Ralph Breaks The Internet is the sequel to the extremely entertaining Disney movie Wreck-It Ralph. Ralph (John C. Reilly) returns in this sequel only to break the internet and hearts of those he loves…
Ralph Breaks The Internet is a story of friendship… And of insecurity. Of old times colliding with new times. Of friends moving on.
The Wreck-It Ralph sequel pulls off everything a sequel should. It was refreshing to see a movie sequel succeed like this.
While you’ll enjoy the exploits of Ralph and Vanellope (Sarah Silverman), you’ll also find leadership lessons you can take away from this family-friendly movie. You may even be able to help your children understand leadership better! Isn’t that a win-win? A good movie and educating your kids, especially in this time of sheltering-at-home.
Today, we’ll take a look at the leadership lessons in Ralph Breaks The Internet and how you can apply these to your life and leadership position.
Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Ralph Breaks The Internet
1. What one person thinks is difficult can be easy for another:
Vanellope and Ralph were playing the game I-Spy. This is a game where one person tells another person what they see. Ralph says he spies something yellow and round and eats dots.
He thinks he has a challenging guess for Vanellope. He doesn’t. Vanellope guesses Pac-Man on her first try.
What Ralph thought was difficult, Vanellope found easy.
What do you find difficult in leadership? What do you struggle to understand? These things you find difficult, another person may find them easy.
Find these people. Let them join your team and make what is difficult for you easy for them to accomplish.
You will take a pain point off of your plate. You will give someone joy in solving the problem. It’s a win-win.
2. Find ways to make the mundane new:
Vanellope had complained to Ralph the tracks in Sugar Rush were boring. She’d raced them all and knew them like the back of her hand. There was no challenge left.
Ralph saw this as an opportunity to create a new challenge and help his friend. He went into the Sugar Rush game. While in the game, he began to create an alternate pathway on one of the tracks.
He didn’t sit around when someone saw a problem. He went to work and found a way to make something new out of the mundane.
The daily grind gets boring after a while. Especially for your team members who do the same things every day.
Is there something you could do to make the mundane work entertaining or refreshing for your team members? I bet you could.
Look for ways to give your team new challenges. They’re desiring a challenge. They don’t want their work to be boring or mundane. They’re looking for a rewarding experience at work. Give it to them.
3. You’re more than your organization:
Because of what Ralph did to the course in Sugar Rush, a player of the game broke the steering wheel. This caused the game to be powered down and prepared to be recycled.
Vanellope was distraught. She didn’t know what to do. Her whole life was gone.
Or so she thought.
Have you ever experienced a job loss? Maybe an organization collapses, leaving you without a job?
We can get so caught up in the organization or our titles that when something changes, we’re lost. We don’t know what to do when a change like this happens.
You may feel lost. You may feel like your world has collapsed.
I want to remind you, you are more than your job, your organization, or your title. You are so much more.
When a major change like this hits you, stop and breathe. Find your bearings. Know your worth.
Sweet mother of monkey milk!
Many moviegoers chuckled when Vanellope uttered these words. They were silly. They also showed something.
Her words showed moviegoers how excited she was to be in a new place. She didn’t hide her excitement as she and Ralph entered the internet.
The internet was a wonderous place. She had to exclaim her joy!
When’s the last time you let your team see you excited? Have you ever let your team see you excited?
Your team wants to see your humanity. They want to see you excited, happy, sad. Your emotions will help you connect with your team.
Let your team see you show emotion. They need it. You need it.
5. Butting in annoys people:
In the internet, Ralph and Vanellope meet Mr. KnowsMore (Alan Tudyk). He was a search engine character. People went to him when they needed to find something on the internet.
Much like Google, Mr. KnowsMore would begin to autofill answers. A character would start to say something and Mr. KnowsMore butts in with his suggestions.
We see Ralph try to talk to Mr. KnowsMore. Mr. KnowsMore tries to offer up his suggestions and knowledge to Ralph. This annoys Ralph as he couldn’t get his thought out.
Leaders, we can’t be Mr. KnowsMore to our team. We can’t continually offer up answers when our team members come to us with a question.
What we can do is listen. Listen to their issue. Then help them understand and work out a solution.
Be a solution-helper, not a solution-giver. In doing so, you will empower your team members to figure out problems on their own.
6. Have someone who can help you recover from distractions:
The internet is filled with pop-ups and distractions. The internet in Ralph Breaks The Internet is no different. Everywhere Ralph looked, he saw pop-ups drawing his attention away from the task at hand (buying a new steering wheel for Sugar Rush).
Thankfully, Vanellope sees Ralph becoming distracted. She pulls Ralph away from the pop-ups and gets him back on track.
We need someone like Vanellope in our lives. Leadership is full of distractions. From dealing with team members’ issues to the latest leadership hack, we can easily lose our focus. If we don’t have someone to help us keep our focus where it needs to be, we can wind up in a rabbit hole.
Find someone you can count on. Someone who will tell you to stop chasing the new, shiny leadership trick. Someone who will tell you to focus on one, clear objective until completion.
Having someone like this in your leadership life will help keep you grounded and on track.
7. Shank (Gal Gadot from Wonder Woman):
If we just let them win, where’s the life lesson in that?
Shank is a mean character in a game called Slaughter Race. It’s a bash ’em, mash ’em racing game that reminded me of the classic Playstation game Twisted Metal.
Characters would race other racers and try to steal vehicles. The in-game characters would try to stop them in any way possible. Shank was one of those in-game characters and she was brutal.
After taking out a couple of real-life players trying to steal her car, her comrades asked her if she was being too harsh. She responded with the above quote.
There’s a bit of truth in Shank’s quote. We can’t make our team members’ jobs so easy that there’s no fulfillment in their work.
We have to give our team members a challenge. Letting them work hard is a way to help them learn, grow, and enjoy their work.
Give your team members a challenge.
There’s no track! I can drive anywhere.
Vanellope and Ralph witnessed Shank’s brutality. Then they still chose to steal her car.
As they raced out of the garage with the car, they quickly went off the track. Ralph wanted Vanellope to get back on the track. Vanellope knew her skill level and knew she could control the car off of a track.
We can follow Vanellope’s example here. She didn’t need a track to drive the car. She had the skills to drive a car anywhere.
Do you have the ability to lead in any situation? We have to be comfortable leading when the path isn’t clear. We have to be willing to lead when we don’t know what is next.
Prepare yourself to lead when the runway goes away. It will happen. You will need to lead when there’s no track. Your team will need you to lead them. Be the leader who can lead anywhere.
9. Enlist the help of others:
Ralph and Vanellope meet Yesss (Taraji P. Henson from the movie Hidden Figures). Yesss controls a website that is very similar to our YouTube. She’s in control and knows how to get things done.
She hears of Ralph’s plight and wants to help. She knows she can help Ralph raise the money to buy the steering wheel.
To do this, she enlists the help of pop-ups around the internet. She tasks them with getting people to Ralph’s videos. Her efforts work. The hearts and money begin to roll in.
Are you enlisting the help of others? These are people who can help move your organization or mission forward. These are people who know how to get eyes on you, your organization, or what you’re doing.
Look at finding people who can help you grow your organization. They’re out there. They’re just waiting on you to find them.
10. Everyone has haters:
Ralph’s videos were hot. People loved them. Still, there were people who didn’t like what Ralph was doing.
These people would post in the comments and share how much Ralph sucked. Or how bad his videos were. Or how he was a has-been.
Ralph walked into the comments section. He began to see the positive comments roll in. He felt amazing.
Then he saw the negative comments. They overwhelmed him. They made him feel worthless.
Thankfully, Yesss was there to help him. She told him the first rule of the internet –
First rule of the internet: Do not read the comments. Should’ve told you that. Look, this place can bring out the worst in some people, but you gotta ignore all this
Regardless of the good you’re doing, you’re going to have haters. These are going to be the people who try to rip you apart and tear you down. Their negative comments will negate the positive comments.
We have to be careful giving credence and voice to the negative comments of those around us. They are often just people looking to pick a fight.
Focusing on the negative comments will tear you down. Choose to focus on the positive comments. Listen to the people you are helping. Their comments will give you the encouragement to continue on.
There’s no law saying best friends have to have the same dreams.
Vanellope was struggling with Ralph’s desire to always be near her. Especially as her dream became something different than what they had.
She began to dream she could stay in Slaughter Race and not Sugar Rush. She wanted to move onto something different. But she wondered if this made her a bad friend.
It didn’t. It only meant she had grown and changed.
I see this helping us determine whether or not we can move on from one organization to another. There may be friends or cherished colleagues you will leave behind if you leave.
These people may make it hard to leave, especially if they want to stay. Their desire to stay can cloud your judgment in leaving. It may make you feel like you’re a bad leader.
You’re not a bad leader if you want to move on. It means you’ve done what you could at your current organization. You can leave. It’s okay.
Don’t let your friends or colleagues hold you back. You don’t have to have the same dreams or aspirations as them. You can have your own.
12. Our insecurities can destroy the organization we lead:
Ralph went to Double Dan (Alfred Molina) to get a virus he could unleash in Slaughter Race. He wanted to find a way to slow the game down so Vanellope wouldn’t want to stay there. He thought he could get her to come back to the arcade.
Why did he do this? Ralph was feeling insecure. He didn’t know what to do with himself if his best friend was gone.
Because of his insecurity, Ralph let a virus ravage the internet. The virus became a Ralphzilla.
Sites were damaged and destroyed because Ralph was insecure and didn’t know how to deal with those insecurities.
We can be like Ralph. We can break things when we let our insecurities get out of control.
Our insecurities will drive us to do things we know we shouldn’t do. They will drive us to do things that will hurt others.
Be careful of your insecurities. Don’t let them get out of control.
So, what can I say kid? Life’s complicated.
Vanellope was upset at Ralph. She knew what he did. She knew why Ralph did what he did but she had a hard time accepting this.
This is when Yesss dropped a big truth on Vanellope. Life is complicated. We have to figure out what to do with the complicated life we live.
You have to understand, leadership isn’t easy. Leadership is complicated. You will find there will be trials and struggles and things you just don’t understand.
That’s leadership. It’s messy.
You can still lead through the complications.
Question: If you’ve watched Ralph Breaks The Internet, what leadership lessons did you take away from the movie? If you haven’t seen the movie, what Reel Leadership lessons from Ralph Breaks The Internet that I shared resonated with you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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