Quotes And Leadership Lessons From The New Mutants

A Reel Leadership Article

The long-delayed X-Men spin-off movie, New Mutants saw it’s release on the weekend of August 28th, 2020. This is almost 3 years after it was originally scheduled to premiere.

The thirteenth and final film in the X-Men movies series, The New Mutants introduces some of the scarier side of mutants. Even though 20th Century Fox was bought out by The Walt Disney Company, The New Mutants was still released under that banner.

Cast of the New Mutants movie

The New Mutants sees the following mutants get some big screen time:

  • Rahne Sinclair/Wolfsbane (Maisie Williams)
  • Illyana Rasputin/Magik (Anya Taylor-Joy)
  • Sam Guthrie/Cannonball (Charlie Heaton)
  • Danielle Moonstar/Psyche/Mirage (Blu Hunt)
  • Roberto da Costa/Sunspot (Henry Zaga)

These mutants are quite a bit different than the X-Men you know and love. They’re disrespectful, arrogant, and scary.

While The New Mutants was marketed as a horror movie, I found the horror aspect to be lacking. I also found the movie overall to be lacking. However, as a big fan of the comic book series (check out some of the trade paper backs on Amazon), I had to see the movie.

Even though the movie was a disappointment, I still enjoyed portions of the movie. And, as always, I watched The New Mutants with an eye toward leadership.

Quotes And Leadership Lessons From The New Mutants

1. Danielle Moonstar:

Inside every person there are two bears, forever locked in combat for your soul. One bear is all things good: compassion, love, trust. The other is all things evil: fear, shame, and self-destruction.

The New Mutants opens with this line from Danielle Moonstar. She shares what her father had told her as a young girl.

There’s two bears battling it out within every person. Which bear wins? The bear that gets feed.

This may sound familiar to those of us in the personal development arena. Many personal development gurus share the story of the Two Wolves. Dani’s story appears to be a take on this old saying but with the wolves being replaced by bears.

None-the-less, this saying is true.

There’s a battle waging in every person. Every person has to make a decision on whether to feed the negative or the positive. You feed one, the other loses. Feed the positive.

2. Great leaders try to help others:

There was an attack in Dani’s village. Her father saw this and sprung into action. Dani’s father grabbed Dani and hid her in the nook of a tree.

He told her to stay there and he would be back. There were people in the village that needed help.

He left her to help others…

Great leaders look around them. They spring into action. Great leaders help others.

Who are you helping today? You have to make a choice. You can choose to help yourself or those you lead.

Choose to help others.

3. Bad leaders deceive those they lead:

Dani woke up in a strange place. This was a “hospital” for mutants with special and dangerous powers, or so she was told.

Dr. Cecilia Reyes (Alice Braga) was there when she woke up. She began asking Dani what she remembered. When Dani told Dr. Reyes she remembered her village being attacked, Dr. Reyes began with her deception.

She told Dani that there was no attack. What happened was a tornado touched down.

Dani never really believed this story. It was only the start of the deception of Dr. Reyes.

Bad leaders believe they can’t lead with the truth. Sometimes, they don’t know what the truth is. So, they begin to lead with deception.

They share untruths, half-truths, and outright lies.

Good leaders know they can’t lead through any of these methods. Good leaders know they can only lead through truth and honesty.

Be a good leader. Don’t deceive.

4. There are boundaries we can’t see:

Dani and Ilyana were talking outside of the hospital. Ilyana encouraged Dani to escape.

Dani obliged. She didn’t see anything stopping her.

Then… she was stopped by an invisible force field. She ran smack into it and was knocked on her butt.

Boundaries are all around us. We have set them up. Those we lead have set up boundaries. And those we do business with have set up boundaries.

You won’t be able to see or know of all of the boundaries that have been set up but they are there.

5. Rahne Sinclair:

There are two people up here.

Dani had climbed to the top of a clock tower on the campus. She broke through the wooden clock face and was preparing to jump. Then Rahne appeared.

She talked with Dani. Dani admitted to feeling all alone. There was no one else.

Rahne spoke with wisdom. She reminded Dani that there was another person there. Rahne was with Dani.

I found this scene to be powerful. One of the reasons this The New Mutants scene was powerful was because it showed us how deceived we can be.

We have people who love and care for us all around us. Yet, we often forget this. We stop believing people care and are there.

Remember, there are people on your side. They love and care for you. You’re not in this alone.

6. Dr. Reyes:

Did you know baby rattlesnakes are more dangerous than adult ones? They haven’t learned how to control how much venom they secrete. All of you are dangerous. That’s why you’re here.

Dr. Reyes was explaining why the mutants were in the hospital. She used a great analogy with the baby snakes being dangerous.

The New Mutants powers were dangerous. They didn’t know how to control their powers. They had to be taught or controlled.

How does this play into leadership?

New leaders are more dangerous than seasoned leaders. They haven’t been around the block yet. They haven’t experienced leadership in its full context.

Those who have experienced a long tenure in leadership learn tips and tricks to help make leadership better. They’ve studied great leaders and learned from them.

New leaders don’t have this experience or knowledge behind them. They may not know how to handle difficult situations. This can make them dangerous.

Understand that new leaders are not bad leaders. However, new leaders can be dangerous leaders.

7. New leaders don’t know their power:

Dani was confused. She knew she was a mutant but she didn’t know what her power was.

She’d never manifested her powers like the others. Ilyana could go to Limbo and return with a blue sword. Sam could launch himself like a cannonball. Rahne could turn into a wolf.

Dani couldn’t do anything… Or so she thought.

Every leader is unique. Each leader brings a new talent or skill or mindset to the business or church world.

That’s the really cool part about being a leader. You’re different from everyone else.

However, you have to discover your power. You have to realize how you’re different and how that makes you unique and valuable.

Learn this and you will go far.

8. Bad leaders will try to destroy leaders who appear more powerful:

Dani was a powerful mutant. The Essex Corporation (the corporation Dr. Reyes worked for) thought Dani was too powerful.

The Essex Corporation sent Dr. Reyes a message. Dr. Reyes was to put down Dani. This would stop her power from manifesting more and causing damage.

We can’t be leaders who fear the next generation of leaders. We have to be leaders who have open hands.

Our open hands will welcome new leaders into the fold. Even leaders who are better or “more powerful” than we are.

In doing so, you get the opportunity to help train and raise up the next generation. Your legacy will continue on.

9. Bad leaders believe they have the right to control others:

Dr. Reyes believed she had the right to keep The New Mutants locked up. She believed she had the right to do anything, even killing them, to make sure they didn’t escape.

There were fear and anger in her desire to control them.

Bad leaders are a lot like Dr. Reyes. They believe they have to be in control all of the time. There’s no way to let go of the control and let the new leaders rise up.

We know we cannot be like this. We can’t be the Dr. Reyes in our organization.

Instead, we need to look for ways to hand over control to the new leaders.

10. Our fear will bring out the worst:

Demon Bear (the thing that destroyed Dani’s village) was a manifestation of Dani’s powers. She had allowed the bad bear to feed on the fear and anger she felt.

This created a monstrosity. A giant, evil bear was on the loose because Dani had let her fear consume her.

Leaders, fear isn’t bad. We all feel fear at times.

Yet, we cannot allow fear to guide our actions. We cannot let fear tell us what or how to do things.

Instead, feed the other bear. Feed the bear of love, kindness, peace, gentleness.

11. Sam Guthrie:

Gotta get better someday.

Sam chose to help fight Demon Bear. He did this and overcame his fear.

Just before he went into the fight, he told Rahne that he had to get better someday. This was an excellent way for him to show how far he’d come.

We all have to get better, someday. We cannot continue to live in fear and anguish over the past or possible future.

Break free from the thought that you will never get better. You will.

12. You have to believe in yourself:

Dani believed Demon Bear was bigger than her. She didn’t think she had it in her to win.

However, once she believed she was bigged than Demon Bear, she was able to control the thing that was so dangerous.

We’re dangerous when we don’t have belief in ourselves. We will try to do anything and everything to prove ourselves to those we lead. This causes us to take dangerous action and hurt others.

However, when we discover who we truly are, when we begin to believe in ourselves, we begin to lead from a whole new place.

Start to believe in yourself. You can do this. You can lead.

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