Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Ratchet & Clank

A Reel Leadership Flashback Article

The Ratchet & Clank movie brought the Sony PlayStation game to the big screen. With big name actors Paul Giamatti, John Goodman, Bella Thorne, Rosario Dawson, and Sylvester Stallone voicing the classic video game characters, Ratchet & Clank had the talent to make a blockbuster movie. Unfortunately, Ratchet & Clank received less than glowing reviews.

The leadership lessons found in the Ratchet & Clank movie

With the negativity surrounding the 2016 Ratchet & Clank movie, I held off watching it. That was, until this past weekend.

The movie theater wasn’t showing anything that caught my attention. So, it was off to Netflix. That’s when I saw Ratchet & Clank was on the movie streaming service. And figured it was my chance to watch the video-game movie.

So, are there leadership lessons in Ratchet & Clank? Yes, there are plenty. Keep reading to read the leadership lessons I found in Ratchet & Clank. Then add yours in the comment section.

Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Ratchet & Clank

1. Know who the bad guys are:

Ratchet & Clank opened with text cueing the bad guy speech. The viewer is then brought into a scene where Drek (Paul Giamatti) is giving a speech to his minions.

Right off the bat, you know Drek is a baddie. He’s rounded up his troops and planning something big. You didn’t have to guess. You knew.

People give off cues to their intentions and their true identity. Keep a watchful eye out for those who may not be drawn to the best interests of the organization you’re leading. These people will drag the organization, and you, down.

Figure out who the “bad” guys are. See if you can help them course correct. If you can’t, you may have to consider getting them off of your bus (you know, like Jim Collins would tell you)… Or would it be spaceship in the Ratchet & Clank world?

2. Ranger Workout Instructor:

Remember, if you feel the burn, that’s good. If you smell the burn, that’s bad.

The Ranger Workout Instructor was reminiscent of Richard Simmons, the mega-popular VHS workout instructor from the Sweatin’ to the Oldies line of aerobics videos. As Ratchet (James Arnold Taylor) is working out to the TV screen, the Richard Simmons-like instructor tells the viewer feeling the burn is good. Smelling it, that’s bad.

The instructor’s warning was in regards to over-working out. You can apply this axiom to your life.

If you smell leadership burnout coming on, that’s not good. If you smell trouble in your relationships because of working too much, that’s not good. Or if you smell health issues arising, that’s not good.

Feeling stretched and pushed in your leadership is one thing. These challenges are helping you to grow and become a stronger leader. Feeling like death warmed over, you’re in the danger zone.

3. People are inspired by you:

With the approaching danger of Drek and his evil minions, Captain Qwark (Jim Ward) puts out a call to the galaxy. The Galatic Rangers need more members!

Qwark gave a speech to inspire those watching the commercial. Ratchet was one of the viewers. And he was inspired.

He was ready to go to the Galatic Rangers tryout and give his all. He desired to step up because of the call of Captain Qwark.

You have the same power Captain Qwark did. You can inspire those you lead or are looking to be led.

Encourage your people. Show them they have the fortitude to accomplish the vision and call. Help them to understand they are good enough.

When you encourage your team, you’re helping them get fired up. You can inspire your team to greatness.

4. Know your audience:

Ratchet’s profession was a ship mechanic. He would repair vehicles for people and get them back on the road (they used speeder bike like vehicles to travel).

But one thing Ratchet had trouble realizing was that not everyone thought the way he did. In his repairs, Ratchet would often “improve” the vehicle.

One such time included a light show of the vehicle to an elderly customer. The ship had been fitted with multiple additions. Everything the old man didn’t desire.

All Ratchet’s customer wanted was his ejector seat to be fixed. Not all the add-ons.

Ratchet didn’t know his audience. He thought everyone desired bigger and better. They didn’t. They desired a working vehicle.

Because leaders need to be able to cast vision, inspire others, and lead the way, they can get off-track when it comes to knowing their audience. They believe, like Ratchet, everyone thinks the same way they do.

You know the truth here. People don’t think the same way as you do. Because of this, you need to know your audience. You need to know what they desire and what inspires them.

By discovering their desires, you can lead them more effectively. You can reward them in a way that creates energy and excitement. Discover your audience and serve them well.

5. Grimroth:

Look, you’re a great mechanic but you’re careless.

Grimroth (John Goodman) was Ratchet’s boss. He loved and supported Ratchet yet he saw a glaring flaw in an otherwise amazing employee.

Ratchet was a great mechanic. He knew how to get the job done. Yet Ratchet was careless. This caused many issues.

As a leader, you have to be willing to acknowledge the strengths of your team members. You also have to be willing to call out their flaws.

Allowing your team to continue in their deficiencies hurts them. Helping them to see and work in those areas will help them become better employees.

Be a kind leader who helps your team recognize their strengths and weaknesses. Then help them to improve.

6. Your past impacts your future:

The desire of Ratchet’s heart was to become a Galactic Ranger. When he tried out for the Rangers, Captain Qwark had to break a bitter truth to Ratchet.

Ratchet had a past. His past wasn’t a pretty one. And that impacted Captain Qwark’s decision to have him join the Rangers.

In one scene, Captain Qwark tells Ratchet:

There’s your history to consider.

While your past may be your past, people are still looking at what you did as an indicator of what you may do in the future. Your past matters.

If you have a broken past, do your best to make up for it. If you’re starting out and have a clean slate, make the best decisions you can.

People will look at your past. Your past will impact your future and the opportunities you are given.

Take care to make the wisest decisions you can.

7. You are not a defect:

Drek was creating an army of killer warbots. These robots were created to kill the Galatic Rangers and help Drek conquer the universe.

During the production of the warbots, lightning struck the facility and a miniature warbot was created. This warbot would go on to become Clank (David Kaye).

Those in the warbot production facility called Clank a defect. They attempted to destroy him. Thankfully, Clank escaped.

Do you ever feel like Clank? That you’re a defect or broken?

We all do at some point. We feel like a failure, that we can’t do anything right…

But know the truth. You’re not a defect. You are here for a reason and you can figure it out.

You’ve got big things ahead of you. Don’t let what you think or others say about you stop you from that.

8. Experts can be wrong:

Clank was able to escape the warbot production facility in a stolen spaceship. His ship was damaged and he crash landed on Kerwan. Ratchet saw Clank’s ship crash and headed out to help the poor pilot.

Upon arriving at the scene, Ratchet’s AI unit began to tell him death was imminent. He couldn’t save the pilot and he would die if he tried to help.

Ratchet helped anyway. He knew he couldn’t sit by idly and watch the other person (or robot) die.

Even though the expert told Ratchet he would die, death was not imminent. Ratchet was able to rescue Clank and survive.

Be careful when listening to the experts, including me… Experts can, and often are, wrong about things.

Sure, they’ve tested their ideas and practices. Yet every situation is unique and may not go accordingly.

9. Clank:

Ratchet, we’re clearly not prepared for this.

In an attempt to get to the Galatic Rangers and warn them about a new threat, Ratchet pilots Clank to their headquarters. Something goes wrong in their travels. They’re attacked and their weapons-targeting did not work.

Ratchet asked Clank to take over the piloting duties. As Ratchet is attempting to fix the targeting, Clank realizes they’re in over their heads.

Clank was a wise voice to Ratchet. He saw the situation differently and was willing to offer up his viewpoints.

Leaders need someone like Clank on their team. They need someone who is willing to speak up when the situation calls for it.

Be willing to listen to your Clanks. They are wise and are willing to express their concerns. Listening to these people will save you a lot of grief.

10. Ego is the enemy of great leaders:

While Captain Qwark was never a great leader, he was leader. You could clearly see Qwark’s faults throughout the Ratchet & Clank movie. Especially when someone else did something worthy of praise.

Ratchet & Clank were able to clear out an attacking horde of warbots. They did this faster than the Galatic Rangers and this burned Captain Qwark.

The citizens that were saved were asking Ratchet for his autograph. Captain Qwark stepped in and told the adoring fans that Ratchet couldn’t sign any more autographs due to a lack of time. However, Captain Qwark could sign autographs.

Captain Qwark had an ego that needed to be fed. He couldn’t stand seeing someone else in the spotlight. And this made his leadership ability suffer.

If you’ve got an ego, you need to be careful. Your ego will get you into trouble.

Great leaders are able to put their ego aside. They’re willing to give credit where credit is due. They’re also able to allow others the spotlight.

Examine yourself. See how big your ego is. And then get your ego in check.

11. Don’t be a victim:

Because of Captain Qwark’s ego-driven personality, Drek was able to convince him that he was a victim. Ratchet & Clank had stolen his fans and turned the people against him.

When Captain Qwark heard Drek tell him this, he began to believe the villain’s words. He saw himself as a victim and became bitter.

It can be easy to feel like a victim. You may see others getting ahead faster than you. You might have someone whispering lies in your ear. Or you might feel like you’re not being respected.

And, you know, these things might be true. But you have a choice. You can be a victim. Or you can be a leader.

A leader doesn’t care if he’s had a difficult road. He doesn’t care if someone else gets a piece of the credit.

What a leader cares about is the mission of the organization. Is that advancing? Then awesome!

Don’t be a victim. It negates your ability to lead.

12. Zed:

Can I switch sides now?

Zed (Andrew Cownden) was a service robot and worked as Drek’s attendant. Eventually, he was captured by the Galatic Rangers.

During questioning, Zed asked the Rangers if he could switch sides. He no longer wanted to serve Drek.

Why would this be? Zed wanted to switch sides because bad leaders don’t inspire loyalty.

Your actions as a leader will either inspire or discourage loyalty from your team.

A leader who looks out for himself, forgets to take care of their team, and is a jerk will not inspire loyalty. They will inspire people to look for new jobs or perform poorly.

On the other hand, a leader who cares about their team, takes care of them, and has a generally upbeat personality will more than likely inspire loyalty and retain their top talent.

You have a choice to make: Inspire loyalty or discourage loyalty.

14. Ratchet:

I wanted to matter.

You learn that Ratchet may be the last remaining Lomax (an alien species). He was raised on a foreign planet.

Because of this, Ratchet had a yearning. He desired to matter.

Yet nothing he had done made him feel like he truly mattered. He never felt like he measured up.

A lot of leaders get into their leadership position because they want to matter. They want to make a difference.

Everyone wants to matter. You do, don’t you? But having this desire can make you do things you normally wouldn’t do.

Be careful where your ambition to matter leads you. It can lead you down a dark and ugly road.

15. Grimroth:

To be a hero, you don’t have to do big things. Just the right thing.

You may believe you have to do big, great things to be considered a great leader. You don’t.

To be a great leader, you have to take Grim’s advice to Ratchet. Do the right thing.

That’s all it takes to be a leader worth following. Doing the right thing will take you in the right direction and help you develop into the leader you’re meant to be.

16. Bad leaders create a toxic environment:

Drek was a bad leader. There’s no doubt about it. This is why Dr. Nefarious (Armin Shimerman) usurped Drek.

The leadership provided by Drek created an environment where it was every person for himself. That included the leader. And when someone saw a weakness in the leadership, they took the opportunity to get rid of them.

Toxic environments are deadly to an organization. They begin to break down trust and mutual admiration. They destroy any unity and teamwork that may have been going on.

Do your best to create an environment free of toxicity. Your team will thank you for it.

17. Ratchet:

You were my hero. Now you’re no better than Drek.

Ratchet had an unhealthy admiration for Captain Qwark. When Ratchet learned Qwark had been turned, he lost all the respect he had for him.

This is a great reminder that leaders can fall from grace. You can go from flying high and mighty to being forgotten about because of a bad choice or two.

Know your choices will either make or break you. But the choice is up to you.

18. Captain Qwark:

I’m… I’m sorry. I don’t know how things got this far.

Eventually, Captain Qwark realized the poor decisions he’d made as a leader led him down a dark and evil path. He stepped up to the plate and apologized.

Yet you see a leadership truth here. A leader can be derailed by making a poor choice here… Then there… And then here.

Every immoral, bitter, poor decision you make will lead you down a path you don’t want to go. Many times without you even knowing you’re going down that path.

Examine your decisions. Make sure you’re not one or two degrees off and being led down a bad path.

19. People want to be appreciated:

Captain Qwark turned because he thought Ratchet was taking away the appreciation of his fans. Dr. Nefarious turned because he had created amazing devices and weapons for the Galatic Rangers but never got the appreciation he believed he deserved.

There’s a great leadership lesson here. People crave appreciation. Appreciation can be a bigger motivator than a paycheck.

Are you appreciating those who are on your team? You need to be or you may lose them.

Question: Have you seen Ratchet & Clank? If you have, did you take away any leadership lessons from Ratchet & Clank? If you haven’t seen the movie, what leadership lessons from Ratchet & Clank that I shared resonated most with you? Let me know in the comment section below.

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