I wasn’t sure I would do a Reel Leadership article about the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe entry. Not because it wasn’t good but because Werewolf By Night isn’t a movie. It’s also not a television episode.
Werewolf By Night is presented as a Marvel Featurette on Disney’s streaming platform Disney+. Its runtime is 55 minutes, so it’s not a full-length movie. It’s also not a regular television series. Werewolf By Night is something else in its delivery and also its style.
The Marvel Featurette introduces multiple characters to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. All of these characters are monsters or monster hunters. It’s great to see Marvel introducing these fantastic creatures and characters to their live-action world.
In Werewolf By Night, we’re introduced to Elsa Bloodstone (Laura Donnelly), Verussa (Harriet Sansom Harris), Liorn (Leonardo Nam), Barasso (Daniel J. Watts), Jack Russell (Gael Garcia Bernal), Ted (Carey Jones), and others.
The story occurs shortly after the Bloodstone family’s patriarch passes away. Ulysses Bloodstone (Richard Dixon) held the Bloodstone along with the family name. The Bloodstone had to be passed to someone. There would be a contest to find the next holder of the Bloodstone.
If you enjoy monster movies, you’ll enjoy Werewolf By Night. It’s different than other Marvel Cinematic Universe movies yet delivers a killer story.
Plus, you’ll find leadership lessons in Werewolf By Night. We’ll look at that today as I push Scooby-Doo (we’ll get to the lessons from this movie sooner or later) to the side for this impromptu Reel Leadership article.
Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Werewolf By Night
1. Try something different:
Most of Werewolf By Night is mostly in black and white. The lack of color is a drastic departure from the colorful world of Marvel movies. I was shocked to see them go with this artistic direction.
However, despite my shock, the choice to go black and white fit the type of movie they were shooting for. Marvel wanted to give us the feel of an old monster movie. Think Bela Lugosi’s Count Dracula or Boris Karloff’s Frankenstein (Check out these classic movies here).
This featurette had that vibe. And it worked for what they were doing.
When was the last time you tried something different? Have you ever?
Different isn’t bad. Different can be good.
Look for what you can try to do differently in your organization. You’ll find plenty of things you can do. Play with them. Find out what works and what doesn’t. Go with what works.
2. People’s names are important:
The creature the monster hunters had to hunt was a creature called Man-Thing. If you know who Swamp Thing is from DC Comics, Man-Thing is the original, Marvel version.
We learn his name is Ted in Werewolf By Night. Jack is trying to protect him from the hunters. The hunters’ goal is to kill Man-Thing to get the Bloodstone. Jack won’t let that happen.
In one scene, Jack tells Elsa that Man-Thing’s name is Ted. To call him by his name.
Elsa does this when she meets the creature. Man-Thing is angry. He’s ready to attack. Then Elsa calls him Ted. She tells him:
Ted, you have a lovely name.
He relaxes. He listens. His name meant something.
We must improve at remembering the names of those we do business with. Those people we interact with.
As Dale Carnegie said in How To Win Friends And Influence People, names are important.
All these years without training.
His training. Let’s find out together.
Elsa is the estranged daughter of Ulysses. She’d left his life at some point and never returned until his death.
Verussa was upset over this. She believed Elsa left her father and never got the monster hunter training Ulysses would have provided.
Elsa knew something else. Elsa had trained but not with her father. She learned from others.
It’s easy to believe that your way is the only way. You may think you’ve trained under the right people at the right time.
You may have…
But there are other ways and places to learn. You can grow in the strangest places. I mean, we’re learning leadership lessons from movies here!
Don’t get stuck on one teacher or expert. Find the one that works best for you. Train under them. Learn what you can.
4. Leaders step in when needed:
Jack, who is also Werewolf By Night, was a great friend to Ted. When Ted was captured for the hunt, Jack chose to go into the pit of danger to rescue his friend.
He stepped up. More importantly, Jack stepped in.
He stepped into danger. He stepped into a challenge. He stepped in to help.
Our role as a leader isn’t to step into every decision our team members have to make. No, that’s a dictatorship. It shows our team we don’t trust them.
Instead, I want to challenge you to step in when needed. This can be hard as our natural drive is to be there every step of the way. We cannot do that to the people we’ve hired.
A real leader is able to give direction, step out, and then step back in if their help is needed.
5. Hiding the truth is dangerous:
Jack was among the hunters. He didn’t want to hurt them. He was avoiding any confrontation.
When he freed Ted with the help of Elsa, Jack picked up the Bloodstone. His identity was revealed. JACK IS A MONSTER!
Elsa was upset over this revelation. She had trusted Jack. He wasn’t who he said he was.
Your team deserves to know the truth about what is going on. They may not need to know everything, but they need to know what is relevant to them.
Start opening up to your team. Share with them the things they need to know. Those things are more than you think. So, get honest with your team.
6. Jack Russell:
I’m an idiot, I know.
Jack realized he had made mistakes. His mistakes could have been costly.
While I wouldn’t go so far as to call him an idiot, Jack called himself this. He knew he could have been smarter with his actions.
Regardless of what Jack said, the thing to note here is that Jack realized he had made mistakes. He owned up to his mistakes.
We all make mistakes. Not all leaders own up to their mistakes.
The best leaders do. They recognize their faults. They see where they’ve screwed up. And they acknowledge it.
Make sure you’re not putting on a false front of perfection. Instead, when you make a mistake, share it with your team. They’ll appreciate your honesty and understand their leader isn’t perfect.
7. Great leaders know their weaknesses:
With Jack Russell being a werewolf, he understands what happens on a full moon. This is the time he becomes a werewolf and a danger to others.
Jack knows what he must do during those nights. He shares how he’s not a bad guy. He knows what happens, and he locks himself up during full moons.
This way, he doesn’t hurt the people around him. He keeps them safe.
Do you know your weaknesses? What things do you do that are potentially dangerous?
Understand your weakness. Figure out how your weaknesses manifest.
Then work on preventing them.
8. Kindness is returned:
Elsa was about to be killed by Verussa. This is when Man-Thing returns.
The creature bursts through the roof of the prison. Man-Thing begins to attack Verussa. She is soon destroyed.
Why did Man-Thing help Elsa? I can only speculate, but I suppose it is because Elsa helped him and Jack.
People see kindness as a weakness. It is not.
Kindness is a trait of great leaders. They know honey attracts.
Be kind. Your kindness will be returned.
9. New adventures await:
At the end of Werewolf By Night, Man-Thing and Jack have escaped. The duo is discussing new adventures.
They’ve been friends for a long time. They’ve been through a lot. They will be through even more.
They also know new adventures await. So, they plan.
New adventures await you as well. The end of one leadership position doesn’t mean there’s not another around the corner.
Be prepared for new adventures. They’re waiting for you!