Yes, yes it can. Leadership is a mindset, not a 9-5 role only. Thus, even when at the movies I find lessons for leadership that are relevant to you becoming a better leader and even moving from just a better leader to a GREAT leader!
In Despicable Me 2, here’s what I found: (note no spoiler alert needed!)Great Leaders Let Them Do What They Love
When Dr. Nefario admitted to Gru that he loved to do evil, Gru listened. Making simple jams and jellies didn’t light Dr. Nefario’s fire, so to speak and when he stated this outright, it created an important boundary. Do you listen when employees tell you what they need and what they love? How do you become a better leader if you don’t listen to what they need and love and let them do that as much as possible? Answer: you don’t.
Great Leaders Let Them Go
Ouch! Really? Well…we can’t always let them do what they love if the roles we have available don’t include responsibilities that make the most of their natural gifts, skills, and talents. As a result, when an employee is clear on what they love and realizes they can’t do that in this job, sometimes letting them go is the best approach. This isn’t an approach to take cavalierly, but one that may be your last course of action. However, take this action BEFORE performance becomes an issue so the let go is a positive send off, not a negative write off. You may not give a 21 “Fart Gun” salute, such as was given to Dr. Nefario, and you may not WANT one, but you want their departure to instill
Great Leaders Keep an Open Mind
This may seem obvious, but often isn’t the case. In Despicable Me 2, Dr. Nefario left to chase what he loved, but remained loyal to Gru because of the freedom he gave the Dr. to pursue his interest. When the grass wasn’t really greener on the other side or new job, Dr. Nefario came back and Gru welcomed him with open arms. This is easy to do when you keep an open mind, don’t take their departure personally, and send them off in a positive way. Are you open to an employee changing their mind? Are you open to giving them the freedom to do what they love? Stay open minded and they’ll likely share an open mind with you.