Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Sonic The Hedgehog 2

A Reel Leadership Article

My latest book, Reel Leadership, is now available on Amazon. If you love movies and leadership, you will love this book.

Sonic, the blue blur, returns for a second movie outing. Once again, the team behind the Sonic The Hedgehog movies does a bang-up job. Sonic 2 brings Sonic (Ben Schwartz) to life along with his video game compatriots Knuckles (Idris Elba) and Tails (Colleen O’Shaughnessey).

The return to the big screen also includes the big baddie Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey), Agent Stone (Lee Madjoub), and Sonic’s “parents” Tom (James Marsden) and Maddie Wachowski (Tika Sumpter). Even Maddie’s sister Rachel (Natasha Rothwell) returns. This time she also brings with her a fiance, Randall (Shemar Moore from Criminal Minds).

Sonic facing off against Knuckles

If you enjoyed the first movie, you will love the second movie. If you haven’t watched the first, go watch Sonic The Hedgehog and then run to the theater. We don’t regret doing so even though our weekend was packed due to selling my Reel Leadership book at the Grand Rapids Comic-Con Spring Fling (massive shout out to comic book artists Sam de la Rosa and Freddie Williams II for the great artwork!).

But, not only will you enjoy yourself watching Sonic The Hedgehog 2, you will find yourself growing as a leader. Let’s dig into the leadership lessons in Sonic The Hedgehog 2.

Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Sonic The Hedgehog 2

1. Know who you’re talking to:

Dr. Robotnik was stuck on Mushroom Planet. If you watched the first Sonic The Hedgehog movie, you would know that he was sent to the planet by Sonic.

Robotnik was isolated. He had no one to talk to. Yet, he was narrating recent events.

He even acknowledged he didn’t know who he was narrating for. Still, he continued.

We cannot be like Robotnik. We cannot mindlessly talk to someone. We have to have a person or group of people in mind when we begin to communicate.

Who are you talking to? Who are you leading?

Talk, and narrate to this group. Don’t mindlessly ramble. Give them clear communication.

2. Small can be powerful:

Robotnik had a single blue quill from Sonic. The single quill still held so much power.

In fact, the quill was so powerful it could power Robotnik’s evil machine. Using the quill, Robotnik sent out energy from Mushroom Planet that was discovered by Knuckles.


Don’t think your small business, tiny team, or sole self is less powerful than your competitors. Small can be powerful.

Recognize this. Don’t shirk away.

3. You can think you’re great but listen to the people around you:

Sonic had “stopped” an armored truck robbery. In the process, Sonic destroyed a city block in San Francisco.

After bragging about himself, the armored truck security guard (Scott Patey) told Sonic the truth. The security guard told Sonic he was terrible.

Don’t think so highly of yourself that you don’t see the trouble or destruction you’re bringing to your environment.

Far too many leaders think they are the greatest thing since sliced bread. The problem is that they’re not. Everything they touch is brought to ruin.

Listen to the people around you. Are they singing your praises or are they trying to tell you that you can do better?

4. Tom:

No, you put people in danger. That’s not what a hero does.

Sonic failed to realize the danger he put people in as he tried to solve the problems around him. From almost running the armored truck into a crowd of customers at the local ice cream shop to destroying the city block, Sonic put people in danger.

All Sonic thought he was doing was helping people. He wasn’t. He was putting people’s lives at risk.

Great leaders don’t put people in danger’s way. Instead, they look for ways to avoid any casualties.

Great leaders look to minimize the damage. They know the more damage reeked, the more at risk their people are.

Look to minimize the danger you put your people in.

5. You can misunderstand the motives of others:

Knuckles had chased Sonic but fell off the cliff they were going toward. As Knuckles was climbing his way back up, Robotnik sent his drones to Knuckles.

Knuckles assumed Robotnik was getting ready to attack. Knuckles wasn’t happy about this.

Instead, Robotnik did something no one expected. He had commanded the drones to be a stairway for Knuckles.

The people you lead will often misunderstand your motives. They will think you’re attacking them, trying to change them, or leading them in the wrong direction.

Know that you will have to check your motives. Make sure they’re right. If they are, keep leading despite what others think of you.

6. Tails:

That made me think being weird isn’t all that bad.

Tails was born differently than others in his species/race. Tails had two tails when everyone else had one.

This difference wore on Tails. Tails felt like an outcast.

Until he discovered Sonic.

While Sonic was awesome, Sonic was also weird. He wasn’t the same as every other creature out there. He was different.

Don’t hide your unique self. We’re all different. It’s okay to be odd.

Wear your freak flag. Let people know you’re willing to do something out of the norm.

Be weird.

7. Knuckles:

How dare you attack me in my moment of sorrow.

Knuckles began as a baddie in Sonic The Hedgehog 2. He thought Sonic was an enemy. After Robotnik betrayed him, Sonic rescued him. Then, Knuckles saved Sonic from drowning.

Sitting on the beach, Sonic began to pelt Knuckles with sandballs. Knuckles saw this as an attack, especially since he was sinking into despair.

Yet, Sonic wasn’t being mean. Sonic was trying to get his attention. He wanted Knuckles to focus on the future.

Are you Knuckles? Do you sulk in sorrow when something goes wrong?

Or, are you more like Sonic? You focus on the future. You stop throwing yourself a pity party.

Choose to be a Sonic leader. Focus on what’s coming, not the failure behind you.

8. Agent Stone:

Doctor! Take me with you!

Agent Stone didn’t want to be left behind by Robotnik. He called out for help.

Surprisingly, Robotnik responded to Agent Stone’s pleas. He grabbed Agent Stone and took him with him.

While Robotnik was a bad guy, he still took people along for the ride.

Many bad leaders take people along with them. They bring people into the evil deeds they do.

Just because a leader is bringing people along doesn’t make them a good leader. It only means they have influence.

9. Focus on the right thing:

Robotnik unveiled a massive robot he could control after he obtained the power of the Master Emerald. This robot was a hulking beast.

You would think it was unbeatable. Still, Sonic, Knuckles, and Tails did defeat the robot.


They made Robotnik focus on the wrong thing. Sonic became Robotnik’s target. He drew the attention of Robotnik while Tails and Knuckles approached the robot from behind.

The duo gained entry into the robot. First, Tails was assaulted by Robotnik. Then it was revealed Tails was a secondary distraction as Knuckles knocked the Master Emerald out of Robotnik.

We all have a focus. The focus isn’t always on the right thing.

Make sure you’re not so focused on one area that you’re missing the danger in other areas of your life or leadership.

10: Foes can become allies:

Knuckles was a foe to Tails and Sonic at the movie’s beginning. He hated Sonic with a passion.

By the end of the movie, Knuckles has become a part of Sonic’s inner circle.

The same can be true for you. You may see your competitors as great foes. These competitors could be your best resources.

Look for ways to partner with others. Find ways to combine your forces for good.

Make allies out of foes.

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