Quotes And Leadership Lessons From A Quiet Place: Day One

A Reel Leadership Article

My latest book, Reel Leadership, is now available on Amazon. If you love movies and leadership, you will love this book.

With two entries into the A Quiet Place series (Part One and Part Two), I didn’t think we needed another entry. Boy, was I wrong. 

A Quiet Place: Day One brings us to the beginning of the alien invasion that silenced New York City and beyond. The two other movies have shown the terror after the aliens invaded. Now, we get to see how it started.

A man and woman covered in dirt/dust. The man has his hand over the woman's mouth. His other hand is making a sign to be quiet.

The focus is on Samira (Lupita Nyong’o), a woman living at Little Firs Hospice Care. She has terminal cancer and is nearing death. When the aliens invade, she makes one last push to get a slice of her beloved pizza from Patsy’s Pizza. Her mission seems silly when you first think about it. Yet, Samira’s quest to get one last slice of pizza before the world ends worked.

Along the way, we’re introduced to:

  • Rueben (Alex Wolff), Samira’s nurse
  • Eric (Joseph Quinn)
  • Henri (Djimon Hounsou)
  • Max (Alfie Todd)

And others. 

This cast is impressive. You become immersed in the horrors filling the world as aliens swarm at any sound. Honestly, I felt a little awkward eating popcorn in the theater. I felt like I was being too loud! That’s how well the movie makes you a part of the film.

If you’re not too scared of the end of the world, join me for the leadership lessons in A Quiet Place: Day One. There are quite a few I picked out. I know you’ll find others too.

Quotes And Leadership Lessons From A Quiet Place: Day One

1. Discover what motivates your people:

Rueben, Samira’s nurse, invites her to a show. Samira is interested in the show but more so in what comes after it: pizza. She asks Rueben if they’re going to get pizza.

He wasn’t sold on the idea. He’d just had pizza the night before. Rueben’s reluctance didn’t phase Samira. She continued to push for a trip to Patsy’s Pizza. 

Eventually, Rueben relents. He wants Samira to go to the play (it turns out it was a marionette show) and if he could get her to go by giving in to her motivation, he would.

What motivates your people? Is it money? Time off? Prizes?

Every person on your team is motivated by something. Discover what motivates your team members.

If you can give it to them as a perk, do so. They will move toward the direction of their motivation. 

2. Animals can make interactions easier:

Samira brought her cat Frodo to the show. Sitting in the row in front of her is a young boy and his father, Henri. The young boy turns around and is mesmerized by the cat.

Henri tries to tell his son to leave Samira alone. Samira says it’s okay. They begin to talk and interact. 

Frodo made it easier to connect.

Research shows that pets make the office a more inviting, interactive, and enjoyable place. Bring fido or another pet into the office; their presence could transform your office.

Consider whether or not you can do this. Maybe give pets in the office a test run. 

Evaluate whether or not there’s a benefit for your organization. 

3. Be ready to make drastic changes:

A Quiet Place: Day One informs us that the average sound level in New York is 90 decibels, which is as loud as the average scream.

Between traffic, slamming doors, and people yelling, New York was a noisy place. After the invasion, things had to change.

The aliens attacked based on sound. If there was even a whisper, they would destroy whatever made the sound. The people of New York had to learn how to be quiet, and they had to make a drastic change.

What’s happening in your organization? Are you being effective? Or does a drastic change need to take place?

Take inventory of what’s happening. You may discover it’s time to change things up. Maybe even drastically.

4. Change your methods:

Samira was able to scavage cat food for Frodo. The can was an aluminum can with a pull tab. As Samira went to open the can, she realized the noise made by the metal scrapping and pulling.

She had to change her method of opening the can.

Instead of opening the can fast, she had to slow down. Then, she moved the can under her sweater. She muffled the sound through her clothing. 

Her methods changed but she still accomplished the same goal.

Are your methods serving you and your organization well? Are you stuck in a rut and want things done the exact same way?

Sometimes, changing our methods can lead to new innovations or safety. Be willing to examine your methods and change them where needed.

5. Great leaders show kindness:

Samira discovers two kids hiding out in the waters of a fountain. There, they could be a little louder than outside. The water was able to hide their voices.

You could tell the kids were scared. They didn’t quite understand what was happening.

Samira saw the fear. She offered a candy bar she’d taken from the convenience store early. She shared her goodness with others when she didn’t need to. She was kind.

We might have been told that kind leaders are weak leaders. I don’t agree with that. Neither do other experts

Be kind. Show grace. 

6. Samira:

You need to stop following me.

Frodo is wandering around New York. He comes to a flooded subway passage and up pops a man. The man? Eric.

Eric follows Frodo back to Samira. He begins to follow Samira and Frodo as Samira tries to get her last slice of pizza.

Samira is frustrated. She doesn’t want to be around others. She wants to accomplish her mission.

There’s so much frustration Samira tells Eric to stop following her.

You may think this is a strange leadership quote. Why would a leader tell someone to stop following them?

There are multiple reasons. The leader may realize their time is over. They’ve passed the leadership baton and are trying to encourage the followers to follow the new leader. Or the leader may have had a moral failure. They know they are no longer fit to lead. They are willing to break ties until restoration has been made.

It’s okay to tell someone not to follow you.

7. Find the right timing:

Eric and Samira go to Samira’s apartment. She doesn’t have the key but needs to get in. Her pain medication is inside.

Samira tells Eric to kick the door down. Eric looks skeptical. Then, there’s thunder and lightning. 

Eric gives the door a wimpy kick at the second crack of lightning. Then a second, harder kick on the third crack. The door opens.

His timing was impeccable.

Timing is essential when making changes, transitioning leadership, or launching new initiatives. We can get so caught up in the excitement of these things that we forget there might be better timing for what’s coming.

Look at the situation. Examine the timing. Figure out if it’s the right time or not.

8. Promote your mission:

It’s discovered the aliens cannot survive in water. They short-circuit in the water.

People are piling onto boats. Calls are going out for people to get to the harbor. 

Samira encourages Eric to go to the boats. She says she’s not going. She’s going to get pizza.

While this shocked Eric, Eric said he’d go with her. He was onboard for her mission.

We may think people won’t join us on a mission because it’s zany, out there, or something they wouldn’t be interested in.

Give people a chance. Promote your mission.

You will find people who will join you. 

9. Eric:

What meds do you need?

Samira ran out of her pain medication. Eric knew this. He also knew she was in incredible pain. 

Eric writes on a piece of paper asking Samira what meds she needs. Samira tells him. Then, Eric heads off to find those meds.

When I saw this scene play out, I thought of all the great leaders out there who ask their people:

What do you need?

These leaders understand that tools, skills, and training will benefit their people and the organization. 

Be willing to ask your people what they need. More importantly, be willing to fulfill those needs.

10. Great leaders bring joy:

Samira’s father had played jazz at Loretta’s Jazz Club. He’d passed away years before due to cancer.

Samira and Eric made their way to the club. Eric saw an opportunity to bring Samira joy. He began to perform card tricks for her.

A smile crept over Samira’s face. She was experiencing joy amid danger, sadness, and frustration. 

Think about how you can bring joy to your people. There’s got to be a way.

You might throw a party. Or you could hand out bonuses. It could be a trip to your area’s minor league baseball team.

Find ways to bring joy.

11. Great leaders protect those they lead:

As the movie comes to a close, Samira tells Eric to run. Before that, she hands Frodo to Eric. Then, Samira walks away.

She begins smashing car windows on her walk, setting off car alarms. This noise draws the aliens away from Eric and Frodo, allowing the two to escape.

Sadly, Samira is done. She knows it’s over. She unplugged her headphones and allowed the music to play from the boombox she was carrying. The aliens swarm her but Eric and Frodo are safe.

Your people look to you for safety, protection, and care. What are you doing to provide this for them?

You have to look at your organization and figure out ways to protect your people. It may be following OSHA protocols, giving up your needs for theirs, or other methods.

You have to protect those you lead.

If you enjoyed this Reel Leadership article, you may enjoy our collection of Reel Leadership articles eBook. You can get this eBook for free by signing up for updates by clicking here.
Follow Me