Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Ghostbusters: Afterlife

A Reel Leadership Article

Ghostbusters: Afterlife is a sequel to the original Ghostbusters movies. You know the movies starring Dan Aykroyd (as Dr. Raymond Stantz), Bill Murray (as Dr. Peter Venkman), and Harold Ramis (Dr. Egon Spengler). There was a fourth Ghostbuster that came along named Ernie Hudson (as Winston Zeddemore).

The new Ghostbusters movie picks up years after Ghostbusters 2. Dr. Spengler has passed away. His estranged daughter, Callie (Carrie Coon), has to settle his estate in the small town of Summerville, Oklahoma. She doesn’t want to do it, yet it comes as a blessing as she and her family are evicted from their current place of residence.

Kids from Ghostbusters: Afterlife standing in front of the Ecto-1 vehicle

After the family moves to Summerville, things get a little crazy. There are random earthquakes, daughter Phoebe (Mckenna Grace) discovers a PKE reader and mysterious things begin to happen, and they eventually find a ghost trap hidden within the floorboards of the old farmhouse.

The movie is a fitting sequel, much better than the 2016 Ghostbusters film. If you’re jonesing for a Ghostbusters fix, check out Ghostbusters: Afterlife in theaters this week. You won’t be disappointed.

You will also learn to become a better leader. If you want to know how, continue reading this article. I will share the leadership lessons in Ghostbusters: Afterlife that I saw.

Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Ghostbusters: Afterlife

1. There are appropriate and inappropriate times to do things:

Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) was getting a haircut from his mother. There was a problem. His mother was cutting his hair while he was eating breakfast.

Disgusting, right?

Callie saw nothing wrong with this. She kept cutting. Trevor kept eating.

We all know there are appropriate and inappropriate times to do things. Something, though, we forgo what we know and do things at an inappropriate time.

Make sure you’re cognizant of what you’re doing. More importantly, make sure you’re mindful of when you’re doing things.

2. Phoebe:

I love learning.

Phoebe was hesitant to go to a new school. Callie told her that she thought Phoebe loved school.

Phoebe corrected her mother. Instead of loving school, Phoebe loved learning.

There’s a difference between school and learning.

It’s interesting how we can get things mixed up. We confuse two similar things as the same.

Know that people may love what they do yet dislike where they have to do their work. It’s an interesting conundrum for leaders.

The good news is that many times this can be solved through remote work. Technology has advanced to the point much of our jobs can be done from home or the local coffee shop.

Give people the freedom to work but not from the office.

3. Great leaders experiment:

Phoebe had found a PKE reader under her grandfather’s chair. She didn’t know what it was. However, she saw the lights on the thing were going crazy.

She picked up the PKE reader, followed it as the lights flashed on the device (and turned on in the hallways, spooky!). She experimented by following a device she didn’t know.

There was a reward to her experiment. The ghost pushed her into a chair in the living room. The chair turned. There, she discovered the ghost trap hidden within the floor.

What are you willing to experiment with? Are you willing to follow unconventional wisdom? I think you are as you’re reading this blog post. Are you willing to try something no one else has done?

By experimenting and trying different things, we discover what works, what doesn’t, and what propels us to new levels of success.

4. People may not recognize authentic leadership:

Phoebe had made a friend at school. His name was Podcast (Logan Kim). She brought the ghost trap to school.

Podcast and Phoebe were trying to get into the device. Their teacher, Gary Grooberson (Paul Rudd), saw them doing something. He approached them. Then, he told them the ghost trap was an excellent replica.

Except the ghost trap wasn’t a replica. It was the real deal. Grooberson didn’t recognize it.

The people we lead can be a lot like Grooberson. They see us trying to lead. But they don’t realize we are leaders.

We’ve got to do what we can to make them understand that we’re leading. We do this by the actions we take. By the way we treat others. By doing what a leader does.

Are you modeling authentic leadership or are you just playing along?

5. Leadership can feel too big for you:

Phoebe found a proton pack. The proton pack was large compared to Phoebe’s small frame.

She needed help from Podcast. They hoisted the device onto her back.

You could tell the proton pack wasn’t designed for such a small frame.

Do you ever feel like Phoebe? The job of leadership can feel overwhelming. It can feel as if you stepped into something much bigger than you can handle.

Don’t worry. That’s a normal feeling in leadership.

Leadership is big. It’s a role many people shouldn’t step into. Yet, it is something you can handle.

6. Gary Grooberson:

You showed up. You win.

Grooberson and Callie were talking about the troubles Callie has had in her life. She felt like a failure, even in her parenting.

Grooberson told Callie that she had shown up. She wins.


That’s profound. We think we have to be Superman to lead people. We don’t.

Most of the time, leadership is about showing up when people need you.

Show up; you win.

7. Lucky (Celeste O’Connor):

If this is a tomb, where are all the bodies?

Lucky was one of Trevor’s friends. Actually, more like love interests.

She joined them on parts of the adventure.

At one point, they ventured into the Shandor Mines.

They believed the mines were a tomb. Lucky wondered where all the bodies were if that were the case. That’s when one of the kids turned around and found the casket of Ivo Shandor (J.K. Simmons).

We can have the wrong expectations when we lead. We may think the path of leadership is all sunshine and roses. We expect followers to come out of the woodwork.

It doesn’t happen like that.

We might have a faithful follower here or there but we have to build up our tribe.

Don’t expect leadership to look the way you expect it to. Lead the way you know is right and things will work out.

8. Phoebe:

He was standing guard even when no one believed him.

After the mine trip, Phoebe realized her grandfather had been standing guard against a ghostly invasion. He had moved to the middle of nowhere to make sure the ghosts stayed in their own realm.

Spengler had given everything, even his friends, to do what he believed was right.

What are you willing to give up for what you believe in? Are you willing to give up your leadership title? Are you willing to lose good people on your team?

When you know what is right, you need to stand up for it. If you don’t, you’re not leading.

9. Phoebe:

I’m a scientist, mom.

Phoebe told her mom precisely who she was. Phoebe knew she wasn’t normal. She was a scientist.

Leaders, do you know that you’re leaders? Are you confident in who you are? Are you confident in what you do?

We have to be confident of who we are.

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