Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Kin The Movie

A Reel Leadership Article

Kin tells the story of Elijah Solinski (Myles Truitt), his ex-con brother Jimmy Solinski (Jack Reynor), and former stripper Milly (Zoe Kravitz). Eli (what Elijah goes by in Kin) and Jimmy are fleeing Taylor Balik (James Franco), a crime lord who Jimmy owes $60,000.

Leadership lessons from Kin

Also starring in Kin is Dennis Quaid as Hal Solinski, Jimmy’s father and Elijah’s stepdad. He plays a minor part in the movie and the movie largely focuses on the two brothers.

Toss in an alien weapon and a major road trip and you’ve got Kin. A fun sci-fi/action movie that will keep you guessing.

Kin starts off slow. Builds to a major crescendo. And leaves the audience with more questions than answers.

This isn’t necessarily bad. Kin was a movie I enjoyed. Pam found Kin so-so but agrees with me that there are plenty of leadership lessons in Kin.

Caution: Kin spoilers below

Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Kin The Movie

1. Great leaders show concern:

The school Elijah attended had noticed changes in his attitude. The school employees were concerned. Because of this, they reached out to Hal to see what was going on.

They wanted to make sure everything was okay. That there was nothing major happening in his life.

As a leader, you need to show concern for your team members. If you notice changes in their attitudes or behaviors, be willing to ask them if everything is alright.

Your concern about changes will let them know you care about them. This will go further than a raise or a bonus.

2. Hal Solinksi:

Your brother got out (of jail). I want you to be careful.

Elijah’s stepbrother was nothing but trouble growing up. His actions landed him in jail for 6 years. When he finally was released, Hal had concerns about his younger son.

Hal’s concern was voiced to Elijah and he was warned about how dangerous his brother could be. Hal didn’t want to take a chance Elijah would get caught up in the same lifestyle as his brother.

There are people you want in your life and then there are people you have to be cautious about. They will try to bring you down to their level and to their activities. These people may want you to do unethical things in your business or take shortcuts.

It’s up to you to decide whether or not to listen to these people but I want to caution you. Be careful… There are people out there who don’t want you to succeed.

3. Time goes by quickly:

When Jimmy got out of jail, he saw how much Elijah had grown. Elijah was a little boy when he left but was a teenager when Jimmy returned from jail.

There’s a lot of growth that happens in those years. Jimmy felt his 6 years in jail had gone quickly… Until he seen Elijah. Then he realized how long he had been away.

You won’t believe how quickly time passes you by. You’ll spend years at a company only to feel like it was a blink of an eye.

Time has a funny way of passing through your fingers. Be aware of time and how it’s passing. Don’t let time pass you by.

4. Hal Solinsky:

What’s your next step?

With Jimmy’s release from jail, Hal needed to know something. He needed to know whether or not Jimmy had a plan for his life. So, he flat out asked Jimmy what his next steps were going to be.

Jimmy didn’t have a good answer. He didn’t know what he was going to do.

Don’t be like Jimmy. Look at your life. See where you want to go. Then plan out your next step.

You will build upon those next steps one by one. Eventually, through knowing what you’re going to do next, you’ll arrive where you were planning.

5. Your bad decisions will follow you:

Jimmy had a decade of bad decisions behind him. He wanted to make things right but he didn’t want to take the time to make them right. He wanted an instant solution.

Because of who his dad was, he thought he could jump right into a good paying job. Hal put a stop to that by telling him he couldn’t hire Jimmy. Jimmy would have to go work at an entry-level job.

We’ve all made bad choices in our lives. I know I have.

We will also want instant absolution for those bad decisions. Life doesn’t work that way.

Instead, you’re going to have to work had to show people you’ve changed. You’re going to have to work hard, start low, and work your way up.

Be ready and willing to pay for your bad decisions.

6. You can’t fix bad choices by making more bad choices:

Hal was right about his son Jimmy. He was a danger to his brother and others.

Jimmy kept making bad choices. And he thought he could make things better by making more bad choices.

One of those choices was to steal from his father. Jimmy knew Hal had a safe on the construction site. A safe with $60,000, enough to pay off his debt.

He chose to bring Taylor to the construction site and break into the safe. The only problem was, Hal happened to show up at the construction site. When Hal wouldn’t leave, Taylor shot Hal and killed him.

Jimmy’s bad decision went from going to jail to going into debt to the death of his father.

You have got to be careful about the decisions you’re making. Mull them over and make sure they’re wise choices.

If you keep making bad choices, you’re going to get outcomes you’re not desiring.

7. You have multiple strengths:

As Elijah was out scrapping, he discovered an alien weapon. He began to press the different buttons on the gun. This unlocked different modes, like in a video game.

One button allowed the gun to shoot like a regular gun. Another button made the gun into a stun gun. And a different button changed the gun into a grenade launcher.

The alien weapon in Kin had various modes. These modes could be considered strengths. When needed, the gun could adapt to the situation at hand.

Much like the alien weapon, you have multiple strengths. These strengths allow you to adapt to the situation at hand.

You need to discover your strengths. There are multiple ways you can find out what you’re good at. You can:

  • Take an assessment like the StrengthsFinder 2.0 test
  • Talk to finds and family and ask them what they believe you’re good at
  • Try new things and see what clicks

You have multiple strengths. It is up to you to discover those strengths.

8. Even bad leaders can do good:

After Hal was murdered, Jimmy made Elijah go on the run with him. Previous to this, Jimmy had promised Elijah he would get him a pair of his old Converse shoes.

Jimmy eventually made good on his promise. He gave Elijah a nice pair of shoes to replace his worn out shoes.

You may think bad leaders will only bring about destruction. You’d be wrong to think this way.

Not every bad leader is bad all the way through. Many bad leaders will have great ideas or good hearts.

Don’t discount everything a bad leader has done. There’s still good they have done or could do.

9. Own your mistakes:

Elijah made a phone call to his dad to apologize for stealing and scrapping copper. He realized he made a mistake and wanted to own it.

In the message Elijah left, he told his dad he was willing to apologize to the building owners he stole the copper from. He was willing to make things right.

When you make a mistake, do you struggle to admit the mistake? Do you find yourself trying to do everything but own it?

You can’t avoid your mistakes if you want to become a great leader. Great leaders know they have to own their mistakes.

Why? Because everyone makes mistakes. And it’s okay if you realize you made one.

10. Milly:

Coming to a place like this has never made anyone a man.

Kin has some dicey moments. There’s a lot of violence. There’s also a scene inside of a strip club. Thankfully the movie director was wise enough to not include any nudity in Kin.

The setting of a strip club did allow for a great lesson. One of the strippers, Milly (Zoe Kravitz), gave Elijah a piece of wisdom we would all do well to remember.


Jimmy had brought Elijah there to make him a man. To show him a good time…

Milly heard this and told Elijah going to a strip club doesn’t make anyone a man. And she’s right.

Don’t think looking at naked women or objectifying them makes you a man. This behavior is anything but manly.

11. Not all strategies will work for everyone:

The alien weapon Elijah found was unique. He was able to fire it. His brother Jimmy was not able to.

The weapon would only work for Elijah. Despite how much Jimmy wanted to use the weapon, he couldn’t.

Everyone’s looking for a quick fix. For the next best leadership strategy.

We’re reading books. Listening to podcasts. Going to seminars. Trying to hear what will work next.

We have to be careful as we look for the next leadership strategy. Sometimes what worked for one leader won’t work for another.

If a strategy that worked for someone else doesn’t work for you, be willing to drop it. Look for something that will work for you.

12. Don’t hide your pain and scars:

Milly noticed Elijah had a scar on his hand. She asked him how he received the scar. Elijah mentioned his mother or father had given it to him. Milly then showed Elijah her scars.

They began to talk about their scars. And their trials.

Milly encouraged Elijah to not hide his scars. He should be willing to show them and talk about them. They’re not something to be ashamed of or hide. They show he is a survivor.

This really struck me after hearing about Andrew Stoecklein. Andrew was the lead pastor at Inland Hills. He passed away on August 25th after attempting suicide.

It is a tragic situation that has left a church without a pastor. More importantly, it leaves a family without a husband and father.

Andrew’s pain was deep. His wife Kayla posted a tribute to Andrew. In it, she encourages people to get help. The help Andrew didn’t.

Last night, the love of my life, the father of my children and the pastor of our incredible church took his last breath and went to be with Jesus. It wasn’t the miracle I was hoping for but he is now in heaven with his dad, free of pain, free of depression and anxiety. • He was an amazing husband, he truly made me better, made me feel like the most beautiful girl in the world, and he loved me so deeply. We fit so well together, we were one. He was an amazing daddy, his three boys are going to miss him so much. He had such a unique and special relationship with each of them. He was an incredibly gifted teacher, communicator, and pastor. He was special, one of a kind and will be missed by thousands of people all around the world. • Please pray for me and the boys. I don’t know how I am going to face this, I am completely heartbroken, lost, and empty. Never in a million years would I have imagined this would be the end of his story. • If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or actions, please tell someone. Please make sure you’re not alone, and please call a friend or family member before you make that irreversible decision. You are loved and valued more than you know! #godsgotthis

A post shared by Kayla Stoecklein (@kaylasteck) on

Be willing to show your scars to other people. Don’t hide them. Get help if you’re struggling.

The world needs you to stick around.

13.  Elijah Solinski:

A good man does the right thing even when it is not the easy thing.

As Kin neared the end, Elijah shared a word of wisdom from his father. Hal had told his sons to do the right thing, regardless of whether or not the right thing was easy.

You have to make a choice. To do the right thing or to do the easy thing.

You know what you should do. Will you do it?

14. Jimmy Solinski:

Be more like dad. Be less like me. Be better…

Jimmy finally realized his life choices were not the right choices to make. He began to encourage Elijah to make better choices.

One of the things he told Elijah was to be like their dad and not like him. He needed to be better.

You need to decide who and what you want to be. Do you want to follow the positive examples of other leaders or do you want to follow leaders who have done wrong.

I want you to make the choice to be better.

Question: Have you seen the movie Kin? If so, did you see leadership lessons in Kin? If you haven’t seen Kin, what leadership lessons from Kin that I shared resonated with you? Let us know in the comment section below!

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