Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Pig

A Reel Leadership Article

Pig is a Hulu exclusive movie (you can also purchase the Blu-ray on Amazon) starring Nicolas Cage as hermit named Rob. Rob lives in a dilapidated shack. He chose to leave the hustle and bustle of the city after his wife passed away.

Rob now makes a living selling truffles to Amir (Alex Wolff). These truffles are used in upscale restaurants to make delicious food.

The story gets going when two tweakers break into Rob’s home, steal the pig, and make a getaway.

This movie shows that Nicolas Cage still has what it takes to make a great movie. It is a moving tale of love, loss, and grief. Pig is a must-watch movie.

With that said, we’re going to dive into the leadership lessons in Pig. Be ready; they are good.

Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Pig

1. Communicate in multiple ways:

Rob communicated with the pig in multiple ways for the same thing. He would whistle and speak to the pig. Another time he would click his tongue and talk to it.

Rob didn’t communicate in one style. He used two forms of communication to make sure the pig heard and understood him.

We need to make sure we’re communicating in multiple ways to our teams. We can believe words alone will get through to our team.

This is incorrect. Our team needs to hear the same message in multiple ways. Maybe you verbally communicate your desires, then you send an email following up with explicit directions.

When we use two different kinds of communication, the message gets through.

2. Listen to your people:

The pig began to snort at the door of the shack frantically. This didn’t concern Rob. Rob told the pig that it was just coyotes.

Was he ever wrong…

This is where two tweakers (Elijah Ungvary and Julia Bray) break through the door. They grab the pig. Rob is left all alone.

Had Rob listened to the pig, he may have been able to prevent the kidnapping (or is it pignapping?).

Our people have their nose to the ground. They often hear of things happening before we do. They also can sense when something isn’t right. They work in their specific areas day in and day out. They know when something isn’t right.

Take the time to listen to your people. They are longing to have your ear. Give it to them. You may discover things aren’t as perfect as you think they are.

3. Leaders are honest:

Rob left his shack in a rusting truck. The truck broke down. He had to walk the rest of the way to his destination.

His destination was an old diner. There, he asked the waitress if Marge was working. She wasn’t; she had passed away years ago. Then, he asked to use the phone.

The waitress asked if Rob was going to buy anything. Rob, being honest, told the waitress no. With his honesty came access to the phone.

We cannot be liars and expect to be trusted by those we lead. Only through honesty can we be trusted leaders.

We also have to be honest with our vendors, customers, and community. Don’t tell lies. Tell the truth. It’s a lot easier to get things done when you do.

4. Mac (Gretchen Corbett):

I expect certain things from the people I do business with.

Mac buys truffles from truffle hunters. She then sells these truffles to restaurants.

When she hears someone had someone Rob’s foraging pig, she goes ballistic. She has an idea of who stole the pig and confronted them.

What she says is something all leaders should do. Mac said, “I expect certain things from the people I do business with.”

She expected honesty. She expected respect.

What are you expecting from the people you do business with? Do you expect them to be ethical? Do you expect them to treat their employees well? Do you expect them to honor their agreements?

Have a list of expectations of those you do business with. It will help you decide who to partner with.

5. We have to be willing to wait:

Amir took Rob to the city. They were denied information from Edgar (Darius Pierce), a former acquaintance of Rob’s.

After Edgar dismissed them, Rob asked the time. Amir told him it was only 9:15 PM. Rob said they would have to until midnight.

This was when things got real. Rob took Amir to an underground Fight Club. There, Rob revealed his true identity: A former Portland-based chef who was world-renown.

Rob offered himself up to be beat down by a willing participant. It was a hard-to-watch scene, but it shows how much he wanted to get his pig back.

Waiting is hard. We want to get things done now. We want the next innovation or project. We want immediate results.

This isn’t how the world works. We have to be willing to wait.

You didn’t learn to walk in a day. Your business wasn’t built in a day. Your people weren’t trained in a day.

Learn to wait.

6. Amir:

My friend is Robin Feld.

Rob had asked Amir to get them a reservation at Eurydice, a trendy Haute cuisine restaurant. Amir’s friend was hesitant to do so. He didn’t believe he could.

Amir name-dropped. He told his friend that he wanted the reservation for Robin Feld. Name-dropping got him the reservation.

Name-dropping… It’s such a touchy subject. Using the name of a former boss or a friend can open doors. It can also make you look like you’re using people.

Know when to name-drop.

There are times and places when it is appropriate. You can also ask your friend or boss if it is okay to do this.

7. Success isn’t always success:

At Eurydice, Rob asked the waitress for the chef. Out comes Chef Derek Finway (David Knell). Rob had fired Derek at a previous restaurant.

Rob knew Derek well. He knew his dreams. The dream of Derek’s was to open an English pub.

Derek chose instead to work at Eurydice. He gave up his dream to become a successful chef. Except he wasn’t happy. The success he achieved wasn’t what he expected.

We have to be cautious of why we do what we do. We can put our dreams and passions on the backburner for the look of success.

What are your dreams? Is your current leadership role leading you toward them?

If not, you may not be as successful as you think. Go, chase your dream.

8. Rob:

They’re not real. You get that, right? None of it is real. The critics aren’t real. The customers aren’t real. Because this isn’t real. You aren’t real.

In the same scene as the point above, we see Rob give a riveting speech to Derek. He tells Derek things aren’t real. The customers aren’t. The critics aren’t. Even Derek isn’t real.

This is because Derek is living an inauthentic life.

Inauthentic living leads to inauthentic interactions. These, in turn, could be considered fake. They’re not real.

Make sure you’re living authentically.

By doing so, you make life more real. The interactions are honest. The people who are critics actually matter.

Live authentically.

9. Great leaders lead others:

Rob gave Amir a list of ingredients. He asked Amir to get the items on the list and bring them to him.

Once Amir gathered all the ingredients, Amir and Rob had work to do. They laid out the ingredients. Rob then instructed Amir what to do.

The pair created an exquisite dinner for Amir’s father, Darius (Adam Arkin). The dinner was the same dinner Rob had cooked for Darius and his wife years ago.

Through Rob’s leading, a great dinner was made.

How are you leading your people? Are you actually leading them?

Walk through the steps it takes to get the task done. Work with them, hands-on.

You will discover this kind of leading takes more work. However, you will also realize this is more effective.

10. Rob:

I remember every meal I ever cooked. I remember every person I ever served.

Rob was able to recreate the meal for Darius because he remembered people. Every customer, every meal was seared into Rob’s mind. He could recall them all.

It’s a superpower, if you ask me. It’s one that is valuable to leaders.

When you’re able to remember your people, they know they matter. When you’re able to remember customers, they know they matter.

Begin working on the skill of remembering people and activities. Your ability to do this will move people.

11. Our lives are broken into parts:

Throughout the movie, viewers see the movie broken up into parts. It’s visually represented when the text appears with Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

This tells the viewer that things have changed.

Our lives are like the movie. Our lives are broken into parts.

I recently finished the book Halftime by Bob Buford. He agrees that our lives are broken into parts. He calls these parts the first half and second half.

Be aware of what part of life you’re living in. It matters as we need to live differently in each part.

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