Besides producing an incredible number of suntans, celeb sightings, and fame-seeking dreamers, Hollywood also cranks out some pretty incredible movie characters for us to enjoy on the silver screen that can teach us a lot about CTSO leadership! Oh, how I love a good story with a talented leading man/woman I can root for while I’m throwing down my popcorn and wild cherry ICEE at the theatres!
We’ve all got our own personal heroes from our favorite films that have successfully broken their way into our hearts and inspired us. For me, I have always loved with Walter Mitty from ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’. He’s a maverick of adventure and stepping out of your comfort zone to explore new terrains! I am inspired by him and have applied the lessons that I learned from watching his heroics in the movie to my own life.
So this had me thinking… what other lessons can we learn from some of the most iconic movie characters of all time, and how can those lessons apply to CTSO student? What, with all of the competitions, projects, and activities CTSO students prepare for all the time, there have to be some gems to be found in all of those Hollywood blockbusters! So let’s take a look, shall we?
Hermione Granger – Preparedness
“I had no idea that would be on the test! If only I had studied more carefully!” Phhhht, yeah right! These are not sentences you would ever hear from the lips of the studious and ever-ready Hermione Granger. She would never allow an unexpected twist to trip her up if she can help it! When she knows that there is potential that she might need to reach into her bag of trick for a potion or to recall some kind of helpful spell to conquer a foe or escape treachery, Hermione is able to respond quickly and with confidence because she’s seen it coming from a mile away and she’s ready.
For CTSO competitors there is an incredible advantage to those who prepare well! There is nothing worse than having something unexpected spring up at the last minute and not being prepared for it. Studying carefully for the approaching challenges and being dedicated to practicing needful skills well before they need to be called upon – that’s what Hermione is all about!
Ferris Bueller – Outside-the-box/Personality
Sometimes being successful at something takes doing a little thinking “outside the box”! If we can learn anything from 1980’s movie hero Ferris Bueller it’s that sometimes you have to look for opportunities to shake it up and try new things, and then you have to jump on those opportunities like they’re your best friend’s dad’s cherry red Ferrari!
Ferris Bueller is also confident and makes no apologies for being good at what he does and who he is. He’s not obnoxious and cocky, or timid and wimpish, but he knows what his strengths and weaknesses are and he owns them! Ferris is a fantastic example of embracing the things that make him uniquely himself, which makes him much more effective in getting things done that he sets out to accomplish.
Moana – Reaching/Innovating
Moana is the epitome of a someone who stretches themselves to try new things and to be more! Her bravery is one of her most distinct characteristics and one of the things that makes her a hero. She is able to do new things because she seeks to see the world through fresh eyes. Like a CTSO student, Moana succeeds when she takes up a new perspective to solve problems that are set before her.
Charles Xavier “Professor X” – Teamwork/Support
Besides being one of the most powerful mutants of all time, reading and controlling minds like it’s nothing, Professor X is also an outstanding friend and mentor. No matter what, the Professor never gives up on his fellow X-Men. He tried for so long, despite constant discouragement, to help Magneto to see the best in mankind and to use his powers for good. He is the first one to provide words of reassurance and encouragement to the rest of his team in their most trying times.
In the same way, great CTSO leadership means understanding that one of the greatest responsibilities of a leader is to support their team and to help them to reach their highest potential. A true leader is like Professor X, knowing that when each individual is strengthened, the whole team benefits.
Mia Thermopolis – Learning from Mistakes/Maintaining Professionalism
Do you ever feel like you’re just a mess?! Sometimes when you wake up it’s just one of those days where from the moment your feet (or your face) hits the floor in the morning you’re scattered all over the place – losing your keys, spilling food on your pants, forgetting to finish that paper, and on and on! That is just how it seems to go sometimes, and while it is typical for a lot movie characters to have shining, glittering lives on screen, Mia Thermopolis from the Princess Diaries is quite the opposite.
Mia has her share of hiccups along her road to becoming a princess, but she sticks to it like a champion and learns how to make the best of her circumstances! Regardless of her flaws, in the movies, Mia doesn’t give up and eventually, she gets well on her way to becoming the princess, and eventually queen, that she was born to be!
For CTSO students and competitors, it is easy to become discouraged by challenges that are faced or mistakes that are made along the way. However, it isn’t until after we make those mistakes that we can use them to grow! Like Princess Mia, all of us can pick ourselves back up, brush off the dirt, and continue to refine our skills until we eventually realize just how much is possible when we do so!
These are just a few examples of film heroes we can extract powerful CTSO leadership and competition lessons from. Who’s your favorite movie inspiration and what have they taught you? Let us know in the comments below!!!
Photo credit: Jakob Owens | Taylor Nicole | Alex Iby | Redd Angelo | Caleb George | Ashton Mullins