Point Blank is a Netflix original movie that recently was released on the streaming service. The movie tells the story of Anthony Mackie (Sam Wilson in The Avengers movies) as Paul the nurse and Frank Grillo as the criminal Abe.
What you get in Point Blank is an awkward buddy movie where the two stars battle against criminals and corrupt cops. It could be a fun summer movie but, somehow, Point Blank shoots blanks in this original movie.
That’s not to say you won’t walk away with Reel Leadership lessons from Point Blank. That’s not the case. You will find plenty of leadership lessons. What you won’t find is a great movie.
I was okay with that as it was a semi-enjoyable movie. But enough with the quality of Point Blank. It’s time to discuss the leadership lessons in the movie.
Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Point Blank
1. Time tables will be broken:
One of the opening scenes in Point Blank was Abe escaping from the scene of a crime. He had called his brother, Mateo (Christian Cooke), to pick him up.
Abe said he needed Mateo there in 30 seconds. The best Mateo could do was 2 minutes.
Between the phone call and the pickup, Abe was hit by another vehicle.
You have a time table you need to stick to. You set the requirements and you need people to stick to that time table.
However, there will be times when your people won’t be able to stick to your timing. Whether it is due to a lack of resources, something going wrong, or unrealistic expectations, time tables aren’t solid.
They will be broken. They will be pushed back.
Sometimes, nothing will happen when time tables are broken. Other times, people or business will be hurt.
Paul’s wife, Taryn (Teyonah Parris), is pregnant with their first child. She is due any day. Yet she is still hard at work in the nursery.
When Paul notices this after a long day at the hospital, he tells Taryn to rest and relax. She needs to do this not only for herself but for the sake of their child.
You may believe you need to work hard and never rest. This is a lie.
Rest and relaxation are par for the course for any healthy leader. The healthy leader knows rest and relaxation will rejuvenate and restore them to peak performance.
Stop pushing off rest. You will hurt yourself and others if you don’t take this seriously.
3. Even doing the right thing, leaders will feel pain:
Paul was Abe’s nurse after Abe was hit by the car. While attending to Abe, Paul noticed a figure in the hospital. The figure brutally attacked Paul.
This had nothing to do with Paul doing anything wrong. Paul was doing the right thing and was hurt.
We can feel like we’ll never be hurt as long as we’re doing the right thing. This is another lie of leadership.
Leaders will be hurt even while doing the right thing.
People can be sinful and selfish. They will do the wrong thing even if you’re doing what is right.
Know the pain you feel isn’t from doing the wrong thing. The pain you feel is a consequence of our broken world.
I can’t do this without you.
Taryn discovered Paul had been beaten. She was distraught, as any wife would be if their husband was assaulted.
Taryn let Paul know she needed him. Without him, she wouldn’t know what to do.
Creating business plans, creative ideas, and more is a lot like giving birth. You will struggle through a birthing period where you will need help.
Like Taryn, you can’t be a leader by yourself. You need people who will stand beside you and help you through the pain of birthing your ideas.
Find these people!
5. Beware of stress:
Paul was told his wife would die if he didn’t get Abe out of the hospital. Mateo had kidnapped Taryn because he needed Abe.
The only way he could think of getting this done was to force Paul to do something he normally wouldn’t do.
When Paul got the phone call, you could tell he was stressed. He staggered around and then he threw up.
The stress triggered a physical response in his body.
There are plenty of things that will stress out a leader.
Team members who are struggling. Tight budgets. New competitors.
The stress you feel when these situations arise can be high. But you can’t let stress take control of you. You have to learn to control your stress.
If you don’t, you can experience severe health issues. You may have a heart attack, become sick, or become emotionally unstable.
6. Find the reason:
Lieutenant Regina Lewis (Marcia Gay Harden) was investigating the death of local government official. One they believed Abe committed.
When they realize Paul helped Abe escape from police custody in the hospital, Regina wonders why Paul would help him. What was his reasoning?
She desired to know this. She knew if she could figure this out, she could get him on her side.
Reasons are a driving force for people. The reason to work or to complete a project can either motivate or demotivate people.
You need to do two things for your team. First, you need to discover the reason your team comes to work every day. Most of the time this goes beyond the paycheck.
The second thing you need to do is to reinforce the reason behind what you do. Continue to remind your people why you do what you do.
7. Distractions may be needed:
Abe and Mateo were to meet at a train station. There, Mateo would hand over Taryn to Paul and he would get his brother.
They were never able to make the swap. Abe noticed something was off. They had been made and people were coming for them.
This cause Abe to create a distraction. He shot his gun in the crowded bus station and people went crazy.
This allowed them to escape.
I doubt you’ll ever shoot a gun in a crowded train station. At least I hope you never will.
However, you may need to create a distraction in your organization. This could be a mental distraction where your team can escape the pressures of the daily grind or maybe you need to distract a prying customer from your trade secrets.
Know when and where to use distractions. They will come in handy.
8. Leaders can be oblivious:
As an old lady was going through a car wash, Abe and an assassin were in a fight. They were pounding on one another just behind the yellow PT Cruiser.
The old lady was oblivious. She could see them if only she looked in her rearview mirror. She never did.
Much like the old lady in the PT Cruiser, leaders can be oblivious to what is happening around them. You may have blinders on where you are only looking straight ahead.
Break the habit of being laser focused. Instead, look around you. See what’s happening. Don’t miss the actions on the peripheral.
9. Video games can be a great stress relief:
Paul had talked to Abe about video games. Abe dismissed Paul’s talk because “he was an adult.” Adults don’t play video games.
At least this was the mindset of Abe. Paul believed differently.
He saw how angry Abe was. Paul told Abe that if he played video games, maybe his aggression levels would decrease.
You have probably heard from other thought leaders that video games and entertainment are dangerous to your personal development. They will hold you back and stop you from being the person God designed you to be.
I don’t buy this for a second. Neither does Jon Harrison who writes at Classically Trained.
We both believe entertainment can be a learning experience. You can use video games, movies, TV shows, comic books, and more to relieve stress and, also, grow yourself.
Don’t write off video games or popular entertainment as bad.
10. Call the bluff:
Abe told Paul he didn’t care about much. Paul knew Abe was bluffing. He could see there were things and people Abe cared about.
Knowing this, Paul called Abe’s bluff. And it worked out.
Customers and vendors will try to bluff you. They will threaten to pull their business or that they cannot change prices.
Many times, these vendors and customers are bluffing you. They’re hoping you won’t challenge them because then they can have their way with you.
Figure out whether or not there’s a bluff being played. Choose wisely if you should call the bluff.
11. Be thankful:
Abe and Paul had to get off of the road. They reached out to a man named Pops. He was pushing a cart and he could help them.
Pops allowed the pair to hide in his cart. Those pursuing them couldn’t see them under all of the junk.
Once Pops got them to the pawn shop, Abe thanked Pops. He also paid him.
Are you thankful for the people who help you out? You need to be.
Thankfulness will go a long way in getting great work done. People long to be thought of as useful and appreciated. Thanking them will do just that.
I gave him hope.
Sadly, Abe’s brother Mateo passed away. Before he did, Abe talked to Mateo.
He told him it would be okay. To breathe. Let go…
Abe made Mateo feel at peace and like there was hope. He let Mateo go peacefully.
His words gave hope.
What are your words giving the people you lead? Are they giving them hope or are they killing their dreams?
Speak hope to those you lead.
13. Be passionate about what you love:
Big D (Markice Moore) had been pursuing Abe and Mateo. They owed him a lot of money. Eventually, Paul and Abe wound up at Big D’s doorstep.
You soon learn Big D has a passion. Big D loved movies.
He spoke about them. He referenced them. And he made them.
Anyone who met Big D knew what he was passionate about.
Leaders have passions as well. They have things they care about and pursue.
Make sure you have something that you’re passionate about. It’ll connect you to those you lead and help you communicate in a unique way.
14. Bad language can be distracting:
The Netflix movie Point Blank was filled with a lot of vulgarity. Many of those were the F-bomb.
It seemed as though every other line had some kind of vulgarity in it. For me, the vulgarity distracted me from the movie.
My attention was snapped from the action and interactions happening when an F-bomb was dropped. It took me away from the movie.
Bad language will do the same for you as a leader. The bad language you use will distract those you’re leading.
They may try to figure out what you’re saying. Or they may be turned off by what you’re saying.
Be careful of the words you’re using. They matter.