Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Extraction

A Reel Leadership Article

In the last couple of Reel Leadership articles, I mentioned there haven’t been movie releases since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. I have to retract that statement. There have been movies released but they have been released on streaming platforms like Netflix, Disney+, etc…

Today’s Reel Leadership article comes from one of those newly released movies. Netflix released Extraction starring Chris Hemsworth (who played Thor in the Marvel movies) as Tyler Rake, Rudhraksh Jaiswal as Ovi Mahajan, Randeep Hooda as Sajum, and Golshifteh Farahani as Nik Khan.

Chris Hemsworth in Netflix movie Extraction

Extraction is a tense action movie where Tyler Rake is hired to rescue the kidnapped Ovi. Ovi had been kidnapped by a rival drug dealer. His father, Ovi Mahajan Sr. (Pankaj Tripathi), tells Saju to safely return his son. No matter the costs… Saju obeys.

From there, Extraction becomes a thrill ride. Corrupt cops, drug cartels, and more aim to stop the rescue of Ovi. What happens next, you won’t expect!

But, Extraction is more than an action movie. Extraction drops some Reel Leadership lessons you can walk away with. Let’s take a look at those in today’s article.

Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Extraction

1. Life and circumstances change quickly:

Ovi and his friends sneak out to go to a club. While there, the boys decide to head outside for a smoke break.

Bad idea.

A corrupt police officer sees the boys. He shoots Ovi’s friends. And then kidnaps Ovi.

Life changed quickly for those boys. Two lives ended and one would never be the same.

Too many people get caught up in having a fully developed plan for their lives. They have everything planned out… Their wedding, number of children, their career path.

While it is wise to have goals and to shoot for a trajectory you want your life to head, you have to be careful of being too rigid with your life plan. Life can change quickly.

An unexpected pregnancy, a job loss, or you’re offered the job you had secretly longed for but thought you weren’t ready to handle.

Be ready to change when life and circumstances change.

2. Unknown:

Quit swearing all the time. It makes you look stupid.

Near the start of Extraction, Tyler was on a cliff with two other men. One of the men was swearing up a storm.

The other man tells the one swearing to cut it out. It’s a bad sign. It makes you look stupid.

I have to agree with the man who said this. Swearing doesn’t make you look cool, hip, or, even, in control.

Swearing doesn’t do any of those things. It stops you from communicating clearly. It uses aggressive words that can hurt people.

Let’s stop thinking swearing makes you a better leader. It doesn’t.

3. Ask for proof:

Kyle is hired to rescue Ovi. He goes for a meet with the kidnappers and is taken to their base of operations.

There, he tells the kidnappers he wants proof of life. He’s not going to begin negotiating or payment until he knows Ovi is alive.

You may think you can trust people. Most of the people you do business with, you can trust them. There are those that you cannot trust.

For those times, I suggest asking for proof. Ask them to show you what they’ve accomplished in the past. Get recommendations from those they’ve done business with.

Make sure you’re not going to work for someone dishonest.

4. Small teams can be extremely effective:

The size of Tyler’s team wasn’t large. He and Gaetan (Sam Hargrave), a sniper, were the only two operatives in the area.

Tyler escaped the kidnappers and began his assault. Gaetan covered him from the rooftop.

Between the two operatives, they were able to clear out the area of approximately 20 hostiles.

You may think your team needs to constantly grow. You need a bigger and larger team.

Today, rethink this idea.

Small teams can be as effective, even more effective, than large teams. Small teams allow you to be nimble and quickly change course.

Use your small team to your advantage.

5. Notice signs of fatigue:

After rescuing Ovi, Tyler noticed Ovi wasn’t feeling well. He offered Ovi an energy bar.

Ovi ate the energy bar and began to feel better. Ovi had been fatigued due to a lack of nutrition.

Tyler noticed the problem. He went ahead and helped solve it as well.

Fatigue is a major issue for leaders. Fatigue leads to burnout and worse.

We have to be on the lookout for fatigue. We cannot let fatigue bring us down.

There are things you can do to make sure fatigue doesn’t set in. You can:

  • Eat a regular, healthy diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Take a sabbatical
  • Find someone to lessen the workload

If you notice yourself becoming fatigued, treat it. Don’t let it turn into something worse.

6. Beware of bad business partners:

Saju had hired Tyler and his team to extract Ovi. Once Tyler had Ovi, Saju revealed his master plan. He wasn’t going to pay the team. He was going to kill them.

Tyler and his team had entered into business with someone they shouldn’t have. It cost a few of them their lives!

We have to be careful who we enter into business partnerships with. The people we partner with will have an impact on you.

If someone you do business with does something immoral or dishonest, other businesses might lump you in with that person. Or, they may try to rip you off.

We have to be cautious with whom we do business.

7. You’re never too small to help:

Tyler and Ovi had to jump out of a speeding truck. This allowed them to escape from the corrupt officers and Saju that were pursuing them.

In their escape, Tyler was injured. Ovi saw this. Despite his size, Ovi helped Tyler to his feet and let Tyler use him as a crutch.

Ovi was small. Yet he wasn’t too small to help.

You may think you or your organization is too small to help. You’d be wrong. You’re never too small to help.

If you see someone in need, help them. If you’re there, you can help.

This may be through a donation, a helping hand, or letting someone use your equipment. Be the helping hand.

8. Leadership is more than money:

Nik was sending in a helicopter to extract Tyler. Tyler had to leave Ovi behind. Or so he was told.

Tyler wouldn’t leave Ovi behind. He felt an obligation to help him even though the paycheck had fallen through.

Money can become a blinding force as we move up the ladder of an organization. Our paychecks become larger and we feel more important.

But, what would you do if money wasn’t a part of the equation? Would you continue to lead? Would you continue to help people?

Leadership is more than a paycheck. More than money.

Leadership is about helping others when there’s nothing else in it for you.

9. Ovi:

I play the piano when I’m scared. It helps.

Tyler noticed Ovi was tapping his fingers on his legs. It could have been a nervous twitch but it wasn’t.

Tyler asked Ovi what he was doing. Ovi answered he was playing the piano. He was scared. And going through the motions of playing a song helped.

Do you have a method to deal with stress and anxiety? You may want to look into a method like Ovi.

You can play the air piano. You can do a deep breathing exercise. Or you can recite scripture.

Finding a way to relieve the stress and fear will do you good.

10. Fixing yourself can bring pain:

Tyler had hit Sanju with a truck. He was down and out for a bit. Then Sanju went to a hotel to recover for the night.

He looks at himself in the mirror. He notices his broken nose. He knows he should fix it. He does.

He takes his nose, shifts the broken bones, and snaps it back into place… As well as he could do.

Once his nose was realigned, he screamed in agony. Fixing his broken nose hurt!

We’re all broken people. We’re all looking for a fix to fill the empty hole inside of us.

Sometimes, fixing the brokenness within us hurts.

We have to get rid of the things that are causing us pain but, in doing so, hurts us to let go. Or we need to grow and growth spurts hurt.

If you’re working on becoming a better person and it hurts, keep at it. When our brokenness is fixed, it can be painful.

11. Ovi:

Were you always this brave?

Ovi saw Tyler as brave. He saw what Tyler was doing and it was something most people wouldn’t do for someone else.

This was bravery.

Stepping into the line of fire to rescue someone. To continue fighting for someone when the paycheck is no longer there. To put yourself in danger.

Tyler didn’t see himself as brave. Ovi did.

You’re braver than you think you are. The things you’re doing to help your team survive and thrive are above and beyond what the normal person would do.

Stop thinking you’re not brave. You are. Go be brave.

12. Ovi:

You don’t drown falling into the river. You drown staying submerged in it.

Ovi could see Tyler was struggling with the weight of losing his son and not being there for him. Ovi had a word of advice for Tyler.

He told him the above quote.

Ovi said it came from a book. The closest I can find is that this quote is attributed to author Paulo Coelho.

I really like this quote.

We don’t drown by falling into the river. We drown by staying submerged.

Don’t stay submerged in the things that are drowning you. Get out of them. Get your head above water.

13. We have to live with the weight of our choices:

Tyler had a person who owed him his life. This man was Gaspar (David Harbour).

After Gaspar had picked up Tyler and Ovi, he brought them back to a safe house. There, he tried to get Tyler to hand over Ovi. Tyler wouldn’t do this.

So, Gaspar attacked him.

Ovi heard a commotion. He came out of the room with a gun in his hands. Gaspar stopped his attack on Tyler and lunged towards Ovi.

Ovi pointed the gun and shot Gaspar. He watched Gaspar die. Then he cried.

Our choices are not simple. They impact the lives of those we lead and care about.

We have to be ready to live with the weight of our choices. They are heavy but they are needed.

14. Leaders have to earn trust:

Early on in Extraction, Tyler had asked Ovi if he trusted him. Ovi responded “NO.” Then Tyler threw him off the roof and onto another building.

Toward the end of Extraction, Sanju asked Ovi if he trusted Tyler. Ovi responded with “I do.”

Tyler didn’t have Ovi’s trust from the get-go. He had to earn Ovi’s trust by showing up and keeping him safe.

We have to do the same thing as we lead. We have to show up and prove we are trustworthy.

There should be no expectation that people will trust you… until you’ve proven yourself as such.

Lead so you earn the trust of others.

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

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