Encanto is the new Walt Disney Pictures movie. It is a touching tale of a family divided and reconciling. It is also a musical written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of Hamilton.
Mirabel (Stephanie Beatriz) is the first in her family not to be given a gift by their enchanted house. As she grows older, she has become quietly discontent with no gift. Eventually, something shocking happens. The magical house begins to crack.
We discover the reason later in the film. I won’t spoil the Encanto twist for you here though I will touch on the reasoning in the leadership lessons I share.
While a children’s movie, Encanto is great for the young, old, and young at heart. One of the great things about this movie is that you can take your child to see the film and discuss the life and leadership lessons you see. Don’t write it off simply because it is a children’s movie.
With that said, let’s get onto Reel Leadership. We’re going to discuss the leadership lessons in Encanto. I hope you’re ready.
Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Encanto
1. Abuela (Maria Cecillia Botero):
Whatever gift awaits will be just as special as you.
Each family member in the house would receive a special gift from the magic candle. The candle would open a door. The door would lead to a wonderous place with the gift revealed.
Abuela told Mirabel that her gift would be just as special as she was. Shockingly, Mirabel did not receive a gift from the house, or so it seemed…
Everyone has a gift. From the most talented person on your team to the one who seems to be a clutz.
The gift each person holds may not be easily recognizable. But the gift is there.
Seek to bring out the gift in those you lead.
2. Encourage your team:
Antonio (Ravi Cabot-Conyers) was the next in the family to receive his gift. He was nervous about opening his door. Scary thoughts flooded his mind.
What if he didn’t receive a gift? What if the gift was pointless? What would he do?
Thankfully, Antonio had someone with him. Mirabel, despite not receiving a gift others could see, encouraged him.
Your team members are going to be nervous, especially the newbies.
As a leader, you can do something for them. You can encourage them. You can help them see that they can succeed.
Be the encourager your team needs.
3. Walk with your team:
To get your gift, you had to walk a red brick road to the door. Antonio stood at the precipice of the red brick road. Then he froze.
He looked to Mirabel. He asked her to walk with him. Mirabel chose to walk with him (though it was not the standard way).
Encouraging your team is one thing. It happens with a lot of words. Maybe even actions.
However, walking with your team is different. Walking with your team requires you to get next to them. It requires you to move with them.
Walking with your team will help calm anxiety, show unity, and more. Walk with your team.
I’m not fine.
The family takes a photo after Antonio gets his gift (the ability to speak to animals). They all gather around. They snap the picture. Someone is missing.
Mirabel was not in the photo.
No one realized this. No one seemed to care.
Mirabel breaks into song. One of the lines mentioned her not being fine.
Leaders, many of us are not okay. We’re struggling with the heavy weight of leadership.
For me, it has been recovering from COVID-19 and hearing of the loss of one of our former youth students. Your struggle will be different. You might have to make difficult choices this Christmas season in regards to staffing. Or you might have to choose between which important activity to attend.
We’re all struggling with something. We’re not talking about it, though.
I want to tell you something. IT IS OKAY TO BE NOT OKAY. What isn’t okay is to keep it buried within you. If you’re hurting, find someone to talk to. If you don’t have anyone, send me an email ([email protected]) and I will speak with you.
5. Great leaders don’t ignore the truth:
Mirabel saw cracks forming in the house. She ran to tell her family. Abuela told the family everything was okay.
The truth? Abuela knew something wasn’t right. She kept ignoring it because she thought things would get better.
We cannot ignore the issues happening around us. The truth is there are issues we’re not dealing with. We need to deal with them.
Let’s make a pact to take action on the things we’ve pushed to the side. The things we tried to ignore because they’re scaring us.
Doing this will make you take action on what needs to be done.
I think you’re carrying way too much.
Mirabel saw her sister Luisa (Jessica Darrow) struggle with the things she was carrying. It shouldn’t have been a problem because Luisa was the strong one.
The issues with the house and the magic fading caused the things Luisa carried to become heavier. In reality, Luisa was also carrying too much internally.
How many of us out there try to be like Luisa? We carry everything. There’s nothing we can’t handle.
The reality is that there are things we can’t and shouldn’t carry. We also try to carry too much at once.
Look at your workload. Are you carrying too much?
Find a way to delegate the tasks that are weighing you down to others.
7. We can find ourselves at the edge quickly:
Mirabel wanted to know what her uncle Bruno (John Leguizamo) had seen in his final vision. She broke into his room. Then she ascended the stairs to find the vision.
Mirabel found the vision. It was broken green glass. The glass had Mirabel’s image imposed on it. The room begins to fill with sand. Mirabel escapes the room with her life by rolling out of the room.
When she stops, she finds herself dangerously close to the edge of a cliff.
Our cliff is not a real cliff. It is a metaphorical cliff. It is one we cannot see, but it is just as dangerous as a literal cliff.
We have to watch ourselves. We have to make sure we’re not headed for the edge of a cliff.
Our cliffs can be a mental breakdown, an affair, angry words, elicit drugs, or a multitude of other issues.
Check yourself. Are you close to the edge of a cliff?
8. You can create more than you believe you can:
Isabela (Diane Guerrero) was Mirabel’s other sister. Isabela did not have strength. What she had was perfection. Everything she did was perfect.
The gift Isabela had received was to create beautiful, perfect flowers. They were delicate and colorful. Everyone loved them.
One day, Isabela created something that wasn’t perfect. She made a cactus. It was green, pokey, and oddly shaped.
This thrilled Isabela. She discovered she could create more than she thought she could.
You’re Isabela. You can create more than you believe you can.
Maybe you have a song hidden within you. Or perhaps it is the book you’ve always wanted to write but never felt good enough to write.
You can create. Go create.
I’m tired of perfect. I want real.
Isabela was the epitome of perfection. Everything she did was perfect.
She began to realize the perfectionism wasn’t real. It was all created. She wanted something more.
She wanted real.
You want real. The people you lead want real.
Perfection would be nice but they want more. They want the real you: flaws and all.
Give them real over perfection.
Be yourself. People would rather follow a leader who is always real rather than a leader who is always right.
— Craig Groeschel (@craiggroeschel) October 5, 2017
Craig Groeschel is known for saying, “Be yourself. People would rather follow a leader who is always real rather than a leader who is always right.” This was the perfect example of this leadership lesson.
You are more than your gift.
Luisa was still struggling with her strength as the house was being restored. Mirabel came alongside her and helped her lift a portion of the house.
While helping, Mirabel told her sister that she was more than her gift. It is true.
You are also more than your gift, your calling, or your position. You are so much more.
Never forget your gift, calling, or position may change. What won’t change is you. You are you.
MAJOR SPOILER BELOW
11. You have to have the proper foundation:
We discover the reason the magical house was beginning to falter. The foundation of the house was faulty.
Abuela was given a miracle after her husband was murdered. The candle she had been carrying became a magical candle. This candle would grant supernatural gifts to her family.
Abuela was holding onto the miracle given by the death of her husband, Pedro. She held onto it so tight because she was afraid of losing more of Pedro.
The gifts given by the candle were the lifeline Abuela clung to. They became the foundation of the house. They became a faulty foundation.
Instead, the foundation the Madrigal family needed was one another. Reconciliation, love, forgiveness… These were the things that restored the foundation of the house.
What have you built your organization upon? Is the foundation firm? Is the foundation shaky and shifting sand?
Make sure you’ve built your work, your reputation, and yourself on the proper foundation.
Without the proper foundation, it will all come crumbling down.