Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Luca

A Reel Leadership Article

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Luca is the latest direct to Disney+ movie. The movie is a joint Pixar and Disney venture that delivered great results.

What is Luca about? Luca is the story of young sea monster Luca Paguro (Jacob Tremblay), another sea monster named Alberto Scorfano (Jack Dylan Grazer), and a human named Guilia Marcovaldo (Emma Berman). They form a unique bond after the two sea monsters transform into humans. They walk the land without being detected.

Still from the Disney Pixar movie Luca. Luca and Alberto eating ice cream

This is a great film for a leader to watch with their child. It can teach you and them a lot of different leadership lessons.

Today’s Reel Leadership dissects these lessons and helps you see them.

Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Luca

1. Fix your mistakes:

Luca was shepherding a school of fish. He became distracted and lost the fish. He now had a new job.

Luca had to go out to find the lost fish. He was to find every last one of them and make sure they were safe.

His new job was to fix his mistake.

We all make mistakes. We miscalculate the time it will take to finish a project. Or we make a bad call on a project and the project is set back weeks.

These are mistakes. They’re common.

Even though mistakes are common, we cannot let them go. We have to see our mistakes. Then we have to go fix them.

2. Leaders walk their teams through new experiences:

Alberto had been living above the water for quite some time. When he met Luca, Luca had never been above the surface of the water. Alberto helped him break through the surface and find the world of the humans.

The thing is, Alberto didn’t let Luca do this on his own. Alberto knew what it takes to pass for a human. He helped Luca acclimate to the surface world.

Alberto talked him through breathing air. He helped him relax. He helped him through the transformation from sea monster to human.

We have the opportunity to do this with our team members, especially new team members. They’re going to experience new situations. You’re there to help them.

Talk them through what’s new. Help them to understand processes. Show them it is okay to relax.

3. There are simple solutions:

There had been human treasures thrown into the waters where Luca lived. One of those was a gramophone. A gramophone is basically a record player.

Alberto had taken this treasure to the surface. He had tried to get it to work. He couldn’t.

Luca looked at it. He saw there was a handle sitting next to it. He pushed the handle into the gramophone and cranked it. The gramophone played!

All it took was a simple solution.

How many of us are like Alberto? We see something and we try to fix it through complex methods? *I raise my hand*

It’s normal. It’s what we’ve been taught. However, it’s not what’s true.

For many complex problems, the solution is simple. It’s a simple tweak or a slight shift in the way we think.

If the complex isn’t working, look at a simpler solution.

4. Luca:

I’m more of an idea man.

Luca and Alberto built a janky Vespa bike. Alberto wanted to ride the Vespa downhill and jump it into the water. How would he do this? He would have Luca hold a piece of wood as a ramp.

Uh oh. Sounds scary and dangerous!

Luca thought the same thing. He didn’t want to be a participant. He wanted to be an idea man.

We all have different talents and skills. Luca knew his. He was all about ideas. Alberto was about action.

Have you thought about your skills? What makes you unique?

Are you an idea man? Are you an action taken? Or, are you something else?

Figure out what you are. Live in it.

5. Alberto:

I know what’s wrong. You’ve got a Bruno in your head.

Alberto said this to Luca. Luca was scared to try something new. Alberto saw this as an opportunity to help Luca break free from a limiting mindset.

Alberto gave a name to the thing Luca was facing. It was called a Bruno.

A Bruno in Luca was a limiting mindset. It was the voice in your head that tells you that you cannot do something.

What’s your Bruno? You need to figure out what your limiting mindset is. Then you need to break it.

6. Uncle Ugo (Sacha Baron Cohen):

Ah, yes… There’s usually a bad influence.

Luca’s parents, Daniela (Maya Rudolph) and Lorenzo (Jim Gaffigan), confronted Luca about his adventures. They were concerned about him.

Luca slipped up. He said we when talking of going to the surface. He accidentally let his parents know there was another person involved.

People begin to slip into trouble when they begin to surround themselves with bad influences. This happened with Luca. I’ve seen it happen with friends, family, and business associates.

The people they let into their lives led them down a bad path. They let a bad influence into their lives.

Watch out for bad influences.

7. Guilia:

They don’t love you. They’re afraid of you.

Guilia confronted a bully in their town. This bully was Ercole Visconti (Saverio Raimondo). He treated people poorly and did anything he could to win.

Through this, he believed people loved him. They did not. They tolerated him because of what he had done. They did not have any respect for him.

There are a lot of leaders who act like Ercole. They lead through fear, intimidation, cruelty. They live in a fantasy world.

In this world, they believe they are loved. They believe they’re respected. But they’re not.

Their people fear them. Their people are scared to speak up.

It’s a toxic environment.

Don’t lead with fear. Lead with love.

8. Leaders can turn:

Alberto jumped into the water in front of the humans. He turned into a sea monster.

Luca was there with him. He screamed in mock terror. He shouted, SEA MONSTER!!!!

He turned on his friend. The one who helped him break into the world of humans.

Sadly, this happens more than we’d all like to admit. We poor into the lives of someone on our team. Then they turn.

Maybe they talk poorly about you behind your back. They might harbor negative thoughts. Or they undermine your decisions.

The people you lead can turn on you. YOU can turn on your team.

Make sure you’re not switching sides.

9. Massimo Marcovaldo (Marco Barricelli):

I know who they are. They are Luca and Alberto.

Massimo was a fisherman in the Italian town. He was also Guilia’s father. He also hated sea monsters.

Something changed when he saw Luca and Alberto change. He stuck up for them. He did this for a reason.

Luca and Alberto had shown Guilia true friendship. They had helped her through the bullying and been there for her.

Massimo saw this. He decided to vouch for the duo.

We are introduced to a wide range of people. Some of these people will have shady pasts or may do something wrong while at work.

If you’ve gotten to know your team, you can say what Massimo did. You can stick up for them when a mistake or a past tribulation is revealed.

You can go: That may be who they were. This is who they are.

10. Leaders words sink in:

Luca’s mom had looked him in the eyes multiple times growing up. Each time she would ask him if he knew she loved him.

The answer, of course, was yes.

At the end of the movie, we see Luca repeat the actions of his mother. He looks her in the eyes. He asks her if she knows that he loves her.

The words we speak, the actions we take… They are important. They sink into the hearts and minds of those we lead.

The more positive things we pour into our teams, the more positive things they pour out.

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