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Top 5 Government Lessons from Pitch Perfect

**WARNING: This blog post contains spoilers for Pitch Perfect. Please watch the movie before continuing!**

As many of you may not know, Pitch Perfect is one of my favorite movies. Originally, my love grew from the catchy singing, adorable love story, and inevitable happy ending. However, after binge-watching the movie this weekend, thank you HBOGO and AppleTV, I gained a new appreciation for the storyline and characters. Below, I outline 5 lessons the government can learn from Pitch Perfect.

Lesson 1: The Leader is Not Always Right

Aubrey struggles to maintain control of the Barden Bellas, an all-female university a cappella group. She utilizes authoritarian leadership tactics to force members to comply with her desires, even when these are obviously not the best for the group. In the end, Aubrey listens to the ideas of the other members, leading to the group’s success.

Unlike Aubrey, government leaders should be open to hearing the opinions of their subordinates. This often can foster the growth of more efficient and effective practices that leads to greater success. It also breeds collaboration and creates a more inviting workplace.

Lesson 2: Subordinates Should Not Disobey Leaders

Beca, a member of the group, clashes with Aubrey over the group’s song choices for the regional competition performance. Seeing that the audience is falling asleep during their performance, Beca decides to masterfully incorporate another song in the background. This perks the interest of the audience; however, catches the rest of the group off-guard, causing some confusion. In the end, the group does not advance to the finals and Beca is asked to leave the team.

Sometimes, government employees do not feel like their leaders are listening to them and decide to take matters into their own hands. This often causes unnecessary tension and leads to a disruption in the organization’s workflow. While government leaders should listen to new ideas, employees must also understand that not all of ideas can or should be implemented. However, if an employee feels strongly about a specific idea, they should find a productive, evidence-based way to show their leader why an idea is necessary and beneficial.

Lesson 3: Collaboration Is The Key To Success

Due to another team being disqualified, the Barton Bellas make the national final competition. Seeing the error in her ways and accepting Beca’s apology, Aubrey allows the group to sing new songs and utilize Beca’s awesome mixing skills. Further, this new leadership style allows other members in the group to feel more comfortable, encouraging them to expose previously unknown talents, such as Lily’s beat boxing skills and Cynthia-Rose’s rapping abilities. In the end, the group collaborates to produce a masterful performance and become the first all female group to ever win the national championship.

Collaboration, especially in public service, is essential to discover innovative solutions to policy problems, which results in a successful outcome. When everyone’s talents come together, the team can begin to think outside the box and see solutions that evaded them previously. Government leaders should encourage and foster collaboration among employees by creating an open and creative environment.

Lesson 4: An Old Dog Can Learn New Tricks

The finals were the first time in the history of the Barton Bellas that the group performed songs from the 21st century. While the old songs were great, they were dated and no longer relatable, causing the audience to quickly become bored and uninterested. The group quickly learned new, more recent songs to better relate to the audience and win the championship.

Many of the practices the government implements are often dated and no longer efficient or effective. It is important to identify these practices and eliminate their use in order to encourage a more productive and successful workforce. Simply because policies have been around for decades does not mean that they are the best practices. Instead, the government should be constantly evaluating practices and revamping policies to lead to the most efficient and effective workforce.

Lesson 5: Stack Your Bench To Evade Future Problems

Right before the finals, the Treblemakers, a rival a cappella team, loss their lead singer, who was offered a job as a back-up singer for John Mayer. Luckily, the team is full of great singers and Jesse, Beca’s love interest, steps up to lead the team in the championship. The group performs amazingly, but was unable to beat the Bellas due to their new found collaboration.

It is important that government leaders hire employees that possess the skills to become future government leaders. During their “training” years, these employees can observe from their bosses and acquire all the necessary skills to become successful leaders. Then, when the older leaders retire, they can effectively step up and provide a smooth transition, ensuring that no government services are interrupted.

What Do You Think?

Do you know of any other lessons the government can learn from Pitch Perfect?

What other movies provide great lessons for the government?

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