Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Birds Of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn)

A Reel Leadership Article

In a not-so-shocking move, DC and Warner Brothers created a movie from one of the hottest properties to come out of a movie (Suicide Squad) that was panned by critics. That movie? Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn). Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) stars Margot Robbie as one Harley Quinn, Rosie Perez as Renee Montoya, Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Dinah Lance/Black Canary, and Ella Jay Basco as Cassandra Cain.

DC and Warner Brothers had seen the success of Fox’s take on Marvel’s Deadpool and went for an experience that could rival Deadpool’s crassness and vulgarity. They succeed. They also succeeded in making a fun yet obscene movie.

Margot Robbie, Rosie Perez, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, and Ella Jay Basco in Birds Of Prey

If you’re a fan of Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, you’re going to love seeing her break free from Joker’s control and take on a life of her own. You may also enjoy seeing three female characters introduced to the DC movie universe that may hold their own in a later Birds Of Prey movie.

If neither sounds appealing to you, know you can always see Birds Of Prey with a Reel Leadership mindset. You will walk away from Birds Of Prey shaking your head but a little wiser as a leader.

Today, we’re going to dive into the leadership lessons in Birds Of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn). I hope you’re ready.

Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Birds Of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)

1. Be careful not to lose yourself:

Harley Quinn was smart. She became a psychologist at Arkham Assylum. There, she treated patients and tried to rehabilitate them. She also ran into the Joker there.

This is where she lost herself. She didn’t have much of a life outside of her work. Then a crazy man walks into her life. And she loses herself.

We see this happen all too often in the business world.

You go into your job. You find out you excel at your work. And then you lose yourself in your work.

The world around you suffers. Your friends no longer see you. Your family wonders where you went. And you become someone you never thought you would.

A wise warning from Birds Of Prey – Don’t lose yourself.

2. Power left unchecked creates a monster:

Harley Quinn was the Joker’s girl. His power and influence allowed her to do what she wanted. She was able to hurt people and leave a trail of offended people in her wake.

Once she broke up with the Joker, she realized what she had done. Her power had let her do mean things to those in her life. Those people were now coming for her.

Power unchecked created two monsters. The first was Harley Quinn. The second was the rage headed towards her.

Leaders wield a lot of power. They can control whether or not a team member still has a job, what kind of advancement opportunities a person may get, and more. They also have the power to treat people in a positive or negative way.

When this power is left unchecked, a monster emerges. You can become a leader who rips the heads off of their team members because you can.

Make sure you have a checks and balances system for your leadership structure. This will help prevent you from becoming a monster.

3. Harley Quinn:

I wanted a fresh start. It turns out, I wasn’t the only dame in Gotham looking for emancipation.

Birds Of Prey was about Harley Quinn. It was also about Dinah Lance, Renee Montoya, and Cassandra Cain. Each of these women was looking for more than what they had. They all wanted freedom from the lives they were living.

You may think you’re alone. You may think you’re the only one going through the trials and tribulations of being a leader. Know what? You’re not.

There are so many people out there like you. There are so many people who are struggling as a leader. They’re trying to find their way in a messed up world.


4. Dumb luck plays a part in your success:

Harley Quinn was waxing eloquent about an egg sandwich she was about to eat. Sadly, she wasn’t able to. She lost her egg sandwich and Montoya pulled a gun on her. So did another putz she had wronged. She was done for… Or was she?

She wasn’t. Dumb luck played a part in her escape. Roman Sionis’ (Ewan McGregor) driver (Daniel Bernhardt) shoots the putz. The putz runs Sionis over. And Harley Quinn gets away.

That’s dumb luck.

You can’t discount the role dumb luck plays in the role of a leader. It’s always there… Just below the surface.

Dumb luck are those moments you’re not quite sure what to do but you make a decision to act anyway. Your decision has a cascading effect where everything falls into place.

You’re not quite sure how it all worked out. But it did.

Dumb luck will follow you. It will bless you. And you have to be ready for dumb luck to strike.

5. Great leaders don’t stand by:

Dinah Lance saw two goons trying to kidnap Harley Quinn. At first, you think Lance is going to let them take Harley Quinn. Then Lance springs into action.

She attacks the two men. She frees Harley Quinn.

Lance couldn’t stand by as someone was about to be hurt. She couldn’t live with herself if she had.

Great leaders have to be like Lance. They know they can’t stand by when wrong is being done. They know they have to combat evildoing in business.

Be willing to speak up, take action, or help others when you see wrong being done.

6. Great leaders encourage those who are down:

Cain’s parents were angry. They were always arguing. Cain listened to them while sitting on the steps of their apartment.

You could only imagine the sadness a young girl must feel to her the things her parents yelled. This is when Lance approached her.

Lance told Cain there would be better days ahead. Things wouldn’t always be this bad. She will become something better.

Once again, Lance is an example great leaders need to follow. She saw someone hurting and she encouraged them. Great leaders do the same.

They’re willing to take the time out of their busy schedules and encourage the people they lead. They do this through active mentoring, sharing books or videos that may help them improve, or just an encouraging word.

7. Dinah Lance/Black Canary:

One day you’re going to pick the wrong pocket, kid.

Lance discovered Cain was a pickpocket. She also knew the risk that comes from picking pockets. You pick the wrong pocket and you’re going to be in a world of trouble.

Lance tried to warn Cain. However, it was too late. She was soon to pick the wrong pocket.

You may be able to get away with leading incorrectly for a while. It may seem like nothing bad will ever happen. Then, BOOM! You lead incorrectly for the last time.

This could be because you bent the rules one too many times. Or you chose to hire someone who wasn’t a cultural fit. Or you borrowed money from the petty cash.

If you’re doing things wrong on a regular basis, one day you’re going to get caught.

8. A common cause brings people together:

Why did Harley Quinn, Renee Montoya, Dinah Lance, Helena Bertinelli/The Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), and Cassandra Cain all partner up? They had a common cause to rally behind.

Roman Sionis was the Black Mask. AND he was after each of these women.

This drove the women together. They had to fight an evil megalomaniac.

Do you want to get your team to work better together? Give them a common cause to rally around.

You can get people to work together even if they’re all different. You have to help them to see why they need or should work together. Do this and you will have a team that will work together.

9. Helena Bertinelli/The Huntress:

You shouldn’t have to see this.

The Birds Of Prey were battling the Black Mask’s henchmen. The henchmen were being brutally beaten by the Birds Of Prey. Bertinelli saw the brutality and tried to protect Cain from the sight.

Bertinelli tried to get Cain to a safe spot. A spot where she wouldn’t have to witness the violence in front of her.

What are you doing to protect your team from the ugly side of leadership? Are you helping them cope or avoid the ugliness? I hope you are.

Great leaders are protectors. They know there are things their teams cannot handle. Thus, they take the time to protect them from what is happening.

10. Harley Quinn:

Your protection is based on their fear of you.

Harley Quinn slowly changed during Birds Of Prey. She went from a monster to someone who was trying to do better. She also saw a monster for what he was.

The Black Mask was a monster. He “protected” people based on their fear of him. He used fear to control and manipulate.

I’ve encountered a few leaders who were like the Black Mask. They saw their influence grow because people feared them. They used this fear to control them.

Don’t be a leader who leads through fear. Fear will only get you so far.

Question: If you’ve watched Birds Of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn), what leadership lessons did you take away from the movie? If you haven’t seen the movie, what Reel Leadership lessons from Birds Of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn) that I shared resonated with you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


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

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.