Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

A Reel Leadership Article

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Years ago, the film Mad Max: Fury Road brought us back to the world of Mad Max. We were introduced to strange and zany characters, including Furiosa (old Anya Taylor-Joy, young Aylya Brown, original Charlize Theron). Her character was so fascinating that they decided to do a spin-off/prequel to give movie-goers her backstory.

Furiosa brings us once more to the dystopian future of mostly deserted roads, a lack of greenery, and violence. We’re also introduced to a new character, Dr. Dementus (Chris Hemsworth). He’s an over-the-top villain who takes in a young Furiosa after she is kidnapped from The Green. He has a twisted sense of parental responsibility and twists the young girl.

Woman holding a gun. She's hiding behind a metal gate as flames explode toward her.

We watch as Furiosa grows up, experiences the conflicts of this time, and becomes something of a legend.


While the film wanders the landscape, there are few true heroes and multiple villainous types to keep you entertained. There are also plenty of leadership lessons abounding in the movie.

This article will explore those leadership lessons in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga. I hope you’re ready for the insane leadership ride you’re about to embark on.

Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

1. Scarce resources cause frustrations and arguments:

The world of Mad Max is one of scarce resources. After Furiosa is kidnapped by Dr. Dementus’ biker gang, her mother, Mary Jabassa (Charlee Fraser), pursues the bikers. She’s not fast enough to catch up to them right away.

Furiosa goes into action. As her body hangs over one of the bikes, she sees her mouth is level with the fuel line. She begins to chew the line until she breaks through.

The bike loses fuel, and they have to stop. The other biker with him had picked up a gas tank from one of their fallen comrades. The biker carrying Furiosa knows this and takes the gas tank so he can continue back to Dr. Dementus’ base.

His taking of the fuel tank causes an argument between the two bikers. 

When resources are scarce, tensions rise. Team members become concerned about what they have without caring about what the rest of the team has.

Help your team understand that the resources available are not their resources but the resources of the organization. The more they’re willing to share, help out, and give, the better off the organization will be. Not only that, but their emotional capital will rise as they’re able to overcome resource guarding and fear.

2. It’s good to have more than one pathway to success:

Mary is able to get to Dr. Dementus’ base. There, she rescues Furiosa. The two escape.

Dr. Dementus and his people are angry. They decide to follow the escapees back to The Green. How will they do this? They’ll follow the tracks left by the bikes in the sand.

Their plan fails as a sandstorm sweeps through the area. The storm covered the tracks left by the bikes.

Even though the tracks are gone, Dr. Dementus isn’t stopped. His people bring out tracking dogs. These animals were able to follow the scent of Mary and Furiosa.

We are led to believe there’s only one way to success. There’s not.

There are multiple ways, actions, and ideals that will lead you to your successful ending. Know when to switch up your tactics (make sure they’re ethical). Know when to change course.

You don’t have to follow a single, straight line to success. Your path and methods will vary as you continue on your journey.

3. The History Man (George Shevtsov):

Make yourself invaluable.

Dr. Dementus and his people kill Mary. They take Furiosa and put her in a cage. There, she meets The History Man.

He has historical events and words tattooed onto his body. So many words are tattooed onto him that he’s practically covered in ink.

Because of the knowledge he collects, he’s not bloodthirsty or savage like the other members of the biker horde. Instead, he provides guidance through the knowledge he contains on his body.

The History Man and Furiosa briefly converse. He asks her if she can write. She doesn’t respond. He then tells her she must become invaluable.

The advice of The History Man is true for those leading and being led. The more invaluable we can become, the more important we become to the organization we’re in.

Don’t be afraid to take on new tasks, learn new skills, and become a larger part of the organization. The more invaluable you are, the more value you add.

4. Dr. Dementus:

When things go bonkers, you have to adapt.

Dr. Dementus wanted to gain more power. He knew there were outposts of people throughout the landscape that had valuable resources.

His biker horde advanced toward one of those. The people fought back. They drove his horde away, for the time being.

After his loss, Dr. Dementus said the above line. He told his people that when things go bonkers, you have to adapt.

Think about that… What does it mean to you?

It means your plans won’t always go as you thought. You’ll face trouble, opposition, and challenges.

When you face those things, adapt. Change the way you lead, reconsider your options, change.

5. Bad leaders do not inspire loyalty:

Dr. Dementus and Immortan Joe (Lachy Hulme) hold court together. They’re trying to figure out a way forward.

This is when Dr. Dementus offers up Furiosa to Immortan Joe. 

Immortan Joe asks Furiosa if Dr. Dementus is her father. Dr. Dementus wants her to say yes, but she tells the truth. She states that he is not her father.

Furiosa’s denial of his paternity shocks Dr. Dementus. It’s not what he thought she’d say. Furiosa had no loyalty to him.

Many leaders want loyalty from their people. However, they go about it the wrong way.

They believe their title or authority should give them the loyalty they desire. That’s not what works.

To gain the loyalty of your people, you must have emotional intelligence. You must be willing to understand them, care for them, and lead them in a way that respects their individuality.

6. Praetorian Jack (Tom Burke):

It’s been a hard day… I’m going to have to start over again.

Praetorian Jack becomes somewhat of a love interest for Furiosa in this film. He was the driver of Immortan Joe’s War Rig but switched sides after meeting Furiosa.

The rig Praetorian Jack had driven was destroyed. He drove away from the scene only to return for Furiosa.

He tells her it has been a hard day. That he has to start over.

Be like Jack. When you have a hard day, don’t give up. Look for ways you can start over.

A hard day doesn’t mean the end. It just means you must get back on the horse and try again.

7. Our past experiences impact how we react:

Furiosa is sleeping. She’s having nightmares of the losses she’s experienced. It’s a turbulent night for her.

Praetorian Jack grabs her arm. Furiosa’s instincts kick in, even though she’s asleep. She instinctively reaches for a weapon and tries to stab him.

We can wonder why our team members react the way we do or understand how people respond based on their past experiences. If a bad leader has led them, their reactions will be one of fear, anger, or anxiety. They’ll respond out of those traumas.

Help your team members recover from their bad experiences. Give them the gift of a good leader guiding them on their next journey. 

You’ll not only have better people, but you’ll make a difference in their lives.

8. Our backstories are intriguing:

One of the fascinating things about Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road was her missing arm. Her physical arm had been replaced with a prosthetic. It’s a gnarly replacement made of metal.

But no one knew how she lost her arm.

This film shows us how she did. Furiosa’s arm was mangled between car tires. She then escapes a creepy woman who is helping decompose bodies. Eventually, Furiosa finds the metal prosthetic and attaches it to her stub.

Everything in this film led up to this moment. The moment the audience discovers the story behind her arm. Furiosa’s backstory was so intriguing they had to make a film to show how she came to be.

Don’t be afraid to share your backstory. It is fascinating to your people.

Your backstory does the following:

  • Your story makes you relatable
  • Your story shows your humanity
  • Your story helps those you lead see how they can become a leader
  • Your story changes lives

Tell your backstory.

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