Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Stranger Things Season 4 Chapter 8: Papa

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.

The hit Netflix show Strangers Things is back for the final two episodes and boy were they good. So good, in fact, that viewers crashed the Netflix servers and people couldn’t stream anything on the service for a while. And the show even revitalized the 1985 Kate Bush song Running Up That Hill to the number one spot on the Billboard charts.

Instead of looking at movie leadership lessons, I’m giving my readers a double-header of Stranger Things goodness.

Today, there will be two articles. The first, this one, will look at Season 4’s Chapter 8 (the second article of leadership lessons from Stranger Things can be found here). These last two episodes are feature film length. Chapter 8’s runtime is 1 hour 25 minutes. Both of the episodes are worth the watch.

Chapter 8 focuses on Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and her relationship with Papa/Dr. Martin Brenner (Matthew Modine). Along with the relationship between the pair, this episode also leads up to the fantastic season finale. Things have really changed over the years between Eleven and Dr. Brenner.

If you need to catch up on Stranger Things, binge-watch the episodes on Netflix or purchase seasons 1-3 on Amazon.

Now, fair warning, there are plenty of spoilers in this article. If you haven’t watched Stranger Things, be careful reading on. If you’re ready to discover the leadership lessons in Stranger Things, continue reading!

Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Stranger Things Season 4 Chapter 8: Papa

1. We may not recall the past properly:

Throughout the seasons of Stranger Things, we’ve been led to believe Eleven slaughtered the other children in the Hawkins Lab. The beginning of Papa tells us differently.

Eleven did not kill the children. Instead, the friendly orderly Henry Creel (Jamie Campbell Bower) was the culprit.

We learn Henry is actually the first person to be treated with powers. He is the one who becomes the evil Vecna who controls the Upside Down.

It is easy to believe the past is exactly as we recall. However, we do not accurately recall the past.

Think about how the memories of you and your wife differ. She may recall asking you to take out the trash. You have no recollection of the request.

What we remember is not always what happened. Keep this in mind while leading and dealing with disagreements.

2. Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder):

He’s my Starksy to my Hutch.

Joyce went on a rescue mission to save Jim Hopper (David Harbour, who played the Red Guardian in Black Widow). She had to travel to Russia to rescue Hopper from the Russian gulag. She traveled with Murray Bauman (Brett Gelman), an eccentric gentleman, to get there.

Joyce states that Murray is her Starsky to her Hutch when talking to Hopper. If you remember the television series, you know what she means.

In the Starsky and Hutch show, the pair had what was considered the first bromance. Joyce and Murray had a similar relationship. They were quirky and odd. They also had fun.

I want to encourage you to find your Starsky. Find someone you can lead well with.

You will lead better if you have a partner in crime. They will help you get through tough leadership challenges but keep things light-hearted.

3. You can regain your edge:

At the end of season 3, Eleven loses her powers. Her psychokinetic and telepathic abilities dissipated. She felt helpless.

Dr. Brenner and Dr. Sam Owens (Paul Reiser) worked with Eleven to help her regain her powers.

We see that their plan worked.

After being placed in the NINA tank, Eleven went through her memories. She relearned how powers. Even surpassing the power levels she once wielded.

Leaders may lose their edge over time. They may become ineffective, slow, or even incompetent.

If this is you, have no fear.

You can regain your edge. To do so, I recommend you reach out to someone close to you for advice, take a couple of online courses to sharpen your skills, or role-play some of your ideas.

Doing these things will help you sharpen your leadership skills.

4. Leaders become fearful of losing their influence:

Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard) and Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) have been part of the show since its inception. Mike is the boyfriend of Eleven.

The duo was in the Surfer Boy Pizza van as they tried to find Eleven. They discussed what was happening.

Mike admitted to being fearful. He was fearful of losing Eleven. The reason was if Eleven regained her powers, Eleven would no longer need Mike.

This wasn’t the truth. Eleven would still want and need Mike.

Sometimes, leaders become fearful because they think their influence will wane if their team gains knowledge or power. They think it’s game over if they’re not the top dog.

Let’s stop being fearful of empowering our team. The more empowered our team, the better.

Help them realize their full potential. Rather than losing your team members, you will gain powerful allies.

5. Will Byers:

Without heart, we’d all fall apart.

Eleven had commissioned Will to draw all of their friends. She asked Will to draw specific things.

One of those was a heart on the shield Mike held.

Why? Because Mike was the heart of the gang.

Leaders need to have heart. What does this mean?

Having heart means that you lead emphatically. You care about the people on your team. You take notice when things are off.

Leading with heart will produce a better, more cohesive team.

6. Leaders have vision:

Venca was not a good guy. He was killing the residents of Hawkins.

Yet, he had a characteristic of leadership. Venca had vision.

While trapped in the Upside Down, Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer) was approached by Venca. Venca showed Nancy the things that were to come.

These visions were what he dreamed of and wanted to come true. He knew what he wanted and he was going to go for it.

What vision do you have for your organization? For your family?

If you’re going to lead, you need to know where you will lead.

Create a vision plan. Have a purpose for going where you’re going.

7. Share your dreams:

Steve Harrington (Joe Keery) had been a love interest of Nancy early in the series. The pair broke up and Nancy began dating Jonathan Byers (Charlie Heaton).

After stealing an RV, Steve and Nancy discussed their dreams. Steve shared how he longed to have a family.

His desire, his dream, was to have a large family. A brood of six kids.

What’s your dream? Your dream is different than your vision. Your dream is your hope and desire.

Figure this out. Then begin sharing it with those you trust.

You’ll find people out there who are willing to support your dreams. Get them out there and build on the dream.

8. Robin Buckley (Maya Hawke):

If we don’t stop him, who will?

Robin didn’t have a good feeling going against Venca. She felt something terrible would happen.

Despite her negative feelings, she believed the crew should attack Venca.

She wondered who else would. Knowing there wouldn’t be someone else to step up, she felt their gang of misfits would tackle the task.

Many leaders step up because of the question Robin asked. They will ask: “If I don’t step in to lead, who will?”

The answer is almost always it is the leader’s responsibility. That means you.

Step up to lead.

9. Your people may not understand why you did what you did:

Dr. Brenners was shot. He was dying.

As he lay dying, Dr. Brenners asked Eleven to tell him she understood why he did what he did. He believed everything he did was to help Eleven.

Eleven didn’t understand. She didn’t see things this way.

You may believe you have good reasons for your actions. You may think your team members will understand why you behaved in the manner you did.

Truth is, your team may not understand. If they do, they may not be able to forgive you if you did questionable things.

Make sure you are honest with your team. This will help them understand what you’re doing and why. Being honest will also help them trust you.

Enjoyed reading about the leadership lessons from Stranger Things Season 4 Episode 8? Get all the leadership lessons from Stranger Things Season 4 Episode 9 by clicking here.

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