Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Terminator: Dark Fate

“I’ll be back…” are the famous words spoken by Arnold Schwarzenegger in his iconic role as a Terminator in the original movie. And he has been back… Again and again.

Terminator: Dark Fate is the sixth movie in the Terminator series. However, it doesn’t take place as the sixth movie.

Main cast of Terminator: Dark Fate

Terminator: Dark Fate takes place in the same timeline as The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgement Day. If you’ve watched Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Terminator Salvation, or Terminator Genisys, those movies take place in an alternate timeline.

Dark Fate takes place 28 years after Judgement Day. There’s now a new threat. The machines have now sent a Rev-9 Terminator (Gabriel Luna) unit to dispatch a young woman, Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes). She is the hope for the future resistance.

Dark Fate is a fun return to the confusing world of the Terminator. It twists the narrative you thought was going to happen and brings you to a place you couldn’t imagine. Dark Fate is also full of leadership lessons. We’ll dive into those lessons in today’s Reel Leadership article.

Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Terminator: Dark Fate

1. Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton)

That future never happened because I stopped it.

Terminator: Dark Fate helped viewers remember what could have happened. They showed the T-800s attack and how Sarah Connor stopped the horrors of what to come.

Because of her actions, the dark world she fought to prevent never happened. She believed her fight was done. The future that was, was no more.

Great leaders work to change the future. They know they can help improve the world. So, they do what they can.

Every little thing you do can either improve the world or destroy the world. Your choices matter. Choose to help make a better future.

2. Do what cannot be replaced:

Dani and Diego Ramos (Diego Boneta) head into work at an auto factory in Mexico. As they arrive, Diego notices something. There’s a robot in his spot on the production floor.

Little did he know his job was going to be replaced. The automated robot was taking his job, making the need for another human body irrelevant.

Great leaders aren’t replaceable. They do work that only they can do.

Make sure you’re working in your strengths. Make sure you’re doing only what you can do.

3. Leaders will be looked at like they are crazy:

Grace (Mackenzie Davis), an augmented human from the future, told Dani and Diego where she was from. Grace told them the story of how she traveled back in time… But not only did she travel back in time, so did the Rev-9.

When they heard the story, they both looked at Grace like she was crazy. I don’t blame them. I would too.

However, that’s how leaders often get looked at.

Leaders will share their vision. They will try to paint a picture of the future. Or they may encourage a team member who is struggling.

Doing so can sound strange to the one who hears it. The message may sound like it is straight out of a science fiction movie.

Yet, these visions aren’t crazy. They’re a look into the future.

Be okay with getting the crazy eye. You know where you’re going. Go and lead others to that place.

4. Grace:

You, Dani… you’re my mission.

Dani asked Grace why she was protecting her and her brother. Grace responded she wasn’t there to protect Dani and Diego. Grace was there to protect Dani.

This is when Dani learns she is the key to the future. Nothing else matters. If Dani dies, the future dies with her.

Do you know what your mission is? Do you know what success looks like for your mission?

Grace knew. This gave her clear direction on what needs to be done. This is what your vision will do as well.

When you know what your vision is, you can be laser-focused. You can push towards the vision with an intensity you otherwise wouldn’t have.

5. Bad leaders bulldoze others:

The Rev-9 was a killing machine. He tore through bodies like they were nothing.

In one scene, the Rev-9 commandeers a big truck with a plow on the front. He begins to bulldoze car after car after car. He didn’t care who got in his way.

The only thing that mattered was getting to Dani. Everything else was collateral damage.

We have to be careful with being laser-focused. Our narrow vision can cause us to be like the Rev-9.

We see what we need to do or where we need to go. The people in our way? Who cares. We just need to bulldoze through them.

That’s not what a good leader does. A good leader realizes the importance of people and their value. They’re unwilling to bulldoze their way to success.

6. Dani:

I’ll figure it out.

Grace was injured in a fight against the Rev 9. She was out of commission. Sarah took Grace and put her in the back of their vehicle.

Dani hopped into the driver’s seat. Sarah asked Dani “I thought you couldn’t drive?” Dani answered like a leader: “I’ll figure it out.”

How many times in leadership have you experienced something new? Something you’ve never faced before?

Leaders are put into these kinds of situations all of the time. It takes the savvy leader to know this. It also takes a wise leader to face these unknowns like Dani.

Great leaders are willing to figure things out as they go. They put together a plan, they work it, then they tweak the things they didn’t know or anticipate as they appear.

You can pick up 4 of the Terminator movies at Amazon.

7. You are something special:

Dani always considered herself a nobody. She believed her life carried no value.

She would go to work, take care of her family, and repeat. This didn’t sound like the life of someone who was important.

She was wrong. Dani was crucially important to the future. Her life mattered. She was special.

So are you.

You matter. Your life is worth more than you can imagine.

Don’t let anyone else tell you that you’re not good enough or smart enough or able enough. You are special and you will do great things.

8. Sarah Connor:

Because I was her… and it sucked.

Sarah was asked why Dani was special to her. Sarah answered frankly.

She had been where Dani was before. She had been the key to the future. And she knew the feelings involved with that.

Leaders, you have a great opportunity. You have experienced so much. You have lived through so much.

There are leaders out there who are like you. They are striving to do what is right. They are striving to build a successful. And they are working themselves to the bone.

Do you remember what that was like? Sometimes it was great. Sometimes it sucked.

Could you make it different for them? Could you be their guide or mentor?

You have the opportunity to help other leaders become the best version of themselves. Be there for them.

9. Find purpose:

There were multiple T-800 Terminators sent to the past. Even after Sarah had saved herself and the future, more were there.

One of those killed her son, John. This changed the timeline again.

Once John was dead, the T-800’s mission was complete. He didn’t know what to do.

The T-800 did find purpose. This changed his life. He gained a wife and a son. He lived out a relatively peaceful existence. The T-800 also sent text messages to Sarah letting her know when other threats were going to present themselves.

He found purpose after his mission. He wanted Sarah to find purpose in John’s death.

Finding purpose will help guide you as a leader. Your purpose will help you understand what you have to do.

Seek out your purpose. Discover what you were created to do.

10. Dani:

What matters are the choices we make now.

Young Dani had wise words for those watching Terminator: Dark Fate. She spoke these words to Sarah, Dani, and Carl (the T-800 played by Arnold Schwarzenegger).

These words should ring true to every leader. While you may have made bad choices in the past, those choices are behind you. The future is in front of you.

What matters now are the choices you make today, tomorrow, and into the future. Make the best choices you can.

11. We see things from our perspective:

In the original Terminator, Sarah was important because she was going to birth the man who would lead the resistance. Because of her past experiences, Sarah believed Dani’s fate would be the same.

But it wasn’t. Dani’s fate was completely different from Sarah’s.

Dani wasn’t meant to birth the leader of the resistance. Dani was meant to be the mother of the resistance.

She was going to be the one to bring people together. She was going to help save the world. Her role wasn’t to birth a human. Her role was to birth a resistance.

It is hard to look at situations outside of our own worldview. We see the world through our experiences and believe the world will behave in the ways we understand.

That’s not how the world works at all.

You may see Bill. He looks like you and talks a lot like you. This makes you believe he is going to lead the same way you would.

When he gets promoted, you discover his leadership style is completely different than yours. This difference grates on you because you had plans for him. His different leadership style makes it hard for you to use him in the way you wanted.

That’s how your perspective can cloud your perception of others. Be careful not to place your perspective onto others.

12. Dani:

No! We make our stand here. This is our kill box.

Dani, Grace, Sarah, and Carl had planned to lure the Rev-9 into a kill box area. The kill box would be a place they could easily take the killer robot out.

As expected, things go bad. They don’t make it to their kill box. They do make it to a place that could be used as one, though.

Dani sees this. She steps up and declares this area as the new kill box. They will stay and fight.

You may have plans. They may work out great. More often than not, things won’t go according to plan. You will have to switch things up.

Be ready to call for a change to your plans. Be ready to shift on the fly.

13. Don’t be sorry about doing the right thing:

At the end of Terminator: Dark Fate, Grace offers up her power core to Dani. Grace knows her power core can overload the Rev-9 and destroy him.

Dani tells Grace she is sorry as she takes the power core from her. Grace tells her she’s not sorry. She’s doing the right thing.

Leadership will often place us in challenging situations. We can be nervous about making a decision because it is risky or it might hurt someone.

However, leaders have to be willing to do the right things. And, when they do the right things, they can’t be sorry about them.

Doing the right thing can hurt. But doing the right thing is always the right thing.

Question: If you’ve watched Terminator: Dark Fate, what leadership lessons did you take away from the movie? If you haven’t seen the movie, what Reel Leadership lessons from Terminator: Dark Fate that I shared resonated with you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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