belle and for all of us!
What do you want to be for the rest of your life, Cogsworth? A man or a mantel clock?
It was no act of randomness that the timid Cogsworth became a clock – something that sits pretty and ticks the time away, while Lumière became a tool to light the path. He inspires everyone in the house to remain hopeful and keep trying for the life they were meant to live. This is the mark of a true leader.
Everyone is so concerned with whether or not Le Fou was gay. But why is no one talking about the moment when he stepped up as a true leader? It all started when the townsfolk were leaving to kill The Beast, and Le Fou looks at Gaston and asks himself if they are chasing down the wrong monster. We all know how intimidating it is to question a bad leader like Gaston.
Men have a hard time being fathers, let alone single fathers. How do they find the balance between meeting society’s expectations of strength and provision while meeting their family’s needs of love and nurturance? Maurice found that balance. He raised Belle to be strong and confident, and he raised her to love fiercely and expect that love in return. He set a positive example by not only believing in Belle but also by showing Belle that despite the small-mindedness of their poor provincial town, “crazy old Maurice” also believed in himself.
New, and a bit alarming. Who’d have ever thought that this could be? True, that he’s no Prince Charming, but there’s something in him that I simply didn’t see.
The best leaders face their fears. The best leaders are able to see strengths where most focus on weaknesses. The best leaders invest in those who have stopped believing in themselves, but without compromising their own integrity. That is why Belle is one of the best leaders.
Yes, I am going to talk about the horse! Like Phillipe, animals are excellent leaders, because they are excellent judges of character. They have not succumbed to the jealousy, resentment, and pride that prevents our natural instincts from protecting us. They are fiercely loyal and smarter than we give them credit for. Phillipe knew the best path, but he did not abandon his family to follow it.
Now that I have called attention to the less obvious leaders, I will let the heroine take her final bow. Belle expressly states, “I am not a princess,” and “I am not afraid.” Belle settles for nothing less than dignity, from herself or from others. She accepts help and kindness graciously but never waits to be rescued when she is capable of saving herself.
Bittersweet and strange, finding you can change, learning you were wrong.
I am closing with this lyric because it gives me chills Every. Single. Time. True leadership means looking inside ourselves, acknowledging our mistakes, and growing from them. It means striving to become better people than we were yesterday, not striving to be better than everyone else.
If you haven’t seen Beauty and the Beast, give it a chance. If you have seen it, watch it again through the eyes of someone looking for examples of leadership from Beauty And The Beast. Our world is large and small, confusing and full of opportunities, scary and exciting. We all need guidance and inspiration to become our best selves and find our places. I promise that if you watch and listen carefully, you will find a piece of that in Beauty and the Beast.