Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Turning Red

A Reel Leadership Article

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In what has to be one of the most controversial Pixar/Disney movies released in recent history, Turning Red is stirring up controversy. My Facebook feed is full of people concerned about the message sent in this movie.

Many moms complain that the movie teaches disrespect, broaches the topic of periods, and more. A review of Turning Red on CinemaBlend was taken down because of its critique that the film’s audience is too narrow.

Image from Turning Red movie

What I saw was a fun, animated movie that talks about important subjects. These subjects include coming of age, body changes, and more. This movie can do more for you than almost any other movie when it comes to talking to your children about growing up.

But, more than that, Turning Red is bursting at the seams with leadership lessons. Today, we’re going to take a look at those lessons.

Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Turning Red

1. You may consider yourself something when you’re not:

Young Meilin (Rosalie Chiang) is turning 13. She’s excited. She also has ideas about what becoming a teenager means.

First and foremost, Mei believes she is an adult at 13. She was excited to begin doing adult things.

We all know what we were like at 13. We were all far from being an adult.

Mei was far from being an adult as well. Considering herself one did not make her one.

We can consider ourselves all sorts of things. We may think we’re great leaders, considerate or compassionate.

But are we? Are you?

Make sure what you believe are is truly what you are.

2. Have a crew:

Mei had three best friends. They were Miriam (Ava Morse), Abby (Hyein Park), and Priya (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan). Each young lady was a unique person.

They also all had each others’ backs. They were a tight-knit crew.

Who do you have on your crew? Who can you call at 3 AM to ask for a favor?

Find your crew. Build your relationships up so you have someone you can count on.

3. Mei:

I am my own person. But that doesn’t mean doing whatever I want. Like most adults, I have responsibilities. It’s not all about me, you know?

Mei had left her friends to help her mother, Ming (Sandra Oh), clean the temple. She did this at the expense of hanging out with her crew.

She knew she had responsibilities. She knew she couldn’t do everything she wanted.

We’re all our own person. We can make decisions. We can choose to do what we want.

However, we have to consider others. Like Mei, realize life isn’t about you alone. Life is about those around you and the people who are important to you.

4. Look on the bright side:

Mei’s friends found out that Mei could turn into a red panda. They didn’t freak out. Instead, they looked on the bright side of Mei’s change.

One friend saw Mei’s big, fluffy tail. She thought it was terrific!

Another friend Mei’s tail. That was so cool.

Our friends, our crew can give us a different perspective. They can help us see the bright side.

Are you able to see the bright side of things? When things look down, what parts are up?

5. The things that annoy you are often the same things that you do:

Ming was annoyed by Mei’s disrespect. She knew it wasn’t right. She wanted Mei to treat her with respect.

In the very next scene, Ming is doing the same thing to her mother (Wai Ching Ho).

Ming’s mother called. She tried to avoid the call. She didn’t want to talk to her.

This was a form of disrespect. Ming was doing the same thing she hated from Mei.

What annoys you? When someone on your team does something that pushes a button, what is it?

Why do you think you’re annoyed? Take a look at the things that you do.

There’s a great chance you’re doing the thing that annoys you.

Learn to control yourself. You don’t have to overreact.

6. Your actions can exclude you:

Tyler (Tristan Allerick Chen), a classmate of Mei, was a jerk. He treated Mei, Miriam, Abby, and Priya poorly.

When the girls began to make money off of Mei’s transformation, Tyler wanted to get a photo with her. This didn’t fly with the girls.

Because of Tyler’s past actions, they told him no.

We can lose friends when we’re mean, rude, or condescending. We can also be excluded from certain activities.

Know that the way you treat people will come back to bite you in the butt if you’re any of the above.

People will stop including you in events. They’ll stop talking to you. They may even avoid you.

The way you treat people matters.

7. Don’t put too much pressure on those you lead:

Mei felt so much pressure. Her mother had placed all of her hopes and dreams on Mei.

This was overwhelming for Mei. She couldn’t see herself accomplishing all her mother wanted for her. And she began to crack.

The same thing happens when you place too much pressure on those you lead. You cannot place your hopes and dreams on your employees.

They’re not able to handle it the same way you are. They may also not want the same things as you.

Know what pressure to put on the people you lead. The appropriate amount of pressure is great. The wrong amount will send them into a tailspin.

8. Place blame accordingly:

Ming thought Mei’s behavior was due to her friends. She accused the three girls of being a bad influence on her daughter.

She was wrong. It wasn’t Mei’s friends that caused Mei to act the way she was. Mei was acting out because of her mother’s pressure on her.

Look at the situations your people are in. What put them there?

Was it their actions? Could it be another coworker? Is it your inappropriate expectations?

The blame falls on someone. Yet you cannot blame everyone.

9. Jin (Orion Lee):

People have all kinds of sides to them, Mei, and some of them are messy.

Jin is Mei’s father. He was also calm and level-headed about Mei’s change into a red panda.

Jin helped Mei understand that no one is perfect. Everyone has multiple sides to them. Some sides are extremely messy or frustrating.

When you get upset, remember it is okay to be upset. It’s even okay to be angry.

We all have different emotions and sides to us.

The key is to remember we cannot explode on people. We cannot let our different sides run wild.

You can control the different sides of your personality.

10. Embrace uniqueness:

At the end of Turning Red, Mei chose to embrace her red panda. Her family also learned to accept it.

One of the things they did was use Mei’s panda side to promote the temple business. She became a face for the business.

Her uniqueness drew customers to the temple. People loved it. They flocked to the temple like never before.

What unique part of you are you not bringing to work? Some people hide their creative sides. Others hide their love of a specific topic, be it comic books, math, music, etc.

We shouldn’t be hiding what makes us unique. When we do, we’re holding ourselves back. More than that, we may be holding back our business.

I’ve made many relationships flourish in business when I talk about my love of movies, ice climbing, and more. These unique experiences enchant people.

Your uniqueness will enchant those you do business with too!

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