The critically acclaimed Black Panther movie starring Chadwick Boseman was released in 2018. Boseman was hailed as the quintessential Black Panther. Sadly, Boseman passed away on August 28th, 2020, from a battle with cancer.
His death put a kink in the planned Black Panther 2 movie, Wakanda Forever. He was set to continue holding the mantle of Black Panther. However, Marvel Studios had to change the storyline due to the passing of this great movie star.
While Boseman’s presence is missed in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, you can sense how much the producers, directors, and actors cared for their fallen star. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is a love letter to Boseman. And a good one at that!
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever picks up after the events of the original Black Panther movie and the off-screen death of Boseman’s character King T’Challa. The kingdom of Wakanda is struggling with the passing of its king. Nations throughout the world are plotting ways to exploit their new weakness.
Someone has to step up. Who will it be? How will it be done? That’s all answered in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
What’s answered in this article is what leadership lessons are there in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever? There are plenty, especially with the movie runtime clocking in at 2 hours, 41 minutes.
Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
1. Spend time on what matters:
The movie opens with Shuri (Letitia Wright) scrambling in her high-tech lab. She’s doing tests and trying to find a cure for her brother’s, T’Challa, mysterious illness. Shuri is moving around a 3D model of a DNA helix, rearranging strands, and working hard. She wants to save her brother.
A fellow Wakandan encourages Shuri to spend time with her brother. She refuses and says she must find a cure.
It’s too late. T’Challa passes. She missed the last moments she could spend with her brother.
We think so much of what we do matters. Time tells us that this isn’t true.
The regrets of people on their deathbeds often echo this. The dying don’t want more time in the office or trying to solve a problem. These people want more time with their friends and family.
Make sure you’re spending time on what matters when you can.
2. Pay tribute to leaders who have come before:
All of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is a tribute to Chadwick Boseman. However, one spot truly stood out. In Wakanda, there is a billboard mural of Boseman with Wakandan writing. If you decipher the Wakandan alphabet, you get a fitting tribute to the man and his role. The billboard states:
The king lives and the panther… forever in us…
You’re not the first leader to lead the people you’re leading. There have been others. There will be others after you.
You cannot forget what’s come before. These leaders have poured their hearts and souls into the people you now have.
Take the time to remember them. Post quotes from these leaders. Have a gallery of leadership alumni throughout the office.
Tributes show you remember.
3. The title isn’t important:
Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett) talked with her daughter, Shuri, about the death of T’Challa. Ramonda kept bringing up the Black Panther mantle.
This upset Shuri. Shuri had tried to save the life of her brother, not his title. It seemed as if the Queen was focused on the mantle, or title, rather than the person behind it.
I wasn’t trying to save the mantle with the herb. I was trying to save my brother.
What are you trying to save or prop up? Are you trying to elevate the title of the leaders in your organization? Or are you focused on raising up the leaders themselves?
The people matter more than the title. Focus on them. The things that come with the title will follow if they’re doing what they’re supposed to do.
4. Queen Ramonda:
You need to sit here with me and with yourself.
The Queen encouraged Shuri to sit and think. Shuri needed the company of her mother, but she also needed to sit there with herself.
Are you taking the time to sit with yourself? To think through the processes, ideas, and situations you’re facing?
Great leaders find time to get away to think and work through the issues facing them. Find time to sit with yourself.
5. Namor, The Sub-Mariner (Tenoch Huerta Mejía):
His choice has compromised us.
Black Panther had exposed Vibranium to the world. He let every other nation on the planet know there was a super metal.
Vibranium was supposed only to be found in Wakanda. In Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, we discover there was another Vibranium meteorite that landed in the ocean. This Vibranium had been found under Namor’s domain.
The world wanted it. They attempted to come for the Vibranium stash. Namor stopped them.
The choices we make impact the organizations we lead. More than that, our choices impact organizations and people outside of our immediate circle.
We must be aware that our choices can ripple around the world, even if unintended.
6. Okoye (Danai Gurira):
Listen, we’re not in your lab. We’re in the field.
Shuri was stuck in her lab mindset. Everything could be solved or resolved in the safety of a closed room.
However, Okoye, a member of the Dora Milaje, had taken Shuri out of the safe confines of the lab. They had traveled to find Riri Williams (Dominique Thorne), a young woman who had built a Vibranium detection device.
They were attacked. Shuri tried to spit out ideas. Okoye didn’t want ideas. She wanted smooth, fluid action.
There are differences between what you can do in a safe space and what you can do in the real world. You may have engineers designing products or creating courses that could change the world.
Theoretically, they are. In safe testing spaces, everything works out. Yet, when you take these ideas and products to make, things don’t go as smoothly.
Know the difference between what works in a controlled environment and what doesn’t in the real world.
7. Queen Ramonda:
I am Queen of the most powerful nation in the world! And my entire family is gone! Have I not given everything?
This was a heartbreaking scene. The Queen is broken. Her husband and family (she thought) had been taken from her. She felt she had nothing left.
I’ve seen so many leaders in this position. They’ve given everything they could to the people they lead, only to lose their families.
We cannot be so focused on our jobs, careers, and leadership path that we neglect our families. Our families are important. We’ve made a commitment to them. Fulfill the commitment!
8. Our experiences connect us to those we lead:
Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), an ex-Wakandan and T’Challa’s lover, had left Wakanda. However, she still had her skills from her time serving in the War Dogs.
One of her unique skills was infiltrating and getting information.
She was trying to find Namor. To do so, she went to the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico. There had been reports that citizens there had seen Namor.
The person she contacts doesn’t want to talk about her experience. She was scared.
Then Nakia opens up. She shares how she had seen Namor, also. This allowed the woman to share her encounter with Namor.
Our experiences are not ours alone. While we may have experienced them by ourselves, others have had similar experiences.
Be open with the people you lead. You’ll soon discover they are similar to you. Their experiences, or should I say yours, are more alike than dislike.
Your stories will get people to open up. Share them.
9. Queen Ramonda:
Do not bury yourself in technology.
Shuri was all about the technology. She would lose herself in the wonders of electronics, software, and building.
Technology was her safe place.
Her safe place became unhealthy because of the time she spent hiding from herself and the world. She wouldn’t come out for hours or days.
This is unhealthy.
We have unhealthy addictions to technology, too. We spend countless hours on our phones. Maybe you’re playing Candy Crush or surfing the web or checking out the latest social media news.
We’ve got to break our addictions to technology. We cannot allow them to consume our lives, thoughts, and hours.
10. Your misdeeds will be discovered:
Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) had built a relationship with the Wakandans. He had stayed in fairly close contact with specific members of the kingdom. Especially after he found Shuri’s communication beads.
He kept this hidden from governmental authorities, even his ex-wife Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus). She was a part of one of those governmental agencies.
Ross thought he had covered his tracks. He hadn’t. Valentina had been tracking his use of the beads. She knew what was happening.
She sprung the news to Ross and arrested him when it was time.
You may think you’re doing things in secret. You’re not.
More people than you think know what you’re doing. They see the small actions you’re taking. They’re watching to see how your words and deeds align.
Make sure you’re not doing anything you wouldn’t want to be discovered. If you’re hiding something, it will come to light.
11. Great leaders inspire:
As the Wakandans are battling the Talokans, we get exposed to Riri Williams’ comic book identity. Riri is none other than Ironheart, a character similar to Iron Man in that she has a metal suit she fits with.
When Ironheart makes her debut, she shouts, “For the Queen!”
Ironheart fought with gusto. She pushed on because she believed in what the Queen had shown her, despite the short time they’d spent together.
Great leaders inspire. They give people hope, encouragement, and pride.
Be the giver of inspiration to your people.
12. Queen Ramonda:
Shuri, show him who you are.
Shuri had defeated Namor. She held a spear to his neck, ready to plunge the spear into her victim. She paused. In her pause, she heard the voice of her mother.
Ramonda didn’t tell Shuri to kill Namor. Instead, Ramonda told Shuri to show him who she was.
You have to show your people who you are. Are you trustworthy? Show them. Are you honest? Be honest. Are you fun? Be fun!
You have to lead with who you are. Show people who you are.