Remember Who You Are: 7 Lion King Lessons For Lioness Queens
So it may be more than a little disappointing that Beyonce was not front and center of every scene in the remake of Disney’s “The Lion King,” but she did make a powerful impact as Nala as a keen lioness, or as many have pointed out, one of the Lion Queens.
Many critics have pointed out that the gender roles were lopsided in the movie, not accurately reflecting real lion life.
As Knvul Sheikh writes in The New York Tjmes, “’It’s always a matriarch who actually leads a lion pride,’ said Craig Saffoe, the curator of great cats at Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington. Simba’s mother, Sarabi, would have been the more likely leader of the group. And the movie would have been more accurate if it were called “The Lion Queen,” as National Georgraphic pointed out.
The impact this remake is having on popular culture has yet to be measured, but opening weekend for the movie pulled in in “$185 million following its debut in nearly 5,000 theaters in North America. The remake of the 1994 animated film beat out industry experts’ prediction of a $150 million opening. The film grossed over $531 million in 10 days since it first opened in theaters in China,” according to Fox News.
You can see that the lionesses in the film, headed by Sarabi, are mothers working to feed the pride as well as care for the cubs. Nala is bold when she is searching for solutions when she comes of age, and she works together with the other lionesses to solve the problems of the entire community, against the hyenas, and against poor leadership by Scar.
So Take The Lead noted in a very crowded, sold-out movie theater where the Lion King was playing on five different screens, that lessons learned can be applied to all women in leadership. Here are our top takeaways.
Everything improves when technology advances.The visual splendor is undeniable in this new version and the 35-year-old animated movie seems almost primitive compared to what is available now. This is a lesson in updating your own skills. As someone who regularly gets updated with new tools for publishing, multimedia and more, the movie itself a reminder that a good leader is someone who has access to the most recent tools to make her job easier and her projects better.
Ladders reports that when job-hunting in particular, “It’s crucial to highlight any software knowledge you have. Anything from Adobe platforms to QuickBooks, to Google applications, can come in handy when you’re applying for a job. If you have the tech skills, make sure to list them on your resume. Often recruiters or hiring managers will do a keyword search for specific software or applications to see what tech skills a candidate holds. If you don’t have the software listed, you won’t come upon the keyword search which could put you out of the running.
Look for what you can give. Father Mufasa says to his son, Simba, “While others reach for what they can take, a true king looks for what he can give.” Ditto for Lion Queens. As a leader and a teammate, you want to see how you can offer your help on a project, as well as what others can offer to you to succeed. Generosity, gratitude and reciprocity are key here, too. Take the help, give thanks, and give help too.
Star Dargin, author of Leading With Gratitude: 21st Century Solutions to Boost Engagement and Innovation, tells Forbes, “Gratitude is a positive in the workforce in many different ways. Current science shows that gratitude improves our personal and social lives, health, and wellbeing. People who are grateful live longer, heal faster, have less depression and fewer suicidal thoughts.”
Find your roar. Yes, this sounds corny out of context, but the notion of finding the power of your voice and speaking up is a key to every leader’s path. Use the Medium of Your Own Voice,” is one of the 9 Leadership Power Tools as created by Gloria Feldt, co-founder and president of Take The Lead.
“Most of the time managers need to be approachable. If employees are afraid to speak up, engagement suffers, learning moments go unrecognized, misconduct goes unquestioned, and innovations go unrealized. The risks of silence or unquestioned compliance can also be more dire: Consider Boeing and the safety failures of the 737 Max, and Goldman Sachs and the 1MDB corruption scandal. In both cases it’s possible that there were employees who could have raised questions or observations that could have averted these crises,” according to the Harvard Business Review.
Be prepared. Though the villainous Scar uses this as a threat to the entire pride, this is not a bad life slogan. “For successful women leaders, they usually exhibit the attribute of anticipating what may happen in the future and tend to encourage this type of thinking among the followers. In order to develop the strategic vision, a woman leader should ask the employees the issues that the organization may face, including the external forces in the industry that may compromise the performance of the company,” writes Tiffany Harper in Women Love Tech.
Change the future. “You can’t change the past, it’s a lot to ask, but you can change the future.” This is good advice for anyone who is looking to shift where she has been and to design where she is going. Take The Lead is all about creating a Strategic Action Plan in order for you to map precisely where your intend to be and how you will get there. The old ways of the past may not even be operational anymore.
According to Forbes, “The norms of old — static organizational structures, vertical reporting lines, arms-length relationships with other organizations, upward flow of information and downward flow of decisions and directives,” explained consulting firm CMPartners, “have been abandoned in favor of leaner, more direct flows of information and decision-making.” McKinsey has said that even senior executives should “pay more attention” to “managing horizontally,” as its research found that, when it comes to business success, a combination of managing both upwards and sideways was 50 percent more important than managing downwards.”
Laugh in the face of danger. Nala holds her own with Simba in wrestling contests when they are small, but also when the stakes are high as adults and the future of the pride is in the balance. It is perhaps silly to laugh when in danger, but key here is the notion to not be paralyzed when faced with problems and crises. You can handle them as a leader. The big lesson here is the use of humor.
“Decades worth of studies demonstrate that humor can reduce anxiety, stress, depression and increase creativity, energy levels and productivity. Similarly, laughter boosts our immune system, decreases stress, and triggers a pleasing endorphin rush. With stress and burnout at peak levels across corporate America, humor might be the underutilized resource we need at work. ‘A good laugh can be refreshing and relieve tension, which is a great advantage in the workplace,’ Barbara Plester, Ph.D., a senior lecturer in the School of Business and Economics at the University of Auckland in New Zealand and author of Laugh Out Loud: A User’s Guide to Workplace Humor, tells Stephanie Fairyington of Thrive Global.
You must remember who you are. This does get melodramatic, but in the face of a crisis, it helps if you access your wisdom and know who you are as a leader. This is also one of the 9 Leadership Power Tools. “Know your history” is crucial. This is about truth and authenticity.
“A genuine leader takes time to identify the personal experiences brought to the table, along with competencies and personality traits. The skills don’t have to be extensive, but a leader knows how to communicate with others and model the competencies she owns. Extraordinary leaders are those who emphasize their strengths and use them effectively as their self-expression in a leadership situation,” writes Dr. Ann Gatty in Real Leaders.