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5 Great Business Movies & What We Can Learn From Them

business ethicsI was surfing the internet the other day and I came across a picture of Alec Baldwin from Glengarry Glen Ross.  I haven’t seen that movie in awhile but it got me thinking how great a business movie it was.  Then I started to think that Great Business Movies would be a cool blog post topic.  Why not have a little fun with it, right?  So here’s my list of…

5 Great Business Movies and What We Can Learn From Them

Glengarry Glen Ross

Since I already mentioned it we’ll start the list off with this iconic film.  I won’t give away the entire plot in case some of my younger readers haven’t seen it, but I will assign homework;  GO WATCH THIS MOVIE!!!

In the movie, and one of the best cinematic scenes, Alec Baldwin plays a hot shot seller who comes in to give a motivational sales speech (in his own unique way).  We can all definitely learn that in the sales world you have to ABC, Always Be Closing.  We also learn from Jack Lemmon that comprising your business ethics, no matter how dire the situation is, isn’t worth it.

Tommy Boy

Tommy Boy is a much more light-hearted movie than Glengarry Glen Ross, and pretty much a ridiculous comedy (although brilliant) but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from it.  When you watch Tommy Boy from a business aspect there are a ton of lessons to be learned.  One thing that I take away from the movie is to never give up and believe in yourself.  It may sound a little cheesy, but when a whole town of people (and your employees) are counting on you, you are capable of amazing things.  Tommy Boy can be summed up with the old mantra, Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way!

Office Space

Office Space seems to be one of those movies that everybody can relate to.  There’s just about every type of person in that movie who you have met at work.  What we will all learn from Office Space is, if you’re in a job that you hate, either do something about it or get out.  When Peter is under hypnosis he just stops caring about his job, but as soon as he does things turn around.  Your attitude at work can definitely affect how you feel.

What ultimately happens though is that he finally leaves his job for something better.  We not only learn this lesson from Peter but also from his girlfriend played by Jennifer Aniston.  Although most of us would never quit like she does, I’m sure at some point we have been at our wits end.  One line from her epic rant was that, “I hate this job, and I don’t need it”.  It’s always easier to quit when you don’t ‘need it’, but if you are that miserable it’s time to move on.

Social Network

One of the reasons that I like the Social Network is because it is based on  true story.  I’m sure most of us know the story of Facebook by now, so I don’t really have to go into the details.  What we can all learn about this movie is to dream big! Although I’d have to somewhat disagree with Sean Parkers (Justin Timberlake)  assessment of “A million dollars isn’t cool.  You know what’s cool? A billion dollars”, what he is saying is dream big.  If you truly believe in something, whether it be a service or a product, don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise, and don’t be afraid to take it all the way.

Jerry Maguire

What business movie list would be complete without Jerry Maguire right?  Jerry can also be compared to Peter and Joanna in Office Space, who at his wits end quits his job.  While this can certainly fit into the, move on to bigger and better things category, I think there is a better lesson to be learned.

The lesson I take away from this movie is relationships.  Don’t treat your clients like an easy way to fill your bank account.  No matter what you are offering, whether it’s a product or service, to an individual or company, treat people with the respect and dignity that they deserve.  In the end, business usual comes down to one thing, and that’s establishing relationships.

I think I’ve got a pretty good list here of business movies and what we can learn from them.  Did I leave any out, or miss any lessons?


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    […] your belt or you’re a brand new entrepreneur, running a business is a lot of work. Everyone needs a little inspiration now and again when the fax machine breaks at an inopportune moment or you miss that golden […]

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