Leadership Lessons And Quotes From Ghostbusters

A Reel Leadership Article

For years, more than 25, there have been rumors of a new Ghostbusters movie. Well, the new Ghostbusters is here.

And I was, and am, excited about the new movie.

I have fond memories of the original Ghostbusters. The cast was stellar.

We had Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson as the team battling ghosts. And, we can’t forget, making us laugh.

We don’t see the original team reform in what I like to call Ghostbusters 2016. Instead, we see a whole new team.

The new Ghostbusters is not a sequel. It’s a reboot with an all-female ghostbusting team. One that surprised me more than disappointed.

So, I want to share, as usual, the leadership lessons and quotes I found in the new Ghostbusters movie. Are you ready?

CAUTION: Ghostbuster spoilers below

Leadership Lessons And Quotes From Ghostbusters

1. Practice, practice, practice: The first female Ghostbuster we’re introduced to is Erin Gilbert played by Kristen Wiig. She’s practicing her speech in front of an empty lecture hall at Columbia University.

Seeing Erin recite her speech with no one in front of her reminded me of that great leaders know they have to practice. Practice some more. Even then practice again.

You don’t become a leader worth following without honing your craft. You take the time to prepare.

2. Your past can catch up to you: We soon discover that Erin wasn’t always as straight-laced as she appears. Oh no… Not at all.

An older gentleman, Ed Mulgrave, walks into the hall and asks her for help. He believes he has a ghost infestation.

Erin denies that she has anything to do with ghosts. Until he pulls out a book she had previously written with her friend Abby Yates, played by Melissa McCarthy.

Then she realizes her past wasn’t in the past. Her past was here and now.

We’ve all done things we’re not proud of. Things we hope and pray will stay in the past.

The unfortunate truth is our past will catch us with us some day. Be ready to answer for what you’ve done in your youth.

3. Abby Yates:

I didn’t need your permission.

I’ve found myself waiting for permission to take action. Whether that was when I had to go to the bathroom in elementary school and was ignored by the teacher (talk about ending badly) or starting this blog.

I waited and waited. Then I realized, like Abby, I didn’t need to wait for permission to begin working on something new. I could do it when I was ready.

Are you waiting for permission? Stop. Go do good work now.

If you still want to wait for permission, here: I give you permission to go do good work.

4. Abby Yates:

It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

For most of her life, Abby was hunting ghosts. She wanted to see and capture one. It was her passion.

But when she saw her first ghost, she was in awe. Why? Because she was passionate about them.

By finding your passion, you find the most beautiful thing you will ever see. You will feel energized. You will feel joy and happiness. You will feel like you know your place in the world.

5. Haters gonna hate: Abby and the rest of the Ghostbusters put the video of the ghosts they had seen on YouTube. Only to have haters hate.

Commenters on YouTube made snide remarks on how the video was faked. They didn’t believe.

You’re going to have haters as well.

People will tell you that what you’re doing doesn’t matter. People will tell you to give up. People will tell you that you can’t do it.

Don’t listen to the haters (unless they have valid criticism). They’re only going to distract you.

6. Look for ways to improve: Jillian Holtzmann, played by Kate McKinnon, was the resident tinkerer. She designed and created the ghostbusting equipment for the rest of the team.

Her original designs didn’t always function the way she had hoped. What did she do? She went back to the drawing board and found ways to improve and make the equipment work.

You won’t always be a successful leader. You will face failures in product launches and employee hires.

Great leaders aren’t deterred by these setbacks. Instead, they look for ways to improve and move forward.

7. Don’t quit: The Ghostbusters were called to a rock concert because a ghost had appeared. During their fight to capture the winged-dragon ghost, the ghost perched on Patty’s shoulders.

She felt fear. Lots of fear and began to slowly walk away in an attempt to not upset the ghost.

We could be like Patty when the going gets tough. We could throw up our hands and say “No more! I’m done.”

Great leaders don’t do this. They know times will be tough. They also know they can’t quit if they want to be successful.

8. Abby Yates:

Who cares if you want to impress him?

Sadly, I’ve seen far too many leaders who want to look impressive. They want to drive a flashy car, own the big house, and have a boat they can entertain on.

All of these things are done so they can impress others. Oft times, others who they don’t even like.

You can’t lead to impress. You have to have a reason to lead. You have to lead because you know you can make an impact on the lives of others.

9. Have boundaries: Erin Gilbert tried to hail a cab as the city was falling into chaos. The cab driver told her that he doesn’t go to the location of the fight.

This cab driver had boundaries. He stuck to those boundaries.

Are you willing to be like the cab driver in Ghostbusters? Can you tell others “No, this is outside of what we do” or “We cannot do this. It doesn’t align with our values”?

Great leaders know they have boundaries they don’t cross.

10. Leaders make dangerous choices: As the movie was wrapping up, we believe the Ghostbusters have won. That is until a ghost grabs Abby and pulls her into the closing void.

This is where Erin jumps into action. She connects herself to a chain and makes the dangerous leap into the unknown to rescue her friend.

That was a bold and gutsy move. Erin didn’t know what was on the other side but she took action.

That’s what great leaders do. They see what needs to be done and they get the job completed.

Are you willing to make a choice that could bring you to dangerous territory (as long as it doesn’t make you cross your boundaries)? You’ll be called upon to make those difficult decisions as a leader. So be ready.

11. Give a nod to the past: Ghostbusters has a lot of history. Over 30 years of history.

The new Ghostbusters knew they had to honor those who came before. And they did that in some very enjoyable ways.

We got to see Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, and Annie Potts appear in the movie. Though they weren’t as their original characters.

We also got a throwback and saw the Staypuff Marshmellow Man and Slimer make appearances.

You have a lot of people who have helped you become the leader you are today. Are you giving them the props they deserve?

Question: Have you seen the new Ghostbusters movie? If so, what leadership lessons or quoutes did you see in the movie? If not, what was your favorite leadership lesson from Ghostbusters that I shared? Let’s talk about this in the comment section below.

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