Leadership Lessons And Quotes From Finding Dory

A Reel Leadership Article

Over 13 years ago, a little orange fish swam into our lives. His charm was instantaneous. That fish was Nemo of Finding Nemo.

And we’ve been wanting a sequel to Finding Nemo for just as long.

This weekend saw this wish come true. Finding Dory, a quasi-sequel of Finding Nemo, released to praise from critics. My opinion? Finding Dory deserves those accolades.

Finding Dory picks up 1 year after Finding Nemo ends. Dory, voiced by Ellen DeGeneres, begins to faintly remember something she shouldn’t have forgotten.

The memory finally clicks and Dory remembers she has a family. SHE HAS A FAMILY!

Thus, the stage is set for the next adventure of Nemo, Marlin (Nemo’s dad), and Dory.

But, the big question is: Does Finding Dory have leadership lessons? The answer? A resounding yes!

WARNING: Finding Dory spoilers below

Leadership Lessons And Quotes From Piper

Before we get to the leadership lessons found in Finding Dory, Pixar delighted the theater audience with a short film called Piper. This movie short was about a grown sandpiper trying to get their baby sandpiper out of the nest to eat on her own.

1. Teach others by doing: We see the baby sandpiper originally begging for food. The mother knew this couldn’t go on forever, so she shows her baby how to get food from the beach.

The mother sandpiper displayed a leadership trait: Lead and teach others by doing what you want them to do.

We can talk the talk all we want. We still need to walk the talk. We need to be the example.

2. Our past can make us fearful: While Piper was seeking food, a wave crashed over her. She was submerged and scared.

From this point on, Piper didn’t want to go back to the shore. She was fearful.

We all have a past. Some of our pasts are scary. We’ve had bad things happen to us.

Those bad things can make us fearful to move forward. We’re afraid that what has happened will happen again.

3. Hunger makes us try again: After Piper’s failed attempt to get food and being knocked over by the wave, her mother refused to feed her. Her mother was wise in this aspect.

She knew that if Piper became hungry enough, she would try again. And she eventually ventured out to the shore once more.

We’re much like Piper. We get fearful and don’t want to try new things. But when that hunger strikes (for success, for love, for adventure) we venture back into those scary parts of our lives.

We’re willing to give things a second try. The hunger makes us want to succeed where we failed.

4. Have friends: When Piper went back out to get food, another wave struck. This time, she had a friend.

This friend showed her how to burrow into the ground. Doing so prevented her from being washed back. This trick also made her confident and enjoy the water.

Isn’t it amazing what we can do when we have friends?

We’re more confident. We’re able to bounce back from defeat. We’re able to move forward where there looked to be no hope.

Don’t be a lone ranger leader. Get some friends. They’ll help you go further than you could ever imagine.

Leadership Lessons And Quotes From Finding Dory

1. We are fearful people will forget us: We see Dory talking with her parents about being forgotten. After all, she has short-term memory loss.

She wants reassurance that she won’t be forgotten by her parents. She wants to be remembered as long as they’re alive.

Aren’t we a lot like Dory? We want to be remembered.

We want people to remember the work we’ve accomplished. We want people to remember how much we loved them. We want people to remember everything about us.

Well, if you want people to remember you, go out and do good things.

2. Nemo:

We have to do something

Nemo heard Dory’s story. He heard that she wanted to find her family. And he knew he and his dad Marlin had to do something.

Great leaders know they can’t sit back when a powerful vision has been presented. They have to take action.

3. Treat people better than they treat you: Dory became separated from her parents. As she sought them out, she asked everyone she came across for help. She came up empty in the help department.

Then Marlin crossed her path. He was on a mission. To find his son Nemo.

While no one would help her, Dory knew she had to treat others better than they treated her. She took on Marlin and helped him track down Nemo.

Have you ever had someone treat you poorly? That doesn’t feel good.

This doesn’t mean you stop helping others. Great leaders know that they can’t give up on others. They will help even when they don’t get the help they need.

4. Mr. Ray:

Migration is about going home

Great leaders know they can’t spend all their time at work or away from home. They have to migrate back to their base of operations.

Family and home are the first place leaders must lead. Never let those at home be forgotten.

5. Connections are invaluable: Marlin finally decided to help Dory on her quest to be reunited with her parents. To do this, they had to cross a vast ocean.

That’s where Marlin’s connections came into play. He contacted his friend and was able to get transportation for him, Nemo, and Dory.

Are you making connections in your work? You need to.

There will be a time you have to call on someone else with more expertise or a skill you don’t have. Being able to quickly know who to call will be invaluable.

6. Listen to those wiser than you: Dory is screaming out her parents’ names as the other sea creatures are hiding beneath their shells or the sand. Every time she cries out, one of these creatures tries to hush her.

She should have listened to them. There was a scary sea monster waiting in the shadows. Her cries awakened him.

When we come to a new situation, we need to be willing to listen to those who have been there before. Great leaders listen to those who have experience. They know they can’t know everything and they need others to help them get to where they want to be.

7. We try to justify our actions: Dory is separated from Nemo and Marlin after Marlin tells Dory the only thing she is good for is forgetting things.

Later on, as they search for her, Marlin begins to create justifications for what he said. He even tried to say his mean words were compliments.

We can be the same we. We criticize someone or reject them.

To make ourselves feel better, we create justifications for our bad actions.

8. Hank the Octopus:

Newsflash! No one is fine

How true this quote is. Great leaders realize that we all have our struggles. No one is truly fine and we’re always dealing with something.

9. Jenny (Dory’s mom):

Not everything in life is easy to do

A lot of leaders have natural traits that help make life easier. This doesn’t mean all of our life will be easy.

We will have trials and tribulations. Life isn’t easy. That doesn’t mean we don’t live.

10. Dory:

I know you’re scared but you can’t give up

We all get scared. We can’t avoid that feeling.

What we can do is do what great leaders do. Be scared, don’t give up.

11. Do things out of your comfort zone: Marlin and Nemo became trapped inside a fish tank. They didn’t have many options.

That’s when Marlin thought back to Dory. He began to ask himself What Would Dory Do?

Why? Because she did things that were out of the comfort zones of many people.

Great leaders don’t think within the confines of their comfort zones. They go beyond them.

12. We impact the lives of others more than we know: In quite the touching scene in Finding Dory, Marlin begins to tell Dory of all the ways she’s helped and encouraged him. Dory could hardly believe what Marlin was telling her.

She didn’t know it at the time. But she made a difference. She changed a life!

You are putting time and effort into everything you do. You’re evening putting your heart into it.

You don’t feel like you’re getting anywhere or making a difference.

Don’t fret. You are making a difference. You’re just not seeing the results.

The results are the lives that are shaped by your leadership. Don’t give up!

13. Follow your passion: Dory found her way home because she followed what she liked: Seashells.

Her parents created line after line of seashells leading back to their home. By following her passion, Dory was able to find her parents.

What are you passionate about? Are you pursuing your God-given passion with all you’ve got?

Doing so will put you in the right places to do the right things.

14. Jenny:

You remembered. You remmbered in your own unique way Dory

Every team member you bring on board will have a uniqueness to them. They will have quirks and oddities.

Don’t discourage these traits. That’s what makes them unique.

It’s also what may make them successful.

Encourage what is unique and valuable about those you lead. You might be surprised at the results produced because of this encouragement.

Closing Thoughts On Finding Dory

Pixar did a smashing job in following up the hit movie Finding Nemo. Finding Dory was everything I wanted the movie to be and more.

There were laughs. There were tears. There were even gasps.

My recommendation on whether or not to see Finding Dory? Most definitely.

Question: Have you seen Finding Dory? If so, what’s one or two leadership lesson you pulled from the movie? If not, what leadership lesson from Finding Dory that I shared most resonated with you? Share that in the comment section below.
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