Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Plane

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Plane is an action movie that will have you at the edge of your seat for most of the film. Starring Gerard Butler as pilot Brodie Torrance, Mike Colter (of Luke Cage fame) as convict Louis Gaspare, and Yoson An as co-pilot Dele, the thrills keep coming for the whole film.

Torrance is the pilot of a plane that was directed to fly through a dangerous storm. The aircraft was struck by lightning, lost power, and crash land safely on an island.

That’s only the beginning. The action really starts now.

Gerard Butler and Mike Colter in a scene from the movie Plane

Upon landing on the island, they discover the island isn’t safe. Dangerous rebels overtake the passengers, hold them hostage, and threaten their lives.

You’ll watch Plane with your attention fixed on the screen. But don’t forget; there are leadership lessons in Plane. We will look at those leadership lessons in this article.

Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Plane

1. Anticipate delays:

Torrance is shown having a phone conversation with his daughter, Daniella (Haleigh Hekking). Daniella asks her father if he’ll be home for New Year’s. He says he will.

Why? Because there will be no delays. Yeah, that wasn’t foreshadowing or jinxing it.

As we see, Torrance’s plane is struck by lightning, and he has to save his passengers from rebels.

When planning projects or forecasting, we have to account for delays. Delays happen all of the time.

Your delays could be due to an employee shortage (who doesn’t have this these days?), supply delays, or incorrect production.

Be ready for delays. Have a backup plan. Don’t wait for a delay to happen. Prepare today.

2. Leaders have to play big issues cool:

Torrance saw Gaspare boarding the plane. He was flanked by agents and led by RCMP Officer Knight (Otis Winston). The flight crew, comprised of Dele, Bonnie (Daniella Pineda), and other flight crew, discover Gaspare’s presence.

They begin to ask questions. Torrance answered as best as he could.

Then, they all kept their cool once Gaspare was onboard. They didn’t let on that there was a murderer onboard.

Situations arise as you lead that will require you to keep your cool even when you’re losing it. Don’t lose your cool.

Instead, present a cool front when you need to. Your calm presence will relax others.

3. Leaders take action even without confirmation:

Torrance knew they were flying into a bad storm. Once inside, he called air traffic control to get the clearance to climb to 40,000 feet.

There was static on the other end of the radio.

Torrance had a choice to make. He could wait for confirmation. Or he could take action, lift the plane to 40,000 feet, and await judgment.

He took action. He didn’t hesitate. The nose of the plane lifted, and they reached 40,000 feet.

You may be a mid-level leader or have stakeholders to answer to. You may go to these people with concerns or ideas. Sometimes, your message goes unanswered.

What do you do?

Do you wait and wait and wait? Or do you take action?

There are situations where you must act and act quickly. Make sure you’re not waiting around when you should be doing what needs to be done.

4. Brodie Torrance:

Alright, Dele. Let’s give this our best shot.

After the plane was struck by lightning, the controls, panel readouts, and more were no longer working. Torrance and Dele were flying blind.

This didn’t mean they sat there and did nothing. No, they laid out a plan.

They would ditch the plane in the water. They would do this to the best of their ability so that no one would be hurt.

What happened? They did their best, and their best found a place they could land the plane safely (though they were not safe).

We can get trapped in the idea that we must do things perfectly. We don’t.

There are times when our best is good enough.

Don’t put perfect on a pedestal. Instead, focus on getting things done good enough.

5. There’s always another challenge:

Torrance landed the plane. The danger was over. Right?


Now that they had landed the plane, he had to contend with cranky passengers. The same passengers he just saved.

Then the next challenge after that was the rebels.

It was one thing after another. Torrance never got a break.

Leadership is a neverending adventure of challenges. You’ll overcome one challenge only to be faced with another.

Instead of approaching these challenges with dread, learn to approach challenges with vigor and energy.

They’ll never stop. So why should you?

6. Great leaders explain the situation:

Once the plane was landed, Torrance had the passengers deboard the plane. He then proceeded to thank the passengers.

After this, Torrance told the passengers the next steps. He let them know what happened, their current situation, and, most importantly, the next steps.

This is a great model for leaders to follow. What Torrance did was explain the situation to his people.

Leaders must do this. They cannot expect their people to do what is required if they’re not given the right information.

Explain and lead.

7. Louis Gaspare:

You bear it all.

Gaspare becomes a likable guy as the movie progresses. We begin to learn he might not be the bad guy he was made out to be.

After leaving Torrance, Gaspare returns to save his life.

Torrance was able to find a working phone at an abandoned facility. He tried calling Trailblazer Airlines, but the receptionist wouldn’t take his call. He then calls his daughter.

They talk, but Torrance is attacked. He fought back and snapped the attacker’s neck.

This weighed heavy on Torrance. Gaspare appears and helps comfort Torrance.

He understood the weight of doing what needed to be done.

You have a weight to bear as a leader. Everything you do affects everything around you and your organization.

You cannot shrug off this weight. You have to bear it.

8. Others matter more than you:

The rebels arrive at the site of the plane crash. At about the same time, Torrance and Gaspare do too.

The rebel leader, Junmar (Evan Dane Taylor), has two passengers killed. He then took the remaining hostages to a remote village.

Torrance and Gaspare follow. They arrive, and Torrance comes up with a plan.

He would give himself up to distract the rebels. This would allow everyone to get away except himself.

Gaspare questioned this. He asked, “What about your family?” Torrance said, “What about all of theirs?”

Torrance was willing to put his needs and desires aside for the betterment of the people under him.

What about you? Are you willing to sacrifice yourself for the betterment of your people? Would you be willing to lay down your needs, desires, wants?

Great leaders know it is not about themselves. Great leadership is about the people.

9. Brodie Torrance :

One minute at a time.

One of Torrance’s saying was One minute at a time. That’s how he would take things.

It’s how we need to take things, too. We cannot take everything at once. Instead, we have to take everything minute by minute.

Learn to live minute by minute. Change when needed. Do what’s required at the time.

10. People can be redeemed:

At the start of Plane, you think Gaspare is an unredeemable villain. He’s a murderer. He deserves punishment.

By the end of Plane, you have a different feeling about Gaspare. He’s not a villain. He’s a man who got caught up in his job and lost it.

We could all be Gaspare at one point or another. The scapegoat for someone bigger.

We can learn from Gaspare’s story and redemption arc. The villain, or tough guy, isn’t as bad as they appear. Instead, they’re willing to work for redemption. They’re willing to step into a role and fill it.

Give people a chance to redeem themselves.

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