Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them

A Reel Leadership Flashback Article

Pam and I were able to view a movie we’d missed in the theater but had desired to see. Having watched the Harry Potter movies and enjoying them, we were excited for the Harry Potter prequel Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them. Two years after its 2016 release, we made that desire a reality.

Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them was directed by David Yates. J.K. Rowling was the writer. With this combination, the movie had to be good!

Harry Potter prequel has leadership lessons galore

Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them tells the story of Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) as he makes his way to the United States from London. Upon arriving in an unfamiliar land, he loses one of his magical creatures. This causes him all kinds of troubles…

Taking place 70 years before Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them sees no returning cast members from the original movies. Instead, the viewer is treated to a whole new cast. Many of the cast members were delightful and put on a great show.

If you enjoyed the original Harry Potter films, you’ll more than likely have a great time watching Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them. On top of a great time, you’ll also discover many leadership lessons in Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them. We’ll dig into these leadership lessons in today’s Reel Leadership article.

Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them

1. People will make you see what they want you to see:

Newt traveled to New York with a briefcase. You could tell there was something special about the leather and worn briefcase. What was special about it? There were fantastic beasts within.

Upon arriving at customs, a customs official (Sam Redford) asked to check Newt’s briefcase. Uh oh! He’s in trouble now, right?

No… With the flip of a switch, Newt was able to make the briefcase Muggle-worthy. The switch hid the magical properties of the suitcase and allowed him to enter the country safely.

Without trust, your team will only give you the information that will make them look good. They’ll be afraid to share honest feedback or the sad reality of what is happening.

The same goes with vendors, customers, and the rest of your organization. They will go out of their way to make things look good. Even if they’re not.

2. People see what they want to see:

There was a destroyed apartment building in New York. Viewers could see something invisible had destroyed the building.

The characters in Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them said they saw something else. A gas pipeline exploded. There was an atmospheric disruption. Everything but the truth.

They tried to deny what was really happening. They made up excuses. But the truth is the truth.

Leaders can be especially susceptible to seeing what they want to see. The business is struggling? Oh… no, business is booming! Johnny is having problems with co-workers? Nah… they’re just being playful.

It’s easy to turn a blind eye to the problems at hand. Yet you can’t. Not if you want to be an effective leader.

3. Madam President Seraphina Picquery (Carmen Ejogo):

When No-Maji are afraid, they attack.

The No-Maji were what the British wizards and witches called Muggles. And the No-Maji were afraid.

Strange things were happening throughout their city. Dangerous creatures were on the lose. They didn’t understand these things.

The magic counsel was concerned. People who didn’t understand magic were becoming afraid. When they’re afraid, they lash out.

You have a responsibility as a leader. You need to help your people understand what’s going on in your organization, as much as you can.

Don’t blindside your team with bad news. Instead, keep a line of communication open where they can hear what’s happening beforehand.

Communication is your friend. The more you communicate, the more you can mitigate the fear and angst many team members feel.

4. Mary Lou (Samantha Morton):

What we desire is infinitely more valuable than money: it’s your influence. Millions of people read your newspapers and they need to be made aware about this danger.

Mary Lou and her family were crusading against the witches and wizards in Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them. They wanted them gone and believed them to be a danger to their safety.

As Mary Lou is talking to Henry Shaw Sr. (John Voight), Henry is told Mary Lou doesn’t want money by his son Langdon Shaw (Ronan Raftery). Henry finds this hard to believe. This is when Mary Lou tells him what she wants. She wants his influence.

There’s power behind your influence. You can guide and mold people when you have influence and people look up to you.

There will be people who see you gain influence. Then they will want to use your influence for their gain.

Be careful of these people. They may not be as altruistic as you are.

5. Know your mission:

Traveling for leisure wasn’t Newt’s mission as he arrived in New York. He had something more in mind.

Inside of his briefcase was a whole magical world. Opening the briefcase in non-Muggle mode allowed a person to walk into the briefcase and enter a different dimension.

The briefcase housed many fantastic beasts. And a lot more room than you would have thought possible. One of the creatures inside the briefcase was Frank the Thunderbird, a trafficked beast.

Newt’s mission was to return Frank home. He wanted to make sure he lived where he was supposed to. This was Newt’s purpose and he knew it.

Knowing your mission will help keep you on track as you progress through your career. Knowing where you want to go will help you know what the next steps are to get there.

Make sure your mission is clear. Sear it into your mind. Don’t let go of it.

6. Great leaders educate:

The rest of the magic community was trying to destroy the fantastic beasts. They believed them to be a threat to the magic community and the muggle world.

Newt had a different opinion. He believed they were amazing and deserved a chance to live. This is why he carried his briefcase filled with the creatures. He was trying to save them.

Along his journey, he was also educating wizards and witches about the creatures. He was showing them the creatures were good. That they deserved to live.

There are many things your team members don’t know yet. They may be starting out in their careers or climbing the corporate ladder. One thing stands true: There’s more for them to learn.

As a leader, it’s your responsibility to help educate those you lead. You can teach them about corporate culture. They might need to learn about the way business is conducted. Or you might be able to educate them on proper business ethics.

You can teach others. You need to teach others. Educate your team and help them grow.

7. Ask the experts:

Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) was a muggle Newt ran into shortly after his arrival. He wasn’t a magical type and knew nothing of the magical world. But he was still valuable. He knew other things.

When Newt lost his Erumpent, he needed to find her. Jacob was familiar with New York. So, Newt did the wise thing. He asked Jacob: “So where would you say that a medium-sized creature that likes broad, open plains — trees, water holes — that kind of thing. Where might she go?”

What do you do when you don’t know the answer to a nagging question? Do you try to find the answer yourself? Or do you seek out the wisdom of someone who knows the answer?

Wise leaders know they have to seek out the help of the experts. These are the people who have gone before you. The ones who have done the research. And the ones who have succeeded.

Don’t be scared to ask for help. There are people out there willing to help you take the next step. They want to see you succeed. Make the ask!

8. Your actions impact others:

One of the many creatures Newt brought to New York was an Obscurus. An Obscurus was a dark and parasitic force. A dangerous beast one had no business possessing.

When the wizard council discovered Newt had an Obscurus, it was a death sentence for him. And for his friend Porpentina ‘Tina’ Goldstein (Katherine Waterston).

Though Tina had nothing to do with the Obscurus, she was in as much trouble as Newt. His crimes were her crimes in the eyes of the council.

There is a great responsibility on the shoulders of leaders. Their actions impact the lives of those they lead.

Make a wrong choice and 100’s of people could lose their job. Behave in a manner unbecoming of a leader and your actions could cause others to leave the organization.

What you do impacts not only yourself. Your actions ripple out to those you lead.

9. There are times force is required:

With Newt and Tina captured, their fates looked sealed. But Jacob and Tina’s sister Queenie Goldstein (Alison Sudol) were ready to rescue them.

Queenie tried to cast a spell to unlock one of the doors. Her magic powers wouldn’t open the door. This is where Jacob stepped up to the plate.

Knowing time was running out, he went to the door and kicked it open. He used his strength rather than stealth or tack.

Most of leadership is about leading without force. You influence people gently through your actions. Or you teach people the right way to do things. Yet there are times when leaders have to force those they lead to do something.

It’s not pretty. It’s not fun. It is what needs to be done though.

10. Queenie:

She was a taker. You need a giver.

Newt and Queenie were talking about one of Newt’s former love interests. Queenie knew Leta Lestrange (Zoe Kravitz). What she knew about Leta was not good.

Leta wasn’t a giver. She was all about taking. And that makes for a bad relationship.

Leaders need to find a way to be a giver instead of a taker. By giving to those you lead, you will help them realize the truth. Giving is better than taking.

Look for ways to give to your team. You might:

  • Write notes of gratitude
  • Give out bonus vacation days
  • Reward excellent service

Whatever you do, find a way to be a giving leader.

11. Not everyone is trustworthy:

Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller, the Flash/Barry Allen in the Justice League movie) was the adopted son of Mary Lou. He trusted a wizard named Percival Graves (Colin Farrell). Graves intention was to use Credence.

When Credence discovered this, he was understandably upset. He trusted someone he thought he could believe in. Only to be betrayed.

You will bring people onto your team you believe are trustworthy. Only to find out they are not. You will also have this happen in your life. You’ll bring friends or family into the fold. They’ll betray you.

Now, mind you, this isn’t true for everyone in your life. Most people are honest and trustworthy. Yet there are a few who are the bad apples. They will use you for their own nefarious purposes.

You need to be mindful these people are out there. Watch for them.

12. There are exceptions to the rule:

Obscurials were young wizards or witches who had repressed their magical powers… Their repression of who they are manifested in the dangerous beast of an Obscurus. Because of this, the Obscurial would never live past the age of ten.

Credence was an Obscurial. He was also past the age of ten. He was an exception.

You and your organization may have rules. You may believe you have to stick to the rules 100% of the time. You’d be wrong. You have the ability to make exceptions to the rules.

Why would you want to make an exception? Because

  • Someone who is an exceptional employee makes a bad decision
  • A team member discovers a better way of getting the job done
  • You discover a rule is immoral or damaging

Broken rules have to be examined to see why they were broken. Was it for a good reason? Did breaking the rule hurt someone?

Then you can make a decision. Is there an exception to the rule? Or does the rule stand? It’s your choice as a leader.

Question: Have you seen Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them? If you have, what leadership lessons did you see in the movie? If you haven’t seen the movie, what leadership lesson from Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them resonated with you the most? Let me know in the comment section below.

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