Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Marry Me

My latest book, Reel Leadership, is now available on Amazon. If you love movies and leadership, you will love this book.

Marry Me is a newer rom-com starring Jennifer Lopez as music superstar Kat Valdez. She’s on a roll. It looks like she will go even further with the extravagant wedding to fellow singer Bastian (Maluma).

Everything changes in a heartbeat for the superstar. As she’s on stage to be married, she discovers Bastian has been cheating on her with her assistant.

Owen Wilson and Jennifer Lopez in Marry Me movie

The news of her fiance cheating gives her a brief breakdown where she looks out upon the crowd, sees Charlie Gilbert (Owen Wilson) holding a Marry Me sign, and tells Charlie “yes.”

From there, the comedy ensues. It’s also a touching story of second (or third and fourth) chances. It’s also full of leadership lessons.

Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Marry Me

1. Set time limits on experiments:

Kat said yes to Charlie’s proposal sign. The sign wasn’t really meant to be a question to Kat, but she said yes after the brutal betrayal of Bastian.

After the couple was married, they began to discuss the next steps. A suggestion was tossed out that the marriage could be trial-based. They would stay a couple for a specific amount of days.

If it didn’t work, they break it off. If the marriage works, the couple stays together.

Too often, we don’t set limits on the experiments we have in our businesses. We let these trials and tests wane on and on.

Instead of letting things go on for extended periods of time, consider setting time limits on the work you’re doing. You may select a 30-day period for finding a new vendor, you may decide to hire a new employee for a 90-day probation period, or you may think of testing a new piece of software for 6 months.

Whatever you do, set limits. This makes it easy to break away from a wrong business decision.

2. Charlie:

If you sit in the question, the answer will find you.

Charlie told this to his students. He wanted them to realize that the longer you sit on a question, the more likely you’ll come up with an answer.

Sitting and waiting is uncomfortable. You want answers. You don’t want silence.

However, sitting in the question helps you understand the problem better. It allows you to think through solutions. And, many times, you come up with a solution.

Sit in the question(s) you have. The answer will find you.

3. Relationships are awkward:

Kat and Charlie had an interesting relationship. Their marriage started with a sign in a crowd and a broken heart.

From there, they had to navigate the pressures of social media, each other, and discover who they both were.

It’s awkward. It was messy. It was fun.

While I doubt any of us will have a relationship quite as awkward as Kat and Charlie’s, relationships ARE awkward. There’s no way around that.

When building relationships with those you lead, know that you won’t be the perfect leader or listener. You’ll stumble. There will be awkward moments.

Still, these relationships you’re building with your people are worth the awkwardness.

4. Charlie:

Love is about sacrifice and the day-to-day.

Charlies explained what he saw love as. It is a daily sacrifice. It was about regular activities.

Love wasn’t fancy. It was normal. It was bringing the people you care for into your routine.

We are called to love those around us. We are to love those we lead (remember all the love lessons in February?).

Loving your team won’t be easy. Loving them will cost you a lot. It will also be grinding.

Don’t worry about it if it seems like a struggle. You’ll get through it.

5. Have wise counsel:

The people Kat had around her weren’t looking out for her best interest. They were looking out for theirs.

If Kat wasn’t successful, they’d be out a paycheck. This made listening to their counsel dicey.

Sure, they may want to see her have monetary success. But… did they want to see her have personal success?

The counsel we saw given said no.

We can fall into the same trouble Kat did. We can have unwise counsel around us.

These are people looking out for their best interests, not yours. We have to be cautious.

Make sure you’re picking people to be in your inner circle that actually care about you. These people will have your ear and could lead you in the right or wrong direction.

6. Take the opportunities presented to you:

Charlie hadn’t planned on going to the Kat concert. Their attendance only happened because his coworker’s friends bailed on her.

Parker (Sarah Silverman) had invited Charlie after she had no one to go with. Charlie resisted at first. He came up with the excuse that he would have his daughter, Lou (Chloe Coleman), that night.

Parker shot that excuse down by saying she had three tickets to the show. No excuse now!

Charlie took the offer. Went. And the experience changed his life.

How do you look at the offers or opportunities presented to you? Do you take your time to weigh the options or do you jump headfirst into opportunities?

I’m a headfirst kind of guy. I’ve found that this type of action opens me up to even more opportunities.

Make sure you’re not overanalyzing or passing by opportunities.

7. Kat:

They say, if you want something different, you have to do something different. So this time, for the first time, you make a different choice. You jump off a cliff so high you can’t even see the fall. And you just, say yes.

Kat had been making the same type of choices again and again. She found herself in the same place.

Her decision-making process continued to lead her back to heartbreak. She didn’t know how to make wiser choices.

Then, she decided to break her cycle. She made a crazy decision and stuck with it.

Do you want something different for your business, team, or yourself? Then you’ve got to do something different.

This could be saying yes to a new opportunity. It could be saying no to a longtime customer that isn’t working out.

If you’re seeing yourself stuck in a rut, make different choices.

8. Schedules don’t have to be complicated:

Melissa (Michelle Buteau) was one of Kat’s handlers. Thus, she also became a handler for Charlie.

Charlie and Melissa discuss schedules and checking emails. Charlie told her that he didn’t check his emails often and Melissa wondered how he scheduled his life.

The response was brilliant. Charlie told Melissa that it was easy. He worked 8:00-3:00 Monday through Friday, math club was after school, and three days a week he had Lou. Anything after that was free.

We make our schedules super complicated. We believe we have to fill every available time slot. We don’t.

We only need to know what’s important. Fill the big rocks. Then go from there.

9. Charlie:

I’m not a big social media person. I feel like it’s kind of a distorted relatity.

Charlie and Parker were talking about Charlie’s newfound fame. He was encouraged to get on social media and share, share, share.

Charlie didn’t understand social media. He wasn’t a big part of it. The pressure to get onto it was frustrating.

More than that, Charlie didn’t see social media as valuable. Social media was a distorted reality that could hurt people.

Charlie wasn’t wrong, folks.

Social media is a distorted reality. We saw how social media channels influence people in documentaries like The Social Dilemma.

Don’t let social media (Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, Twitter, and others) influence how you view the world. It’s not reality.

10. Crazy can work:

By the end of Marry Me, we discover the relationship between Charlie and Kat has blossomed. They’ve fallen for one another. They’re actually happy.

It was a crazy idea for Kat to marry someone from the crowd. It was crazy for Charlie to agree.

But crazy worked.

The great innovators in our world didn’t have ideas that barely moved the needle. The ideas that changed the world were crazy.

Don’t give up on crazy. See what crazy ideas you can use. Test them and see if they’re viable.

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