I recently watched the movie It’s a Wonderful Life and gained three insights that help to become a better leader. In general, the movie reminds one about the importance of appreciating other people. According to the American Film Institute, it belongs to the 100 greatest American movies of all times.
1. Changing perspective
This movie does an excellent job in showing just how important your mindset it. The business man and protagonist Georgie Bailey became immensely desperate when his uncle accidentally lost a large amount of money that jeopardised their family business. Because of this and the consequences of not being able to retrieve the money, he wanted to commit suicide. He went to a bridge and was about to jump when in that moment an angel showed up to save him. Instead of being thankful for the rescue, George wished to have never been born. After some consideration, the angel granted his wish, believing that it could teach George a powerful lesson.
George suddenly finds himself without identity and everyone he met in town did not recognize him anymore. He also realised how many lives he positively affected throughout his journey. Without his impactful actions, some people were without jobs and others even died. Most shockingly, his wife belonged to someone else and his children were never born. Eventually, he realised that his financial situation is bearable, considering that he would still be surrounded by a hearty family and a caring community. A deep change of perspective can transform how one sees the world around one.
“No man is a failure who has friends.” – Mark Twain
2. Serving others
Leadership can be used to achieve personal goals but it can achieve much more when used to serve others.
In the movie, George’s wife tries to organise the community to donate as much money as needed to overcome the challenging financial situation of the family business. When the community heard about George’s circumstances, they immediately rushed to help him as he always served them in the past. It is a real joy to see the community come together to give all their savings to help George.
“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” – Jane Goodall
3. Cultivating values
The movie teaches virtuous values that are still, or perhaps even more, important in this contemporary and fast paced world. Cultivating values such as caring, community, and loyalty not only aim to serve others but also increase one’s own quality of life by fostering deep interpersonal connections that promote mental health and wellbeing. This movie inspires one to be more kind to others and more positive about life. It is indeed, one of the greatest movies of all times.