Daily Dose: What’s Your Favorite Movie With A Leadership Theme?

This week, the Washington Post’s Federal Coach, Tom Fox (who also happens to be a GovLoop member!) touched on a great question in his Wednesday column: the most inspiring leadership-themed movies of all time. He writes:

There are many ways for federal managers to absorb the lessons of leadership—training courses, management books, advice columns like this one, conversations with peers and the on-the-job school of hard knocks.

But it’s the summertime and living should be easy. So sit back and consider watching an entertaining movie that can perhaps impart some insightful leadership lessons.

The best leadership movies to get you inspired

Clearly, there is no shortage of options to choose from. Suggestions from the column include:

  • Miracle
  • Apollo 13
  • The King’s Speech
  • Office Space*
  • Remember the Titans
  • Gladiator
  • Braveheart
  • Dead Poet’s Society

And that’s just the beginning. I recently watched the Great Debaters, with Denzel Washington, and was struck by how leadership can at times involve getting out of the way and letting your people get things done. Plus, in my opinion, no list of great leadership-themed movies is complete without Patton.

How about Tom Hanks in Saving Private Ryan? How about Mel Gibson in We Were Soldiers? “I can’t promise you that I will bring you all home alive. But this I swear, before you and before Almighty God, that when we go into battle, I will be the first to set foot on the field, and I will be the last to step off, and I will leave no one behind. Dead or alive, we will all come home together.”

Does leadership get any clearer than that?

What, in your opinion, makes a movie inspirational, and what’s your favorite movie with a leadership theme?

*Example of how not to behave as a leader


“Daily Dose of the Washington Post” is a blog series created by GovLoop in partnership with The Washington Post. If you see great a story in the Post and want to ask a question around it, please send it to [email protected].

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