The film: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
The quote: “The greatest teacher, failure is.” (The Force CEO, Yoda, above.)
In other words: Every mistake is a learning experience, so stick with it. The wisest of words for anyone who hopes to live out their days as a wizened 900-year-old Jedi and die on the swamp planet of Dagobah. At least he was, er, happy, right?
The film: The Founder
The quote: “You know what? Contracts are like hearts: they are made to be broken.” (Ray Kroc, the man who helped McDonald’s take over the world.)
In other words: In business you shouldn’t be naive or romantic, because ruthlessness will always win the day, especially where Big Macs are concerned. Now, do you want fries with that?
The film: The Wolf Of Wall Street
The quote: “The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.” (Jordan Belfort, who used to be a wolf but he’s all right noooowwww!)
In other words: The only thing holding you back is you. Sage advice for anyone – even if your goal is to be a coke-snorting, ’lude-swallowing, hooker-banging degenerate multimillionaire trader on the New York Stock Exchange.
The film: There Will Be Blood
The quote: “I have a competition in me. I want no one else to succeed.” (Ambitious oil entrepreneur and reprehensible human being Daniel Plainview.)
In other words: Plainview’s business model is based on Genghis Khan’s Mongol mission statement: “It is not sufficient that I succeed – all others must fail.” As role models go, as long as you can forgive the beheadings of his rivals and building mountains from their skulls, Genghis is a pretty good one.
The film: The Godfather
The quote: “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.” (Vito Corleone, the Don.)
In other words: When building a business empire, be generous in negotiations in order to secure the deal you want and never take “no” for an answer. Getting the Black & Decker out really should be a last resort, though.
The film: Steve Jobs
The quote: “The musicians play their instruments. I play the orchestra.” (Futurist fruitarian Steve Jobs.)
In other words: Having the vision is more important than having the necessary skills to realise that ambition. In other words: IT support can fix the computer, but only if a nerd has already been told to invent it first.
The film: The Social Network
The quote: “Drop the ‘The’. Just ‘Facebook’. It’s cleaner.” (Napster cofounder Sean Parker’s marketing tip to Mark Zuckerberg.)
In other words: When you are building a billion-dollar social media empire, don’t be afraid to get rid of anything (or anyone, especially if their name is Eduardo) that is surplus to requirements.
The film: Jerry Maguire
The quote: “That’s how you become great, man. You hang your balls out there.” (Random long-haired photocopier guy.)
In other words: If you want to succeed, if you want to grow, if you want to improve in business and in life, you have to put yourself out there and take a chance. (No, don’t literally display your testicles… unless you want to be a great porn star.)
The film: Moneyball
The quote: “I made one decision in my life based on money. And I swore I would never do it again.” (Data-driven baseball boss Billy Beane.)
In other words: Listen to your head, listen to your heart and listen to your wallet. If you only let one of those three govern your choices, chances are you will come unstuck. And you will definitely not win the World Series.
The film: How To Get Ahead In Advertising
The quote: “Why should anyone have to clean their teeth without important new ingredients?” (Ad man Denis Dimbleby Bagley.)
In other words: To borrow a line from Don Draper in Mad Men: “Advertising is based on one thing: happiness.” Fulfil that desire and you can’t fail… and nothing makes people happier than “new” anything. Or shinier teeth.
The film: The Big Short
The quote: “For 15,000 years, fraud and short-sighted thinking have never, ever worked. Not once. Eventually you get caught.” (Mark Baum, the man who spotted the financial crisis and cashed in.)
In other words: If you are looking to get rich quick and do it illegally, you should know cheats never prosper. Even when those cheats are the banks. (Bankers, however, will always prosper and get their bonus.)
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