Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Wonder Woman 1984

A Reel Leadership Article

Oft-delayed but finally released in a strange release agreement, Wonder Woman 1984 hit the big screen and the small screen at the same time. Released on Christmas day 2020, Wonder Woman was released to theaters and the HBO Max streaming platform.

The first Wonder Woman film was a smashing success. It felt as if the DC Movie Universe was on the right track. And it was.

Wonder Woman 1984 continues the right track for DC movies. This new entry is a great, fun movie to watch with friends and family.

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in Wonder Woman 1984 with colorful background

Wonder Woman 1984 reunites us with Diana Prince/Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot). She is also reunited with her thought-to-be dead love, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine).

Not only is Wonder Woman 1984 a love story, but the movie is also a great action movie. Wonder Woman 1984 introduces two new villains, Cheetah/Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig) and Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal from the Mandolorian).

Get ready to learn about the leadership lessons in Wonder Woman 1984. There are plenty of them!

Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Wonder Woman 1984

1. Diana Prince:

But sometimes, you can’t see what you’re learning until you come out the other side.

One of the first lines of Wonder Woman 1984 were these words. Diana recalled parts of her childhood. We’re brought to a flashback scene of a young Diana (Lilly Aspell).

These scenes were to teach us a lesson. One Diana learned. One you will if you watch Wonder Woman 1984.

But… there’s something we can take away from Diana’s words without watching the movie.

When we’re in a funk, having difficulty, or just don’t know what to do, we can think we’re lost. There’s no getting out of there now…

We have to stop thinking this way. There’s something we’re being taught in the trials.

Whether it’s been this last year with doing business differently due to COVID-19 or trouble with an employee, we can always learn something from our situation.

2. Diana Prince:

Greatness is not what you think.

Diana thought greatness was one thing. For her, it was winning a tournament at all costs. For Maxwell Lord, it was having ultimate power.

We all chase after our idea of greatness. We believe we’re chasing after what greatness really is.

Most of the time, we discover greatness is not what we think it is. We’re chasing after the wrong idea of success, of greatness.

Take the time to really examine what greatness is in your life. Are you going to be happy when you achieve greatness?

Greatness isn’t winning the latest business proposal. It isn’t selling your life to an organization for 30 years. It’s not having the most money in your bank account at the end of your days.

Discover what greatness really is.

3. Stop focusing on your competition:

Young Diana was in a contest against the other Amazonian women. They were shooting arrows, riding on horseback, and more.

In one scene, Diana looks back at her competitors. She’s focused on where they are in relation to where she is.

Then it happens. She hits a bush and falls off of her horse.

She’s lost her lead because she wasn’t focused on where she was going. She was focused on where her competitors were.

This happens to us, too. We keep looking back. We keep trying to see where our competition is.

Our focus shouldn’t be on what others are doing. They’re doing their own thing.

We need to focus on our thing—the thing that is going to push us, our organization, and our people forward.

By focusing on what others are doing, you’re expending energy that could be used to move forward.

4. Antiope (Robin Wright):

You cannot be the winner because you’re are not ready to win. And there is no shame in that.

The young Diana was discouraged because she was told she wasn’t the winner of the Amazonian competition. After being knocked off of the horse, she chose to take a shortcut through the island. This allowed her to get ahead of her competition. It also disqualified her.

Antiope stepped in to explain this to Diana. She let her know that she didn’t win.

I think it would be wise to heed the words of Antiope, especially as young leaders.

We are young and enthusiastic. We see the world as our play place.

And then we get smacked down.

It’s not because you’re not leadership material. You are. This often happens because we’re not in the right spot at the right time.

We may have begun leading too early. We may not have the proper training to become a leader. Or we may not care about others yet.

There’s no shame in not being ready. We can continue to work on ourselves and our ability to lead. Keep working on that. Then you will be ready to lead.

5. Leaders notice others:

Everyone ignored Barbara. Well, everyone except Diana.

Barbara was walking in one of the offices of the Smithsonian Institute when her briefcase spilled open. Everyone walked by her.

Then Diana stopped. She chose to stop and help. She chose to notice Barbara.

Great leaders are noticers. They see people and they want to help them.

When’s the last time you noticed the people on your team? When’s the last time you stopped to help them?

If it has been quite some time, it’s time to begin working on this area of leadership. You must be willing to notice those you lead.

6. Diana Prince:

My life hasn’t been what you think it has. We all have our struggles.

Barbara began to look up to Diana. She thought she was the epitome of womanhood.

Diana was strong, beautiful, powerful, and knew how to get things done. What woman wouldn’t want to be her?

Then, Diana gave Barbara a reality check. Diana’s life wasn’t perfect. There were things in Diana’s life that were struggles.

We can get to be like Barbara. We can look at other business leaders, bloggers, or church leaders.

We see their success. We see how people look at them. And we want to be them.

What we don’t see are the struggles these leaders go through. They’ve faced some mountains you and I will never want to climb.

Be careful in desiring to be like another leader. You are unique and you are valuable.

7. Appearances can be deceiving:

Maxwell Lord put on a great show. He made the world think he was a successful businessman in the oil industry.

The truth? He was receiving past due bills in the mail. His oil fields were not striking oil. He was going under.

The world didn’t know this. The world only saw his appearance.

Too many leaders put on a front. They make it seem like their world is all together and nothing is ever wrong.

When things come crashing down, they are walloped.

This is why suicides in the church leadership world are rising. This is why businesses collapse. This is why leaders fall.

Make sure you’re not putting on appearances. Have people you can be honest with. Let someone know you’re hurting or struggling.

8. New experiences are always fascinating:

Steve was brought back from death because Diana wished him back using the Dreamstone. The Dreamstone allowed the possessor of the Dreamstone to wish and have the wish granted.

Steve had been dead for quite some time. When he returned, the world was new.

He got to experience new things. Pop-Tarts. Fannie packs. Escalators.

All of these new things fascinated Steve. He was in wonder of the new world.

People are fascinated by new things and experiences. They love to see something they’ve never seen or experienced before.

Help give your people these new experiences. Help them to see the wonder of the world around them.

Steve’s wonder wasn’t from some groundbreaking technology. You and your team’s wonder don’t have to be either.

9. Wise people don’t always look wise:

Babajide (Ravi Patel) was a man who knew about the Dreamstone. He was wild and eccentric. He didn’t look like someone who would possess wisdom about the stone.

We have to be careful when we judge people by the way they look.

It is easy to dismiss someone because they have wild hair (Have you seen Malcolm Gladwell with his crazy hair?!?) or how they dress. People are all about the image of a person.

We need to dig deeper. We need to figure out who a person is and value them for that, not the way they look.

10. Power isn’t worth it:

It was sad watching the descent of Maxwell Lord. He became crazier and crazier while granting the wishes of everyone around him.

Maxwell Lord eventually gets to his son. He asks his son, Alistair (Lucian Perez), what he wants.

All little Alistair wanted was to be with his dad. His dad told him that’s not what people wish for. He wanted Alistair to wish for POWER.

That wouldn’t have made Alistair’s heart sing. He truly wanted to be with the people he loved.

We can get derailed by a quest for power. It’s been said that absolute power corrupts absolutely.

This is why leaders have to be careful. Power brings on consequences we only realize in the long run.

Make sure you’re not chasing after power. Chase after what matters.

11. Diana Prince:

What is it costing you?

Barbara gained great power. She became the supervillain Cheetah. She loved it.

Diana noticed the power Barbara gained had changed her. Barbara lost the sweet, charming, caring person she was. Instead, she had become ruthless.

We have to look at what our leadership is costing us. It can cost us more than we think.

You may undergo a transition so slow you don’t realize it. You slowly lose the compassion you once had for your teammates as you rose through the ranks. You may begin to cut out those that aren’t progressing as quickly as you are. You may choose not to communicate with those beneath you.

It’s a slow transition. It’s one many people don’t realize.

There are also things you lose when you do this. You lose that personal connection you once had with people. You may lose the joy you once enjoyed because you loved hearing from your people. Or you may lose your family.

Think about what costs you’re paying. Then think about if it is worth it.

12. Diana Prince:

Everything has a price.

Diana realized everything had a price. So did the villains. Both Maxwell Lord and Barbara Minerva realized their quest for power cost them more than they wanted to pay.

This lesson is slightly different than leadership lesson 11 from Wonder Woman 1984. This one is about realizing everything has a cost.

This means saying yes to seeing Wonder Woman 1984 cost you over 2.5 hours of your life. Or going to your son’s baseball game costs you the time you spent in the stands. Or saying yes to the business lunch cost you the time you spent there.

Everything has a price. You have to know the value of what you’re getting and of what you’re spending.

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