The much-anticipated sequel to the 2019 film Shazam! opened recently. Shazam! Fury Of The Gods brings just as much fun to the theaters as the original film. The film continues Billy Batson’s (Asher Angel) journey as the boy who says SHAZAM! and is turned into a superhero (Zachary Levi).
Critics have panned the movie. I think they don’t understand the point of film at times. Sure, Reel Leadership looks at the leadership aspect of movies, but movies can also entertain. They take us to a place we couldn’t go to before. Shazam! Fury Of The Gods brings us a lot of fun, laughs, and smiles throughout.
Go into the movie expecting to have fun, and you will. You can also go to the movie expecting to come out a better leader.
Get ready for the latest Reel Leadership article with leadership lessons from Shazam! Fury Of The Gods.
Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Shazam! Fury Of The Gods
1. Your words have power and can infect others:
Kalypso (Lucy Liu) and Hespera (Helen Mirren) wanted to steal the magic staff from a museum. They entered with one goal in mind: Get the staff at all costs.
When a guard went to stop Kalypso, she whispered into the guard’s ear. His countenance changed. He became infected.
The guard went on a rampage. He stopped and whispered into a museum visitor’s ear. She became infected too. Soon, all of the guests at the museum had been infected by the words spoken.
This reminds me of Proverbs 18:21. The scripture tells us that the tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
Kalypso, the guard, and the patrons all used their words to infect and hurt others around them. We have the same power.
Our words matter. What we say to others can bring life or death.
Choose to infect those you lead with life.
2. Video games can teach us strategy:
Billy was playing video games with his brother, Eugene Choi (Ian Chen). Eugene had chosen to play a war-style game. Maybe it was even Call Of Duty.
Billy wasn’t happy about the choice. It was another dumb wargame, in his opinion.
Eugene saw their experience playing video games differently. He saw the experience as a training exercise. The duo would be better off because of the strategy involved in playing games.
This aligns with Jon D. Harrison’s book Mastering The Game: What Video Games Can Teach Us About Success In Life. It also aligns with my theories regarding movies and leadership.
The things we do on a regular basis can teach us if we’re looking for them. Video games, they teach us strategy.
You have to think through your actions. You have to decide the next best step. And you have to route the enemy.
Don’t shy away from modern entertainment. It can teach you the skills you need to lead well.
Circle up, fam!
The rest of Shazam’s family had superpowers as well. Darla Dudley (Faithe Herman/Meagan Good), Pedro Pena (Jovan Armand/D.J. Cotrona), Eugene Choi (Ross Butler), Freddy Freeman (Jack Dylan Grazer/Adam Brody), and Mary Bromfield (Grace Caroline Currey) all could say the magical word and become superpowered.
After saving people from a collapsing bridge, Shazam told his family to circle up.
Shazam knew they weren’t finished after the first step in saving people. They now needed to stop the bridge from collapsing. That’s what needed to be discussed next.
Leaders take people from one project to the next. They understand that success today doesn’t equal success tomorrow.
Call your people back. Let them know there’s more work to be down. Circle up the team and get things done.
4. Leaders take the hits:
A new girl arrived at the school. Her name was Ann/Anthea (Rachel Zegler).
Two students from the school were giving her a hard time. Freddy slid in. He stepped up to protect her.
Freddy also got hit. He knew he would, but he took the hit for the new student (who turned out to be the third Goddess sister!).
Leaders don’t let their people take the bumps or hits. They step up to those causing trouble.
Step in and take the hits coming at your people. You’re in a position you can take them. They’re not.
5. Admit when you don’t know what to do:
Part of the joy of watching Shazam is knowing that Shazam has a young person’s mind. Billy is approximately 17 in the movie. When he becomes Shazam, he doesn’t gain wisdom. He’s still the silly, goofy kid.
When he called a family meeting (lots of call-outs to the Fast and the Furious franchise), he told them the Wizard (Djimon Hounsou) had met him in a dream. The Wizard gave him a warning that something terrible was coming.
All Shazam could tell was what the Wizard had told him. He knew no more. He didn’t know what to do.
So he asked his family.
Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know what to do next. In fact, you may even be able to happily say you don’t know what to do.
This allows your team to step up and step in. They can offer their insights, wisdom, and ideas.
Now, you have more input than just your personal thoughts. You have the power of the combined team.
Admit when you don’t know what to do.
6. Our actions can cause unintended consequences:
In the original Shazam movie, Shazam broke the magical staff. He thought he was preventing the staff from being used for evil.
What he didn’t realize was breaking the staff broke the barriers between worlds. He freed the goddesses. They could now come back to Earth.
Our actions won’t have those types of consequences, but our actions do have them. When you make a decision, when you act on those decisions, there are consequences.
You won’t know the full effect of those consequences, but they are out there. They’re reverberating outward like a ripple on a body of water.
Act, but act with the knowledge there are consequences.
7. People are stronger than you give them credit for:
Kalypso and her sisters had captured Freddy. She tried to use her mind-control powers to get Freddy to give up the names of the other superpowered heroes in the city.
This shocked Kalypso and Hespera. They thought the young man would be an easy person to break.
The people on your team are not weak. They are strong.
Don’t be shocked when your people surprise you. They’re able to do more than you think.
All this pretending to be a superhero is just me pretending I’m not broken.
Freddy had to walk with a crutch. His leg didn’t work the way it should.
One of the reasons Freddy loved being a superhero was because his infirmity no longer held him back. He wasn’t broken when he transformed.
A lot of times, leaders pretend to be confident, assertive, and more because they know how broken they are. They try to overcompensate for their brokenness.
Know that we’re all broken. We all have our struggles.
We don’t need to pretend. We can just be.
9. The names of those you lead are important to them:
When Freddy met the Wizard, the Wizard couldn’t get Freddy’s name right. He would call him something far off.
Until Hespera stole an apple from the Shazam family fortress…
Freddy told the Wizard he would go get the apple. The Wizard said he would go. It was a back-and-forth.
Eventually, the Wizard said Freddy’s name. This shocked and pleased Freddy. All he wanted to be was known.
Do you know the names of those you lead?
Your team members are longing to hear their names. They are longing to be recognized.
Give your people the recognition they long for. Know their names and call them by it.
10. People matter more than success:
The goal was to protect the apple. The apple contained the seeds to destroy the world.
There came a challenge. Kalypso grabbed the apple and Mary. She flew high into the sky and then dropped both.
Kalypso made Shazam choose between saving Mary or obtaining the apple. Shazam chose Mary.
He knew family and people mattered more.
Do you value people? Do you see that the fates of those you lead are more important than the organization’s success?
Work to serve the people you lead. They matter. They’re all that matters.
11. The Wizard:
For you, everyone can be worthy.
The Wizard lamented giving Billy his power. He thought he’d chosen poorly. Then he realized he hadn’t.
Billy had shared his power with his family. He saw no need to horde it.
Why did Billy share the power? He saw the potential in those around him. He knew they could be worthy if given a chance.
The people you lead are worthy. Their potential is vast and untapped.
Look at your people. See the potential. See their worth.
The most powerful thing about you is you.
After Anthea turned on Kalypso, Kalypso stripped her of her powers. She was now a normal human being.
Kalypso unleashes a dragon upon Earth. One of the targets was Anthea. Freddy saw this and lept into battle.
While he, too, was powerless, he threw himself between the dragon and Anthea. He would protect her.
Freddy also knew he had to remind Anthea of who she was. She was powerful with or without powers.
Remind your people what makes them important. It’s not the skills, talents, or jobs that they can do. Their worth lies in their humanity.
The most powerful thing about the people you lead is them. Never forget this.