Disney adapts Madeleine L’Engle’s story A Wrinkle In Time for the big screen. Starring Storm Reid as Meg Murry, Deric McCabe as the brainiac, adopted son Charles Wallace Murry, and Levi Miller as Calvin O’Keefe, A Wrinkle In Time tells the story of Meg after her father, Dr. Alex Murry (Chris Pine), has been missing for 4 years.
Soon, three strange women appear in the lives of the Murry family. You’re first introduced to Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon). Next, you see Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling). Last, but not least, is Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey).
These three women bring Charles Wallace, Meg, and Meg’s friend Calvin on an adventure across the galaxy. One they never thought they’d go on.
While A Wrinkle In Time doesn’t follow L’Engle’s story to the tee, A Wrinkle In Time will give you an enjoyable time at the movies if you can get over the fact it’s an adaptation and not meant to follow the A Wrinkle In Time novel exactly as written.
And not only is A Wrinkle In Time enjoyable, you will take away many leadership lessons from A Wrinkle In Time. Let’s get into those leadership lessons now.
Cation: A Wrinkle In Time spoilers below.
Quotes And Leadership Lessons From A Wrinkle In Time
1. Charles Wallace Murry:
That’s my new word for the day, exclusive…
Charles Wallace is the precocious adopted son of Dr. Alex Murry and Dr. Kate Wallace (Gugu Mbatha-Raw). He’s a genius in the making and you can tell this as you watch A Wrinkle In Time.
He’s always learning. And one of the things he learns is new words every day.
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Charles Wallace habit of learning new words every day is a habit leaders could do well to take note of. Leaders need to constantly stretch and grow their mental acuity (See what I did there? I used a word I don’t use regularly).
Never stop learning. Keep growing and expanding your knowledge. It’ll serve you well as you lead.
2. People are listening to what you say:
Two teachers were on a break and they began to talk. Their talk soon turned to the 4-year anniversary of Dr. Alex Murry’s disappearance. The talk soon turned negative.
What the teachers didn’t know was that Charles Wallace was sitting below them and could hear every word they were saying. He heard the disparaging remarks the two teachers said about his dad.
This scene in A Wrinkle In Time can be a great reminder for leaders to watch their speech. People are listening to what you say and watching what you do.
Be careful with your words. They can either bring life or bring death, like the Bible says.
3. Tragedy changes people:
Meg had been an excellent student prior to her father’s disappearance. She was the model student and teachers loved her.
However, after her father disappeared, Meg changed. She pushed people away, became aggressive, was hostile towards teachers and other students. Her tragedy changed her.
If you’re leading a team, be aware your team members may not be the same after they experience a tragedy. They’re recovering and healing. And while you’re running a business and need people to be on their A-game, you also need to allow people time to heal from their hurts.
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Help walk alongside them in their tragedy. Be a listening ear or a crying shoulder (always makes me think of Edwin McCain’s song I’ll Be).
By realizing people change after tragedies and being there for them, you’ll create loyalty like no other. Don’t do it for the loyalty though, be there for them because it is the right thing to do.
4. You can beat the odds:
The principal at Meg’s school, Principal Jenkins (André Holland), called Meg into his office after Meg hit another girl in the face with a basketball. Her outbursts were getting to the point of being dangerous.
During his talk, he told Meg the odds are her dad wasn’t coming back. He was gone for good.
Later in A Wrinkle In Time, you discover Principle Jenkins was wrong. Dr. Murry beat the odds and so did Meg. Dr. Murry came back.
The odds will be stacked against you at times. You may not have the money or the resources or the team members to accomplish the vision you had cast.
Don’t let the odds hold you back. You can beat the odds. But you won’t be able to beat the odds if you don’t try.
5. Treat people kindly:
Charles Wallace was a personable child as well. He would talk to strangers who talked to him first. He would greet friends with a kind smile and word.
His actions showed he cared about people. Why? Because he treated them kindly.
Great leaders do what Charles Wallace did. They treat people with kindness.
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Are you treating your employees, customers, and vendors with kindness? When you do, you begin to see the law of reciprocity at work.
People will begin to treat you with kindness. Try it and see what happens.
6. You may have to go where things look unsafe:
Charles Wallace had befriended the different Mrs. Ws. He knew Calvin and Meg had to meet another Mrs, Mrs. Who. This is when he brought them to a dilapidated looking house.
Both Calvin and Meg were hesitant to step inside the house. They believed the house was going to fall in on them. Charles Wallace was persistent and persuaded the pair to join him.
Once the entered the unsafe looking house, they realized they were in a safe place. It wasn’t going to fall in on them and they learned a part of their story.
Leading looks dangerous. You don’t know the next step to take. Sometimes, even when you know what’s next, the next step looks dangerous. Much like the house Meg, Calvin, and Charles Wallace entered.
However, once you take the next step, you realize you’re in a much safer position than you realized. Don’t be afraid of the unknown. It may be the safest place you can go.
7. Different people look at things differently:
Both of Meg’s parents were scientists. Yet both of them looked at the world differently.
Dr. Kate Wallace looked at the small things. She studied atoms and molecules.
Meg’s dad, Dr. Alex Murry, on the other hand, looked at the big things. Space, time, thoughts. He wanted to know more about these areas of science and life.
Two people doing similar work but in many different ways…
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This parallels our lives so much. Two leaders can look at the same thing but see a different result.
Don’t be scared when others can’t see things the way you do. They’re looking through a different lens. You are too.
Be aware of this. But don’t let the different lenses people look through color your view.
8. People will laugh at your vision:
Dr. Alex Murry had a theory. A person could travel through space and time using their mind. Laughable, I know… The scientists he presented this theory to laughed at him as well.
Yet Dr. Murry was onto something in A Wrinkle In Time. Dr. Murry’s theory involved a tesseract, a fifth-dimensional phenomenon explained as being similar to folding the fabric of space and time, which you discover is actually true in the movie. His theory, as implausible as it sounds, was true.
The laughter of the other scientists didn’t change the fact he discovered groundbreaking new technology.
Your vision should be big. It should be scary. So big and scary you may have people laugh at you.
Don’t let their laughter stop you. There are things people can’t see that you will be able to.
9. Dr. Kate Murry:
In order to be great, you actually have to be great.
Who doesn’t want to be great? To be remembered for something?
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Well, to be great, you have to be great. You have to do something great.
Go be great.
10. Each person on your team is a unique piece of the puzzle:
The three strange travelers, Mrs. Whosit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which were all unique. They each had a different personality and strength. They were also all part of a larger puzzle.
Once the children had met all of the travelers, the puzzle became clear. The travelers would help the children move through space and find Meg’s father. But they could only do this once the puzzle pieces were in place.
Your team is made up of unique people. Each person on your team brings a unique perspective and strength to the table. They’re a piece of the puzzle you need to fit together to run a great organization.
Look at your team. See the shape of their puzzle piece. Then begin fitting them together.
11. Great leaders offer suggestions:
Once Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin transported across space to Uriel, Meg and Calvin run down a grassy hill. When they reach the bottom, they run into a bed of flower that begin to levitate.
Taken aback by this new phenomenon, the two look on in awe. This is when Mrs. Whatsit chimes in. She offered the suggestion to Meg of asking them if they knew Meg’s father.
This wasn’t an order by Mrs. Whatsit. Rather, this was a suggestion. She didn’t push or control Meg to ask.
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There are leaders out there who think the only way to get things done is to be bossy. To tell those they lead what they need to do, how they need to do it, and when they need to do it by.
Great leaders use a different approach. They offer suggestions on what to do and then let the team member do it.
This allows the team member to own their actions. They feel they’re doing what needs to be done in the way they believe it should be done.
Offer suggestions. Allow your team members to figure out how to do it.
12. Great Leaders adapt:
After asking the flowers if they knew Meg’s father, they learned he had moved on. Mrs. Whatsit then said she would need to change before they could continue their journey.
The kids thought Mrs. Whatsit meant her clothe. Instead, Mrs. Whatsit adapted her body to a new form. Mrs. Whatsit became what looked like a flying leaf of some sort.
Like Mrs. Whatsit, you’re going to have to adapt as you lead. You’re going to have to adapt your leadership style to different personalities and situations as they arise. Don’t be afraid to shift how your react or treat others base on the situation you’re in.
Adapting to the situations at hand is a strength every leader could use. Adaptation allows you to use your skills in new ways in situations that demand change.
13. Great leaders act quickly:
The big danger in A Wrinkle In Time was a black, spreading mass called the It. This mass was spreading throughout the universe bringing fear, anger, jealousy to individuals.
The It was a danger to everyone and everything. And the It had to be stopped. QUICKLY.
So Meg, Calvin, and Charles Wallace along with the Mrs. Ws had to act quickly.
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New situations rapidly arise as you lead. You’re going to have to learn to act quickly in response to these situations.
Quick reactions will help alleviate troubles as they arise. Be ready to act.
14. The Happy Medium:
You can do this. You’re choosing not too.
The Happy Medium (Zach Galifianakis) resided on a distant, dull planet. He chose to help the children and Mrs. Ws because of his affection for Mrs. Whatsit.
As he was helping them see where Meg’s father had gone, Meg doubted herself. She said she couldn’t do what he was asking. He responded with harsh but needed words.
He knew Meg could do what he was asking. Meg was choosing not to though.
What Meg had to do felt hard. She felt she couldn’t do it. But she could.
You’re going to have experiences like Meg. You’re going to feel like you can’t do something. You’re going to struggle and squirm. You might even say you can’t do what you need to do.
But you can do it. You’re choosing not to do it.
You have a choice. You can do the hard things. If you try.
15. Your leaders will leave you:
After getting the answers from The Happy Medium, Mrs. Which says they have to stop the search for Meg’s father. They need to head back to Earth because of the impending danger presented by the It.
Meg had a strong will. As they were tessering (folding the fabric of space and time) back to Earth, Meg willed them to go to Camazotz, where her father was. This weakened the Mrs. Ws and they couldn’t stay on Camazotz.
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This meant the three women who had guided Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin had to leave. The leaders the three children looked up to were no longer there for them.
As you gain leadership experience, you will find your previous leaders are gone. They’ve moved on to new positions, stepped out of leadership, or passed away. Your leaders aren’t your leaders forever.
16. Great leaders leave their people with gifts:
Before the Mrs. Ws left Camazotz for Earth, they knew the children would need something more for their journey. They left Meg with 3 gifts she would need for her adventure.
When great leaders leave, they do so knowing the upcoming leaders still need more. They do their best to prepare these up and coming leaders to take over when they’re gone. So they leave gifts.
Gifts of insight. Gifts of courage and self-confidence. And gifts of hope.
When you transition, make sure you’ve prepared your team and given them the gifts they need to carry on.
17. Mrs. Which:
Stay together. Don’t let anyone separate you.
The parting words of Mrs. Which were that of unity. To stay together.
Great leaders know a team united together is better than a team divided. Help encourage your team to stay strong and united.
18. Great leaders take calculated risks:
Once the Mrs. Ws left Camazotz, a great storm swept across the planet and Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin had to run for a wall. The storm approached and it looked like there was no way out.
This is when Meg used her knowledge to see a way out. They could head back into the storm and be shot out of it like a slingshot. Meg called this The Classic Slingshot Method.
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Meg’s calculated plan paid off. Was it risky? Yes. Was it worth it? Of course.
Great leaders don’t take risks for the heck of it. Rather, they look at their options. They weigh what’s ahead and behind. And then they take the calculated risk.
You have no idea how amazing you are.
Calvin became Meg’s crush throughout A Wrinkle In Time. He saw something special in Meg and made notice of it because Meg couldn’t see her uniqueness.
We’ve all been like Meg at some point. Maybe you still are. You’re like Meg when you have trouble seeing the amazingness God created within you. The skills, talents, and abilities you have to do great things in the world.
Find someone like Calvin to encourage you to see how amazing you are. You are and you need to know it.
20. Mrs. Which:
Charles Wallace, your light has returned.
Towards the end of A Wrinkle In Time, Charles Wallace becomes possessed by the It. His personality changes and he becomes evil.
Through Meg’s encouragement and reminders of how much she loved him, Charles Wallace rejected the infection of the It. He turned back to the light.
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You will have team members and other leaders who may turn away from the right path, from the truth. At times, it will look like there’s no hope for them.
You’d be wrong to assume that once a person has chosen the wrong path, they can’t return. They can. And you can help.
Be like Meg. Remind people of the goodness within them. Of their mission and how their current choices aren’t the best path.
You can help bring people back from the brink.
21. Your ambitions can take you to places you don’t want to go:
Alex’s ambition was to shake hands with the universe. To travel through space. Yet his ambition did something he didn’t want to do.
His ambitions caused him to leave his family behind. They were left without a father. He was left without his wife and kids.
He realized his mistake too late.
While he was able to return to his family, he lost out on so much. He missed birthdays and growing pains, happy times and sad times, crucial moments in his family’s life.
And that crushed him.
Be careful of your ambitions. They can get out of hand and take you away from the truly important things.
Chasing money and fame will only leave you empty. I’ve seen it firsthand with friends who have lost everything because they desired more, more, more…
Later, they return broken and miserable. They realize their mistake. Sometimes in time, other times too late and they’ve lost their family and friends..
Watch where your ambitions are taking you. Check yourself before you wreck yourself.