The Matrix returned to the theaters during Christmas 2021. The movie was initially scheduled to open on May 21st, 2021, alongside the latest John Wick movie (also starring Keanu Reeves). It was pushed to a 2022 release date until they decided to release on the week of Christmas.
The Matrix Resurrections brings us back to the virtual world where humans are connected to machines. The humans live in a virtual reality world.
This time, Keanu Reeves’ Neo is back in the Matrix after the events of the last four movies and the Matrix Online video game. He’s unaware of what had previously transpired. He’s plugged back in.
This is where the story begins anew. It’s also where this Reel Leadership article begins. Prepare yourself to plug into the Matrix and discover the leadership lessons within.
Quotes And Leadership Lessons From The Matrix Resurrections
1. Bugs (Jessica Henwick):
Maybe this isn’t the story we think it is.
Bugs and another character have plugged into the Matrix. They’re watching the story of Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) replay.
During the replay, events begin to transpire that don’t align with what they know. Something has changed. The story is different.
We all think we have a firm grasp on what is happening. We have a story, a narrative, we tell ourselves.
As our lives go along, the story we have in our minds begin to play out differently. It’s not what we thought would happen.
We have to be aware that what we think we know and what actually happens is different. We only know in part. The rest can change.
2. When you know your purpose, you know what to do:
The new Morpheus (gone is Laurence Fishbourne and in his place is Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) tells Bugs that he saw his purpose. It wasn’t to be an agent in the Matrix. He was to help humans.
Once Morpheus knew what his purpose was, he began working towards it. He no longer followed his previous programming. He followed something new.
Do you know your purpose? Your purpose is a guiding light. It will help you to understand what to do.
Seek out your purpose.
3. Agent Smith (Jonathan Groff):
That’s the thing about stories. They never really end, do they? We’re still telling the same stories we’ve always told, just with different names, different faces.
This line struck a chord with me, especially as a writer. We all tell stories. Even leaders.
The stories we tell never end. They continue.
We continue building new leaders. We continue building new organizations. We continue leading.
The story never ends.
4. Don’t do things just to fit in:
Trinity, now known as Tiffany in the Matrix, had seen the Matrix video game. The Trinity character resonated with her. She almost felt as if the character was her.
The feelings she felt caused her to talk to her husband Chad (Chad Stahelski) about her feelings.
Chad laughed when she told him what she thought. Trinity then laughed as well.
There was a lingering sense of regret within Trinity after she laughed. She didn’t feel right. The action didn’t feel right.
She had laughed to fit back in.
Our longing to be accepted, to feel a part of the group, can cause us to do things we wouldn’t or shouldn’t do. We will say something, go along with a plan, or change how we dress to be accepted.
If we are leaders, we cannot do things just to fit in. Instead, to lead well, we have to do things because they are the right things to do.
5. Follow the rabbit hole:
Bugs showed Neo her tattoo. The tattoo was of a rabbit.
To break free from the Matrix (again), Neo would have to follow the rabbit down the rabbit hole. He would have to see how far down it went.
Neo did go down the rabbit hole. He broke free of the construct of the Matrix.
There are hints of things you should do. They’re vague feelings or ideas that pop into your head.
Many times, you brush these things off. They’re not real or, you may think, even crazy.
Yet, the rabbit hole ideas are what we need to follow. We need to chase the rabbit. We need to see what innovations lie ahead.
6. How we think we appear isn’t how we truly appear:
Neo had an idea of what he looked like in the Matrix. He believed he was the suave-looking Keanu Reeves. When he saw his real avatar in the Matrix, he was shocked.
Instead of being a good-looking man, he was a middle-aged man with a receding hairline played by Steven Roy. The reality was people saw his character differently than he saw himself.
We are much like Neo. We believe our team members see us in the best possible light.
In reality, our team members see us as we are. They see our warts. They see our flaws.
It’s not pretty. Yet they follow us.
It feels like everything I did, that we did, none of it mattered.
Neo had a crisis. All of the work Morpheus, Trinity, and he did in the previous Matrix films seemed to have been undone. None of their efforts had paid off.
Neo had a choice to make. To believe this thought was true. That none of his work mattered.
Or he could continue the fight. He could resume where he left off.
We can feel like Neo.
We work hard. We try to implement organizational change or to see something in our world change.
Then we realize nothing changed. It either went back to the way it was or we, seemingly, had no impact.
We can’t let these thoughts cloud our efforts. We are making a difference. Lives are being changed. Keep leading.
8. Niobe (Jada Pinkett Smith):
You gave that gift to us all, and it’s a gift that continues to bear fruit.
Niobe knew who Neo was. She had seen his work and the results of his labor.
She encouraged him that his work wasn’t in vain.
We need a cheerleader in our corner. The cheerleader needs to be someone who knows what we’ve done, even we don’t.
Find a cheerleader. Find someone to remind you of the work you’ve done.
9. Freya (Telma Hopkins):
Nothing travels faster than light, except gossip.
In an introduction to Neo, Freya states that nothing travels faster than light… except one thing:
Freya is right. Gossip moves quickly. It embeds itself in our minds.
More importantly, gossip destroys us.
Our relationships weaken when we gossip. Trust is broken. People are hurt.
Destroy gossip in your organization.
10. We are better together:
In the original Matrix movies, it appeared that Neo was the One. He never truly accepted this. His calling to be the One always felt off.
In The Matrix Resurrections, we see why. Trinity took on the powers of what was believed to be the One.
But… that’s not all. Combined, Neo and Trinity formed something much more powerful. They were better together.
We’re all better together too. We don’t have to do this thing called leaders, or even life, alone.
When we get together with other leaders, our ability to lead increases exponentially.
Be better together.