Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Army Of Darkness

A Reel Leadership Flashback Article

Army Of Darkness is the third film in the Evil Dead series. Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) has been transported back in time to approximately 1300 A.D. after the events of Evil Dead 2. He now finds himself in the time of Lord Arthur (Marcus Gilbert).

Ash finds himself in the past just as Lord Arthur and Duke Henry the Red (Richard Grove) have entered into a feud. No background is given to the feud but you know it is bad. Lord Arthur’s men are bringing back Henry’s men after a skirmish. They are to be put to death.

Bruce Campbell in Army Of Darkness as Ash Williams holding his shotgun in the air

But it is not only Henry’s men Arthur’s men have captured. Ash is one of the captives. He’s on the path to doom until one of Arthur’s wisemen (Ian Abercrombie) thinks Ash might be the man from the prophesy… The man who will save them all.

Lord Arthur doesn’t listen. He still tries to put Ash to death. When Ash escapes, Lord Arthur and his people begin to listen. Ash sets upon a journey he never wanted. He sets upon a journey to set a foreign people free.

Army Of Darkness has been one of my favorite movies. Army Of Darkness mixes the right amount of horror with the perfect amount of comedy. This gives Army Of Darkness less of a horror feel and more of a Monty Python And The Holy Grail feel.

It’s one of those movies you can kick back and laugh at. Army Of Darkness is also a movie full of leadership lessons. Today, we’re going to take a look at the Reel Leadership lessons you will discover in Army Of Darkness.

Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Army Of Darkness

1. Great leaders lead their organizations through change:

Army Of Darkness was not the first movie to feature Ash and the Evil Dead. No, there were two movies that preceded this cult classic movie. They were Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2. Both were horror movies.

They were dark, scary, and creepy. I could never have gotten Pam to watch one of those with me. However, director Sam Raimi (yes, the same one who directed the original Spider-Man movie) changed the direction and tone of the series to a campy, fun experience.

If you’re leading an organization or doing something and you feel like it is not working, consider changing the organization or the direction it is going in. Look for ways to slightly shift it into a new territory.

The shift doesn’t have to be great. Army Of Darkness still contained a bit of horror but the movie felt completely different than the originals. Look for a way to make your organization feel different while keeping it going.

You can change an organization and see success.

2. The choices you make lead you to your present position:

Ash had a normal life. He had a great girlfriend in Linda (Bridget Fonda). That all changed when Linda and he went to a cabin in the original Evil Dead.

There, they found a book called the Necronomicon. This was the book of the dead. This was also the book that changed Ash’s life.

After finding the book, hell was unleashed upon Linda and Ash. Linda was taken. Ash lost his hand (but gained an awesome chainsaw attachment). And Ash was sent to 1300 A.D.

That’s not normal. But it was the result of Ash’s choices. He was where he was because of the choices he made.

You are also in the position you are because of the choices you made. You may not feel this way but it is true.

Had you made a different choice at any point in your life, you would have been put on a different trajectory. Yet, the choices you made directed you to where you are at.

Your choices are important. They will direct the course of your life. Make sure you choose wisely.

3. Some will see you as something special. Others may see you as a buffoon:

The interaction between Lord Arthur, the Wiseman, and Ash was interesting. You could see tension between them. Especially when the Wiseman made an observation.

The Wiseman saw Ash as something special. He believed Ash may be the man spoken of in prophecy. Lord Arthur saw something different. He saw Ash as a buffoon. He couldn’t believe Ash could be the man spoken of in prophecy.

Two people. Two different opinions of the same person.

This happens all of the time in real life. You see a buffoon in a possible hire. Your right-hand man sees somebody special.

Who is right? Who is wrong? You won’t know until you give the person a chance.

Or maybe you’re the person who is seen as special and a buffoon at the same time. People will judge you based on what they know. Their perception can be on target or off-base. So can your perception of someone.

Be careful when making a judgment of someone before you get to know them.

4. There are unseen threats:

Once Ash is thrown into a pit to be killed, he faces a possessed witch (Patricia Tallman). He fights her and wins.

He begins to celebrate. Only there’s another threat. One he doesn’t see. A creature bursts through the wall and begins to attack him.

There are unseen threats in business. They are all around us. Yet we can struggle to see them.

They may be a disgruntled team member, new competition, or a looming financial crisis. These threats can come from nowhere and throw you into a spiral.

Know your victory isn’t complete. There are more issues coming your way. Be ready to face them.

5. Know your tools:

Lord Arthur wanted to duel Ash. He had his sword drawn and raised. A sudden boom rings out. Lord Arthur’s sword is split in half.

Ash had unsheathed his shotgun and fired a shot at the sword.

The people in Lord Arthur’s time had never seen a shotgun before. Ash holds up the shotgun and goes on a rant about the gun. He tells the onlookers

Alright you Primitive Screwheads, listen up! You see this? This… is my BOOMSTICK! The twelve-gauge double-barreled Remington. S-Mart’s top of the line. You can find this in the sporting goods department. That’s right, this sweet baby was made in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Retails for about a hundred and nine, ninety five. It’s got a walnut stock, cobalt blue steel, and a hair trigger. That’s right. Shop smart. Shop S-Mart. You got that?

Ash knew the tool he held. He knew its make and model. He knew where the Remington shotgun was made. And he knew what the shotgun cost.

He knew his tools.

Do you know the tools you use? When you learn about your tools, you can better use them and explain their features to those around you. The more you know your leadership tools, the better you can use them.

6. Ash Williams:

Now… let’s talk about how I get home.

Ash had one thing in mind. He wanted to go home. This was his mission.

He knew it. He knew he had to get there. He also knew he had to figure out how to do this.

There’s two things we can take away from this Army Of Darkness quote.

The first is that you need to know what your mission is. You need to know what you want to accomplish as a leader and you need to know what you want the organization you lead to accomplish.

The second is you can talk with others to figure out how to accomplish your mission. You don’t keep your mission to yourself. You talk with others and figure out a way to get there.

7. Your mission can overlap with the mission of others:

You know Ash wants to get home. That is Ash’s mission.

There was another mission. The mission of Lord Arthur and his people.

Their mission was to defeat the Deadites. These are the bad guys in Army Of Darkness.

How can Ash get home? Through use of the Necronomicon. How do Lord Arthur’s men defeat the Deadites? The Necronomicon.

Ash’s mission and Lord Arthur’s missions overlapped. They both needed the Necronomicon. This meant they could work together.

You will find the mission of your organization will often overlap with the mission of another organization. What you do when you discover this is up to you.

If it were up to me, I would say look at how your two organizations can work together. Each organization will bring a unique strength to the table. Each of you can partner with one another to accomplish your mission.

Don’t be scared to work with someone else. By working with others, you can accomplish what you set out to do.

8. Make sure your team members know what they need to do:

The Wiseman told Ash he needed to repeat three words. Those three words were Klaatu Barada Nikto. The Wiseman asks Ash to repeat them. Then repeat them again.

Ash explodes on the Wiseman. He tells him he knows the words.

But Ash didn’t know the words. In the following scene, you can see what happens when Ash goes to the graveyard to recover the Necronomicon. He fails to say the words and an undead army is unleashed.

The Wiseman tried to make sure Ash knew what he needed to say. Ash assured him he knew. He didn’t.

Has this ever happened to you? Have you needed a team member to know the exact thing they needed to do? Only they didn’t, despite reassurances from the team member?

It is your responsibility to make sure your team knows what needs to be done. You need to clearly communicate the goals and the results you’re looking for.

9. Little problems can become big problems:

In a funny part of Army Of Darkness, Ash breaks a mirror. Once the mirror is broken, little Ash’s begin to crawl out of the mirror.

These little Ash’s begin to attack the larger Ash. They are looking to infect him.

The little Ash’s become a big problem for him after one of them jumps into his mouth. This little Ash then becomes an evil version of Ash.

We all have problems in our lives. We deal with issues on a regular basis.

Sometimes we see our small problems and brush them aside. They’re not big. They’re not going to cause an issue.

One day, when you’re least suspecting it, you discover those little issues have transformed into something unmanageable. Your little issues are now a huge issue.

Deal with the small issues while they’re still small. If you don’t, you will find yourself looking into a big problem you never saw coming.

10. Evil Ash:

I’m bad Ash. You’re good Ash.

There are multiple sides to all of us. There is a good side and a bad side. These two sides are constantly battling to win.

Which side will win? The side you feed the most.

Make sure you’re feeding your good side more than your bad side.

11. People will turn on a selfish leader:

Ash recovered the Necronomicon. He didn’t retrieve it properly and woke the undead.

These undead were heading towards Lord Arthur and his people. Ash felt his job was done. He’d recovered the book. Now it was time for the Wiseman to send him home.

He didn’t want to fight against the Deadites. He wanted to go home.

When the people saw this, they turned on him. They saw his selfish nature and realized he wasn’t a hero, he wasn’t a good leader. He was selfish and they didn’t want him.

The same happens in leadership. People will follow a leader who puts others first. When they sense a leader isn’t for them but rather for themselves, their loyalty will begin to shake.

People don’t want a selfish leader. People want a servant leader. Be the leader people want and need.

You can purchase Army Of Darkness on Amazon.

12. Sheila (Embeth Davidtz):

I still have faith in thee.

The people deserted Ash. They left him due to his selfishness. Yet there was one person who encouraged Ash.

Sheila was a romantic interest of Ash’s. She came to him and told him she had faith in him. She believed he still could do good.

Her faith helped Ash make the right choice. He decided to stay and fight the undead horde he’d helped unleash.

Leaders need to have a Sheila in their corner. They need to have someone who will believe in them even when they fail to believe in themselves.

Your Sheila will tell you they believe in you. They will remind you that you have an important role to fulfill. They won’t let you get away with anything less than your destiny.

13. Ash Williams:

That’s it. Go ahead and run! Run and cry to momma. Me? I’m through running! I say we stay here and fight it out.

Once Ash remembered what he had done and what he could do, he began to take on a leadership role. He realized he had been running. It was time to stop running.

The time had come for him to stand up. To stay and fight. He didn’t need to run anymore. He needed to fight.

There comes a time in a person’s life where they discover the truth. They have a choice. They can either run home or they can stay and fight.

A leader knows they have to stay and fight. They also know they can rally the troops, inspire them to stay and fight, and win the day.

Ash’s little speech didn’t change the hearts of the people in an instant. The people took a bit to realize Ash was right. The people you lead will take time as well.

Be willing to encourage your people to action. Encourage them to stick around.

Question: If you’ve watched Army Of Darkness, what leadership lessons did you take away from the movie? If you haven’t seen the movie, what Reel Leadership lessons from Army Of Darkness that I shared resonated with you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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