Warcraft is the latest video game to movie adaptation. The basis for the movie? Orcs invade the world of humans and chaos breaks out.
Having been a big gamer, I was excited to see the Warcraft movie. This adaptation brought feelings of nostalgia for my video game days.
With that, I know there are people who may be confused in seeing Warcraft. This movie is based on the original 1994 Warcraft video game, not the more recent World Of Warcraft MMORPG.
Going in with that expectation, Warcraft exceeded what I thought the movie was going to be.
So, let’s get to the leadership lessons from Warcraft.
WARNING: Warcraft spoilers ahead
1. Use what other leaders have left behind: As Warcraft begins, we see a warrior pick up the shield of a fallen soldier. He found something useful the other man had left behind and he began to use it.
Many leaders have come before us. They have poured out years and years of knowledge, more so than any one man or woman could hope to obtain in a lifetime.
Use what those leaders have left behind. Absorb the information they’ve passed on through the ages. Then put that knowledge to use.
Let me go first
Great leaders know they can’t sit idly by. They are in on the action and they’re taking the first steps.
Be one of the great leaders who goes where they’re leading others.
3. Send people where they’re needed: Once the orcs had entered the world of the humans, a dwarf sent the human Anduin Lothar back to his hometown. He was needed there.
Every person on your team is unique. Their skill sets are varied and they can act in different capacities.
Know where you teams members are strong. Put them into those positions.
I may have left my training but I didn’t leave my abilities behind
We can train day in and day out. But what good is training if we don’t venture out and begin using the skills we’ve honed?
We have to leave the safety of training and pursue our purpose. Know when to keep training and when to that training behind.
5. Our old ways are not always appropriate: In Warcraft, we see the Orcs pillaging village after village. One scene shows an orc taking a human with a child captive.
An orc ponders whether or not their old ways are still valid.
Have you looked at your processes? Which ones are still working? Which ones need to be laid to rest?
Not all of our old ways, or traditions, should be carried on. Don’t be willing to let those that don’t fit go.
As a leader, we will have to call others to join us. You will have to invite those you lead to step into new roles.
Recognize those will be an asset to your organization and call them. Let them know it’s their time to step into new positions.
7. Anduin Lothar:
They’re strong. Be smart
Lothar said this to his son Callan Lothar as they battled the orcs. Anduin knew they didn’t have the size advantage. Being wise about the moves they made would be what would lead them to victory.
Organizations that are bigger may challenge you. When this happens, your best bet is to be smarter.
Smaller organizations can typically move faster, implement new processes, and change course easier than larger organizations.
Stop looking at size. Look at your unique advantages. Then use them.
8. Bad leaders belittle their people: Gul’dan, the evil Orc Shaman who became the first Warlock, constantly belittled those who were serving him. He made them feel small.
That’s what bad leaders do. Bad leaders constantly belittle the work of others.
Instead of belittling, look for ways to encourage those who are working with you. Give words of praise and affirmation.
9. The names given to, and chosen by, us have meaning: Garona, a half-orc, half-human shared what her name meant. Her people had given her the name Garona because the name meant cursed.
She believed the meaning of the name. It’s how she lived out most of her life until the point where the humans rescued her.
Do you have names that you’ve been given, or given yourself? We all do this.
Those names could be failure or loser or fake or a multitude of other names. None of which do us any good.
Instead, choose today to give yourself a better name. Give one that is suited to who you are and what your purpose in life is.
10. Our stories are important: One scene that really resonated with me was the scene where Garona and Khadgar shared their life story. They filled others in on how they came to where they were today.
We all have a story. Not all of our story will be pleasant but our story is ours.
Embrace that story. And find a story worth living.
This magic is death. For all things
Durotan took note of the death and destruction brought about by Gul’dan’s magic. Nothing good came from it.
If you start down the path of bad leadership, your followers will notice. Whether that is right away or down the road, your leadership ability will be called into question.
As it should.
Bad leaders destroy organizations. Slowly and over time.
Don’t be one of these bad leaders.
Guardian is just a name
We can get caught up in our titles. Whether we’re pushing to become the next regional vice president of the world or CEO, titles are valued.
Valued a little too much, if you ask me.
Don’t get me wrong, titles are good. Titles can distinguish who’s who’s done the work and who’s work has been valuable.
Yet it’s still just a title. You don’t need a title to be a leader. You need action and hard work.
13. Anduin Lothar:
I’m proud of you
Great leaders realize there is power in recognizing the hard work of others. Great leaders praise those who are getting things done.
Don’t forget to tell your team members “Good job” or “Way to go” or “I’m proud of you.” Your words of affirmation may be just the thing those team members needed.
It’s the loneliness. It makes us weak
A huge issue leaders face is loneliness. We isolate others.
Much like Medivh, we get caught in this trap and become lonely. That loneliness becomes a danger zone for leaders where we can make bad choices like Medivh did.
Watch yourself. If you notice yourself becoming isolated, find a way to invite others into your world.
Doing so could save you.
15. We may have wrong expectations: I hit on this in my intro to this article. There are people seeing Warcraft the movie thinking they’re seeing a movie based on World Of Warcraft.
These people have left the movie feeling disappointed because Warcraft was not the movie they were expecting it to be.
Because of your previous actions, you’ve set a precedent. People may expect you to lead in a certain fashion or behave in a particular way.
Be aware of this as you lead.
Question: Have you watched the Warcraft movie? If so, what leadership lessons did you see in Warcraft? If not, what was your favorite leadership lesson from Warcraft that I shared? Post it in the comments and let’s talk about the movie.
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