Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Psych 3: This Is Gus

A Reel Leadership Article

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I remember watching the original Psych television series on the USA Network. I would laugh my head off at the crazy antics of the fake psychic Shawn Spencer (James Roday Rodriguez) and his sidekick Burton “Gus” Guster (Dulé Hill).

Shawn and Gus in a funny pose from Psych 3: This Is Gus

Shawn is hyper-observant and has an eidetic memory. He uses these skills to solve crimes and bring justice to those who have been wronged.

Because Shawn has these skills, he can fake being a psychic. He sees something, remembers it, and then pieces it together to make it seem like he has otherworldly abilities.

This leads to hilarity throughout the original series. Shawn continues the fakery throughout Psych 3: This Is Gus as well.

Today, we will look at the leadership lessons in Psych 3: This Is Gus (A Peacock Original movie). It’s a bit harder to do with a film like this as you’re not sure what’s going on but that doesn’t make it any less fun!

Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Psych 3: This Is Gus

1. Stay focused:

The movie opens with Police Chief Carlton Lassiter (Timothy Omundson) being fed lines by Shawn. Lassiter tries to convince the police they have the wrong suspect. It’s not the man they have in custody but the man’s lawyer.

Dun dun dun…

While giving a speech trying to convince them, Lassiter begins to say some odd things. It sounds like he’s trying to order a sandwich. Lassie’s bizarre speech happens because Shawn and Gus argue over a food order.

The lack of focus from Gus and Shawn causes Lassiter to say the wrong thing.

Leaders have to stay focused. Their communication has to be focused. Their actions have to be focused. And their minds need to be focused.

If you become unfocused, your team will suffer. Your team will wonder what’s going on.

Don’t become unfocused.

2. Shawn Spencer:

The truth is we can’t keep coming down here and solving cases from the bush.

Shawn and Gus had been traveling down to where Lassiter lives. They would then help him solve cases after he had been shot multiple times and having a stroke (mirroring a similar situation in Omundson’s life) in a previous Psych movie.

Finally, the duo realized this had to stop. They had a heart-to-heart with Lassiter about the situation.

They knew Lassiter would never heal or grow if they kept stepping in for him.

Leaders like to step in and help. They know they can help their team if only they gave their input.

But, this isn’t the case. Often leaders hinder the growth of their people by trying to do too much for them.

Leaders help. Leaders also step away so their people can grow.

3. Henry Spencer (Corbin Bernsen):

You know that’s how he defines himself.

Henry is Shawn’s dad. They have a strained relationship but they love each other.

In a conversation between the two, Henry tells Shawn that Lassiter defines himself as a cop.

This makes it difficult for Lassiter after the shooting. He isn’t able to do the police work he used to. He struggles with his new normal.

We fall into the same trap that good old Lassie does. We begin to define ourselves by the work that we do.

We cannot do this. Our work does not define us.

It may give us a reason to get up in the morning. Our work may help us to give back to the world. But our work is not who we are.

4. The different seasons of our lives can bring us closer or further from the people we lead:

Gus is in a different stage of life than Shawn. Gus is getting married. He’s having a child with his fiance, Selene (Jazmyn Simon).

Shawn feels the drift. He’s struggling with it. He doesn’t want to lose his best friend.

How does this relate to leadership? Two-fold…

First, we go through different seasons of our lives. We grow, get married, have children, and move on.

It’s easy to want to hold onto the current season of life. We don’t want to give up a leadership position or the team we’ve built.

As seasons change, these things change. Be willing to let them go.

Second, our team members go through different seasons of life as well (we’re not the only ones who change!). Be willing to let them grow and go. Their season of life may no longer align with the work you’re doing.

5. Shawn Spencer:

We can change our minds.

Shawn and Juliet “Jules” O’Hara (Maggie Lawson) married in a previous Psych movie. The two had decided not to have children.

Watching Gus and Selene go through all of the baby stuff, the two begin to discuss becoming parents. Jules tells Shawn that they had made the decision not to. Shawn retorts with “We can change our minds.”

Becoming parents is a serious decision. It’s one people need to heavily weigh the consequences.

In leadership, we will make a decision. The decision is great for a while. Then, things change.

We may want to hold fast to the original decision. We don’t want to look like we didn’t know what was happening or that we were wrong.

This is a problem. We need to be like Shawn. We have to be willing to change our minds.

Change your mind when it’s the right thing to do.

6. Stop ignoring your family:

Chief of the Santa Barabara Police Department Karen Vick (Kirsten Nelson) had made plans to go on a camping trip with her family. Vick forgot that she had a deposition hearing with Woody Strode (Kurt Fuller) at the courthouse before leaving.

She told her family that she would be late for the camping trip.

When she arrived at the campsite, her family was gone. They had decided they weren’t going to be there without her.

Vick lamented this. She began to realize she did this to her family again and again. She ignored them. Her indifference hurt the family.

While your business needs you, your family needs you.

Stop ignoring your family. They’re not second fiddle to your organization. They’re the priority in your life.

Make sure you’re showing them they are. If you don’t, one day they won’t be there.

7. Gus:

We’re detectives. Let’s detect.

Shawn had gone against Gus’ wishes and begun to investigate Selene. Selene had not yet received a divorce from her former husband, Alan Decker (Allen Maldonado), and Shawn wanted to know why. This investigation is the basis of Psych 3.

After getting over his initial frustration with Shawn, Gus hops on board with the investigation. He finally realizes something isn’t right and wants to know what it is.

For leaders, we can change Gus’ line from “We’re detectives. Let’s detect.” to “We’re leaders. Let’s lead.”

Leaders don’t sit in the back row. They don’t delegate everything.

Leaders know they have to do something to actually lead. Go, lead your team.

8. Henry Spencer:

You don’t want to sit on this porch trying to make up for lost time.

Henry has a little heart-to-heart with Lassie. Henry knows that Lassie is struggling. He also knows Lassie cannot continue to keep looking back and trying to make up for lost time.

Henry tells Lassie as much. He encourages him to stop looking back and start looking forward.

We’re going to make mistakes as leaders. We’re going to miss important things (remember the lesson from Karen Vick?).

The key is that when we mess up or have life situations arise, we can’t keep trying to make up for the lost time.

We have to look forward. We have to move forward.

9. People will come around:

Gus apologized to Shawn for getting mad at him. Gus realized that investigating Selene was the right thing to do.

Then he said he was sorry.

You’re going to upset people as you lead. The decisions you make will cause rifts and divisions at the time of the decision.

Yet, over time, the people who were offended will come around. It can take a long time for people to realize the right decision was made.

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