Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Disney’s Haunted Mansion

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Haunted Mansion is a classic tour through an eery “haunted” mansion at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Guests have enjoyed the spooky tour for years. It’s also a 2003 movie starring Eddie Murphy. Most recently, it’s a reboot of the previous Eddie Murphy movie.

This reboot is loaded with star power. The cast includes LeKeith Stanfield, Rosario Dawson, Owen Wilson, Tiffany Haddish, Danny DeVito, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jared Leto, and others. The cast made for a great movie as the story progressed. 

Haunted Mansion tells the story of Gabbie (Dawson) as she and her son Travis (Chase Dillon) move into an old mansion. Shortly after arriving, Travis starts to see weird happenings around the house. Eventually, Gabbie does as well.

Mansion from the 2023 Disney's Haunted Mansion movie

They discover that once you’ve stepped inside the house, you’re not allowed to leave permanently. That’s where Ben (Stanfield) and Father Kent (Wilson) come in. 

Father Kent invites Ben to see the haunted mansion as Ben is an expert in haunted houses. What happens next is not only a little spooky and funny but also leadership skill building.

Read on to discover the leadership lessons in Haunted Mansion.

Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Disney’s Haunted Mansion

1. Leaders make complex ideas easy to understand:

Ben met Alyssa (Charity Johnson) at a New Year’s Eve party. The two struck up a conversation that quickly turned to what they do.

Ben tells Alyssa he’s an astrophysicist. He tries to explain it to Alyssa when she begins to break down his job into something easy to understand. 

Alyssa said being an astrophysicist is someone who makes the unseen seen. That’s easy to understand, right?

Leaders have to do the same thing. Business plans, process improvements, KPIs, and more are complex ideas.

Your employees may not fully understand any of these topics. It’s your job to break down complex business ideas and help your employees understand them.

2. Father Kent:

Do you want to be a hero?

Father Kent approached Ben with a proposition. He wanted Ben to visit a haunted mansion to discover whether or not there really were ghosts haunting it.

The introduction to this idea was fantastic. Father Kent opens with the idea of being a hero. He was inviting Ben to be something greater.

While his first attempt failed, Father Kent was right in the way he approached Ben.

Leadership isn’t about you being the hero. Leadership is helping those you lead become heroes.

You invite your employees into a new story. One where they get to go on exciting adventures and make new discoveries. They also become something more.

In their journey, you help them become a hero. That’s what leaders do. You get to help others transform into heroes!

3. Money talks:

Father Kent’s offer of adventure and becoming a hero didn’t speak to Ben. What did speak to Ben was the offer of money.

After Ben turned down Father Kent’s offer to become a hero by shooting photos with his ghost gun, Father Kent approached Ben with a new approach.

The new approach? Money. A lot of money. Father Kent said Gabbie was ready to pay $2,000.

Boom! He was in.

We think money no longer talks. It does.

Your people appreciate kind words, great working environments, and stability. But they also appreciate good pay.

Make sure you’re paying your people what they deserve. 

Life’s expensive these days. Working for minimum wage won’t cut it for most people. They need more. They probably deserve more, too.

Remember, money talks. Let it talk your employees into working harder.

4. Gabbie:

It didn’t matter where we went. 

Gabbie and Travis fled the Haunted Mansion when they encountered the ghosts inhabiting it. They went to new locations trying to escape these spirits.

None of it worked. The ghosts followed them until they returned to the mansion.

How does this apply to your leadership? Easy…

We cannot escape ourselves. Wherever we go, there we are.

We take our baggage, bad attitudes, and bad habits wherever we go. We cannot escape them.

The only thing we can do is change ourselves. We must break bad habits, get over our attitudes, and leave our baggage behind. 

There’s an old story that goes something like this:

A man was leaving his old town. He came across a traveler coming from the city he was heading toward. He asked the traveler what the next town was like.

The traveler first asked him what the last town was like. The man said it was horrible. The people were rude, there was no opportunity to succeed, and he was glad to be leaving. 

The traveler tells him that’s just like the town he’s headed toward. The man walks on with his head hung low.

Another man comes upon the traveler. This man asks the traveler what the next town is like. The traveler asks him the same question he asked the previous man. This man said something different. The previous town was great. The people were friendly, opportunity was everywhere, and he was sad to leave.

The traveler said the next town was just like that.

That’s my takeaway from the fleeing Gabbie and Travis did.

5. Assemble your dream team:

Ben went to the mansion. He discovered the same thing Gabbie had, the ghosts would follow him even after he left. They would draw him back to the mansion.

Ben returns. He talks with Father Kent.

Father Kent knew what needed to be done. They had to assemble a dream team to rid the mansion of the spooky entities.

The duo paired up. They began to figure out who they needed that could help them. Then they approached them with their offers.

You need to think about a dream team for your organization. You won’t be able to snag Gary Vaynerchuck or Patrick Lencioni as full-time employees. That’s pretty much a given. But you can dream about who you want on your team.

There are great talents all around your town, city, or urban area. There are people who are looking for a new opportunity to shine. You’re the one to give it to them. 

Look for great talent. Then go out and recruit them.

6. Leaders offer positivity:

The guests at the mansion were not supposed to leave the living room after midnight. That’s when the ghosts began to run the mansion.

Bruce Davis (DeVito) had left the living room at some point during the night. The other guests realized this and freaked out.

Father Kent stepped up. He said he would look for Bruce. The others warned him about the curse and leaving the room after midnight.

His retort? Well, it’s noon at the Vatican. 

He knew it was midnight where he was. Yet, he knew that wasn’t the case in other places. He was optimistic about his situation.

Where do you need to be more positive in your organization? Where are you constantly seeing a struggle? Is there a way to reframe your challenge?

Great leaders know how! They see the flip side. They’re able to envision the future.

Look at the situation and offer a positive outlook. 

7. Your team will catch on if you’re faking it:

Harriet (Haddish) said they needed to hold a reverse seance. This would send her to the afterlife where she could contact the dead. She offered up too much fluff and confidence. She went so far as to say that she had done a reverse seance 10,000 times!

The others saw through her. They knew she hadn’t performed that many. In fact, Bruce said he doubted she’d conducted even one of these.

He was right.

When we fake competence, we often reveal ourselves through tells. Harriet did this by grossly overstating the number of times of conducting a reverse seance. We do similar things.

We might over-inflate the number of leadership positions we’ve held, organizational bailouts we’ve helped with, or how many of our past employees went on to leadership positions of their own. Our tells are often related to an over-inflation of what we’ve done.

Be confident in what you do. Know what you do. But don’t overstate what you’ve done. Those you’re working with will catch on that you’re full of it.

8. Know when to use humor:

Ben shared about Alyssa. He shared how she loved to eat. Alyssa would devour cheesesteaks, tater tots, and anything put in front of her. The moment felt sad until Bruce spoke up.

He wondered aloud what Alyssa’s cholesterol must’ve been. Bruce thought it had to be astronomical. He used this to break the sad moment.

Ben appreciated it. He chuckled, and they moved on.

There’s a time and place to use humor. You have to understand when and where to use it.

Don’t use it to deflect a bad decision or a valid criticism of yourself. Instead, use it to defuse tense situations, break up an argument, or to help someone laugh.

Humor is a great tool when you use it properly.

9. People are listening:

Father Kent was a fraud. He wasn’t really a priest. He admitted this to Ben.

This didn’t stop Ben from seeing the potential in Father Kent. Ben had heard what Father Kent had initially asked him. Now, Ben was asking Father Kent the same question: do you want to be a hero?

We get so much grief from the people we lead we can think they’re not listening. I want to tell you they are.

There’s an old saying you may have heard. It is: garbage in, garbage out. While it’s true, the reverse is also true. Good in, good out.

You’re pouring into your people. You’re speaking into them. They’re hearing what you’re saying.

Eventually, the good you’ve poured in will pour out.

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